Google Docs, Lightsabers, UK Topography, More: Thursday Buzz, May 4, 2017

If you use Google Docs you need to be aware that there is or was a massive phishing campaign going on. From NBC News: “The strategy is a common one, but the worm that was released Wednesday caused havoc for millions of users because of its unusually sophisticated construction: Not only did the malicious link look remarkably realistic and trustworthy, but the email that delivered it also appeared to come from someone users already know — and the payload manipulated Google’s real login system.”


Now available just in time for May 4: an archive of lightsabers. From the about page: “The lightsabers collected in the archive are illustrated in a flat minimalist style, and I attempt to stay faithful to the original proportions/design. My digitally illustrated collection has quickly outgrew my actual collection (I only own 11 lightsabers, to be passed to my sons when they’re older), and I will be adding new lightsabers to the archive over time.”

British Library: Picturing Places launched!. “This is the first the British Library has dedicated to its extensive visual materials, and as the national collection of topographical materials, we are hoping to transform, elevate and broaden perceptions of topography through it, the related Transforming Topography research project , and our cataloguing and digitisation of the King’s Topographical Collection.”


The Next Web: Minecraft Code Builder introduces programming to block-stacking students. “Code Builder introduces the Agent, a tiny sidekick, who executes coding instructions given via programs like Tynker, MakeCode, or ScratchX. Students learn how to use code to get the Agent to build things, solve problems, or even dance.”

The Verge: Slack introduces a new search feature powered by artificial intelligence. “Slack is rolling out an improved search experience today bolstered by sophisticated machine learning, the company said. The feature, which was built by the company’s year-old search learning and intelligence group, is designed to help users find relevant channels and subject matter experts more quickly than traditional search.”

TechCrunch: Facebook to add 3,000 to team reviewing posts with hate speech, crimes, and other harming posts. “A week after news broke of multiple videos of suicides posted on Facebook remaining on the site for hours, the company has announced a new plan to add 3,000 more people to its operations team to screen for harmful videos and other posts to respond to them more quickly in the future.” This is great – IF Facebook is hiring these people in such a way that they can get mental health support for doing this difficult and potentially traumatic job.


BetaNews: Chrome extension Who Targets Me? reveals how Facebook is used for election propaganda. “With the UK on the verge of an early general election — one that will be fought with Brexit and Scottish Independence looming large — political campaigns are getting underway, including on Facebook. To help educate voters about how they are being besieged by political parties, a free Chrome extension called Who Targets Me? has been launched. It reveals just how personal information made available on the social network is used.”


The government of India is working to create an online database of all health establishments. “Aiming to improve health outcomes and create health database, the Union Health Ministry will soon roll out a two-year-long massive exercise to map all public and private healthcare establishments at the district level in the country. This is the first ever healthcare establishment census, using paperless technology.”

TechCrunch: Facebook beats in Q1 with $8.03B revenue, faster growth to 1.94B users . “Facebook had another strong quarter, beating estimates to start 2017. It scored $8.03 billion in revenue and $1.04 GAAP actual EPS in Q1 compared to $0.87 EPS estimate. It earned that from 1.94 billion users, up from 1.86 billion last quarter, growing at a faster 4.3 percent compared to 3.91 perecent last quarter.”


Digital Trends: Is Embedding A Tweet Containing A Photo Theft? This Photographer Thinks So. “A lawsuit in the United Kingdom is raising questions about fair use and copyright laws after a freelance photographer sued a news publication for embedding a tweet within an article. Eddie Mitchell, a freelance photographer, is taking Sky News to court after the publication used a tweet containing his photo within an article. Mitchell gave permission to the original tweeter, the Station 43 Midhurst Fire Department, but said the news organization did not have permission to use the photo.”

4 New York: Young People Lured on Social Media to Participate in Huge Counterfeit Check Scheme: Officials. “More than three dozen people have been arrested for allegedly luring young people on social media to join a ‘debit card cracking’ scam that netted more than $1 million in cash over four years, authorities say. ”

Gizmodo: Popular YouTuber Gets Arrested For “Prank” Removal of Real Stop Signs. “The stupid thing that landed him in jail was dressing up as a road worker and removing two neighborhood stop signs. In the video, he and his friends laugh as cars go through the intersection without stopping. And… that’s it. For whatever reason, someone determined that the intersection needed a stop sign for safety reasons; he decided that it didn’t and the prank is over.” Happily without any traffic accidents. Good morning, Internet…

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