Prehistoric Hand Prints, 19th Century Prisoners, Passwords, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, May 3, 2017


The Local (Spain): A Spanish quest to hand down prehistoric secrets. “In a bid to unlock some of these mysteries, [Hipolito] Collado, head of archaeology for the government of the Extremadura region where Caceres is located, has set out to catalogue all of Europe’s prehistoric painted hands…. They then post them in detailed, 3D format in a free-to-use online database, as part of an EU-funded project called Handpas.”

Slate: Admissions Books for an Early-19th-Century Prison Hold a Wealth of Stories. “The American Philosophical Society’s library holds four fascinating admissions books offering details on prisoners held at Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary in the 1830s and 1840s…. It’s a little difficult to read the scanned versions of the books, but Scott Ziegler, of the American Philosophical Society, and Michelle Ziogas have transcribed the information within and made the data available through the University of Pennsylvania’s Magazine of Early American Datasets.”

PRNewswire: PasswordPing Releases Free Compromised Password Tool in Honor of World Password Day (PRESS RELEASE). “The first of its kind, Password Check goes beyond traditional algorithmic strength checking by comparing entered passwords against a list of known, compromised passwords. This list consists of billions of passwords exposed in previous data breaches compiled from the public web and the dark web.”


Google: An update on the classic Google Sites deprecation timeline. “When we launched the new Google Sites last year, we promised to share more information in 2017 on how to migrate from the classic version of Sites. Today, we want to give you a better sense of what’s coming and when, so you can effectively plan for the eventual shutdown of the classic Sites product.”

Ars Technica: Google rater fired after speaking to Ars about work conditions. “Last week we reported on the lives of Google raters, people whose job is to provide Google with data on the usefulness of its algorithms. The 10 anonymous raters we spoke with were all contractors at Leapforce, a staffing firm that provided rater services to Google. Yesterday, one of those raters, Kyle Martin Medeiros, was fired by Leapforce for an unspecified ‘breach of contract.’ Every Leapforce rater signs a contract that includes a broad NDA.”


The Guardian: Facebook: leaking info about gender bias damages our ‘recruiting brand’. “Facebook is disputing a former employee’s analysis that female engineers have their code rejected 35% more than male engineers, telling employees internally that leaking such information damages its ‘recruiting brand’ and makes it harder for the company to hire women.” Good grief.

Engadget: China increases restrictions on internet news outlets. “The Chinese government has been ramping up tighter control of its internet in the past year. The latest set of new restrictions released by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) adds more limitations on what news can be created and distributed by online platforms. But the biggest new rule: Every editorial staff must be approved by the national or local government internet office.”


Oh boy. If you do a lot of travel you want to read this article from Krebs: Breach at Sabre Corp.’s Hospitality Unit . “Breaches involving major players in the hospitality industry continue to pile up. Today, travel industry giant Sabre Corp. disclosed what could be a significant breach of payment and customer data tied to bookings processed through a reservations system that serves more than 32,000 hotels and other lodging establishments.”


Medium: This is How Google will Collapse. “Google made almost all its money from ads. It was a booming business — until it wasn’t. Here’s how things looked right before the most spectacular crash the technology industry had ever seen.”

Daily Texan: New lab uses data to analyze social media. “The Computational Media Lab, a new project from the School of Journalism, is combining computer science and social media to analyze millions of tweets, Facebook comments and more. The lab is currently working on three projects including one analyzing 3 million tweets with the word ‘Trump’ from President Donald Trump’s first 30 days in office. The other two projects will explore Facebook comments on Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s pages during the election, and analyze tweets with the hashtag #WomenCanStopTrump.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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