Apple Clips, American Gardening, Voter Records, More: Saturday Buzz, April 8, 2017


The Verge: Apple’s Clips app is iMovie for the next generation. “When I opened up Apple’s new Clips app yesterday, as I’ve been doing for the past few days, I was greeted with the same photo-capture screen that’s prioritized in all the social ‘story’ apps. Take a picture! Capture video! Share! Share everything! they scream at you. I added some text overlays and emoji, and fumbled my way through Live Titles, the feature that’s distinctive to Apple Clips. And eventually, I shared my Clips. But it took a while. Because Clips take a while.” This article is more positive – a lot more positive – than the initial paragraph makes it sound.

Hyperallergic: Explore a Growing Archive of American Gardens with a New Smithsonian App. “Gardening stories from across the United States, whether about 19th-century green spaces that enlivened vacant lots or community vegetable plots, are being collected and preserved through the Community of Gardens project. The digital archive from Smithsonian Gardens with the Archives of American Gardens was recently launched as a free mobile app, where you can navigate a map of over 80 gardens.”

From Pew (pew pew pew pew!): New Interactive Tool Tracks Use of Electronic Poll Books Nationwide. “Electronic poll books—also known as e-poll books or EPBs—are digitized voter registries, used in place of paper lists to check in voters at polling places, which are gaining popularity in jurisdictions around the country because they help improve the efficiency and ease of citizens’ voting experiences. To examine trends in implementation, identify emerging best practices, inform users about innovations and potential improvements, and help guide states as they consider adopting or updating e-poll book systems, The Pew Charitable Trusts has released a new interactive tool that tracks state and local adoption and summarizes survey findings on e-poll book use across the nation.”


TechCrunch: Twitter unveils a new API platform, roadmap and vision for its developer community. “Today, Twitter is trying to reset developer relations yet again with the unveiling of its vision for the Twitter API platform and, for the first time, publishing its public roadmap of what it has planned. The apparent goal here is to be more transparent about what Twitter has in store for developers, which includes a unification of its API platform along with the launching of new APIs and endpoints for developers.” If I had read this story two years ago, I would have been hopeful. Now I have zero trust in Twitter.

CNET: Facebook Instant Articles will soon show pleas from publishers. “Now, thanks to new ‘call-to-action’ units, the flow of the story you’re trying to read will soon be interrupted by pleas from those publishers, who’ll be asking you to join mailing lists or grant various permissions. Also in the works is a unit that will entreat you to install the publisher’s app.” Bleah.

BBC: Twitter forces US to drop demand for Trump critic’s details. “The US government has dropped its request for the identity of an anti-Trump Twitter account, just a day after Twitter went to court over the issue. @ALT_USCIS anonymously criticised President Trump’s immigration policy, and claimed to be run by employees at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.”


Mashable: A guide to Facebook etiquette after someone has died. “People grieve in different ways. What’s upsetting for some people can be comforting for others. Knowing what is and isn’t appropriate can be extremely hard to gauge. Mashable spoke to grief experts and a number of people who’ve dealt with loss to find out what one should and should not do on Facebook following a bereavement.” Much more solid than the usual Mashable fluff.


Stars and Stripes: Marines punished for social media comments; 15 other servicemembers investigated. “The Marine Corps has punished two California-based Marines for derogatory remarks that they expressed on social media about a female Marine and service leadership, and law enforcement agents have uncovered at least 56 people suspected of involvement in a nude-photo sharing scandal, military officials said Friday.”


GameStop is investigating a possible breach of its Web site. “Two sources in the financial industry told KrebsOnSecurity that they have received alerts from a credit card processor stating that was likely compromised by intruders between mid-September 2016 and the first week of February 2017. Those same sources said the compromised data is thought to include customer card number, expiration date, name, address and card verification value (CVV2), usually a 3-digit security code printed on the backs of credit cards.”

Techdirt: Researcher: 90% Of ‘Smart’ TVs Can Be Compromised Remotely. “While the recent Samsung Smart TV vulnerabilities exposed by Wikileaks (aka Weeping Angel) required an in-person delivery of a malicious payload via USB drive, more distant, remote attacks are unsurprisingly also a problem. Rafael Scheel, a security researcher working for Swiss cyber security consulting company Oneconsult, recently revealed that around 90% of smart televisions are vulnerable to a remote attack using rogue DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial) signals.” so glad I have a stupid TV.

The Guardian: Google accused of ‘extreme’ gender pay discrimination by US labor department. “Google has discriminated against its female employees, according to the US Department of Labor (DoL), which said it had evidence of ‘systemic compensation disparities’. As part of an ongoing DoL investigation, the government has collected information that suggests the internet search giant is violating federal employment laws with its salaries for women, agency officials said.”

Harvard Law / Bill of Health: Negligent Failure to Prevent Suicide in the Age of Facebook Live. “Once Facebook suspects that a user is at risk to commit suicide, what duties does it owe that individual? Could Facebook be found negligent if it doesn’t do enough to prevent self-harm? While states have allowed negligence claims for failure to prevent suicide, those claims are traditionally limited to psychiatric professionals.[1] Liability is premised on the existence of a relationship with the individual, the specialized expertise and experience of the professional, and the foreseeability of the self-harm. Cf. Bogust v. Iverson, 102 N.W.2d 228, 230 (Wis. Sup. Ct. 1960). Facebook’s suicide identification algorithm represents an interesting case because the social network could, in theory, meet the requisite criteria.”


New Scientist: Sock puppet accounts unmasked by the way they write and post. “‘Sock puppets’ are the scourge of online discussion . Multiple accounts controlled by the same user can dominate comment forums and spread fake news. But now there’s a way to unmask the puppeteers. A study of nine websites that use comment service Disqus to let readers post responses to articles found that sock puppets can be identified based on their writing style, posting activity and relationship with other users.” Good morning, Internet…

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