2016 Election, Iowa Labor, Hurricane Harvey, More: Thursday Buzz, September 7, 2017

The Guardian: Facebook says likely Russia-based group paid for political ads during US election. “Facebook said on Wednesday that it had found that an influence operation likely based in Russia spent $100,000 on ads promoting divisive social and political messages in a two-year-period through May. The social media network said that many of the ads promoted 470 ‘inauthentic’ accounts and pages that it has now suspended. The ads spread polarizing views on topics including immigration, race and gay rights, instead of backing a particular political candidate, it said.”


Iowa Public Radio: Iowa Labor Collection To Digitize 1,200 Oral Histories. “More than 1,200 interviews documenting Iowa’s labor history are set to be digitized and will be available online sometime next year, making the Iowa Labor Collection one of the most comprehensive labor oral history achieves in the nation.”


Texas State Library and Archives Commission: Texas State Library and Archives Commission to offer “Rebuilding Texas Libraries” Disaster Relief Grants. “Libraries in the counties declared a disaster area or a sheltering jurisdiction by Governor Greg Abbott will be eligible to receive up to $5,000 per affected location, with a maximum of $25,000 for libraries with multiple affected branches. Eligible libraries can apply for funds for either recovery from losses sustained in the storm and subsequent flooding or to provide library-related emergency services to persons impacted by the storm.”

The Register: Twitter is just randomly deleting people’s lists – and no one knows why. “Twitter has silently, and without warning, deleted reams of lists users have spent months curating. These lists are used by journalists, activists, and loads of other people, to organize and manage twits they follow and aggregate their tweets, links, photos, and videos.”

Metro: Facebook brings out coloured comments to match those lovely coloured backgrounds. “Not content with melting our eyes with those lurid, totally unnecessary backgrounds on posts, Facebook is now trialling coloured comments just to make everything even more colourful.” Can we just not.


Kansas City Star: Google Fiber cut this woman’s internet service — over 12 cents. “Would Google Fiber cut off a customer’s internet service for 12 cents? Yes. It happened last month to Victoria Tane of Kansas City. For two days, she had tried to figure out what was wrong.”

Artsy: Why a Young Chicana Artist Is Posting Images of Her Community to LACMA’s Instagram. “Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan first came across the work of Guadalupe Rosales, the museum’s first Instagram artist-in-residence, last year at a Vincent Price Art Museum exhibition. A monitor had been playing a silent loop of screenshots from her Instagram account Veteranas and Rucas, a collection of painstakingly crowdsourced photographs of Southern California Latina youth culture: images from the ’90s and earlier that depict young women posing at proms and raves and in their childhood bedrooms; sorting through their vinyl collections; or leaning, bikini-clad, against lowrider cars.”

Destructoid (no, really): One developer is attempting to archive the entirety of Miiverse. “The closure of Miiverse, scheduled for November 8, will result in the sudden, and kinda sad, destruction of thousands of musings, drawings, moments and memes. Gone in the blink of an eye. Or so we think, as app developer ‘Drastic Actions’ is living up to their namesake by creating software that intends to archive every single one of the hundreds of thousands of posts created across the Nintendo online community.”

BetaNews: Facebook is overestimating its ad reach. “Facebook ad metrics are facing scrutiny after it transpired the social network is overestimating the potential audience advertisers can expect to reach. A senior analyst from Pivotal Research Group points out that Facebook’s Adverts Manager tool suggests demographic figures that exceed official numbers.”


Helpnet Security: Researchers reverse 320 million hashed passwords. “CynoSure Prime, a ‘password research collective’, has reversed the hashes of nearly 320 million hashed passwords provided by security researcher Troy Hunt through the Pwned Passwords searchable online database.”

Ars Technica: Exploit goes public for severe bug affecting high-impact sites. “Banks, insurance companies, and Fortune 500 corporations take note: attack code has just gone public for a hard-to-patch vulnerability that hackers can exploit to take control of your website. The critical vulnerability is located in Apache Struts 2, an open-source framework that large numbers of enterprise-grade organizations use to develop customer-facing Web applications. The bug, which has been active since 2008, allows end users to execute malicious code or commands by plugging maliciously modified data into search boxes or similar features hosted on the site.”


Informed Infrastructure: Tsunami Ravaged City’s Architecture Preserved in Digital Archive. “AN emerging architectural research method is being used to document the architectural heritage of Indonesian buildings wiped out in the 2004 tsunami. Banda Aceh, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was one of the worst affected areas in the December 26 tsunami, which killed more than 200,000 people in 11 countries.” Good morning, Internet…

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