WWII New Zealand, Clinical Trials, Facebook, More: Wednesday Buzz, September 13, 2017


SCOOP: Auckland War Memorial Museum Puts WWII Records Online. “Nearly eight decades ago this week – on 12 September 1939 – enlistment for the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF) got underway, signalling the start of this country’s involvement in the Second World War. Of the 140,000 New Zealanders dispatched to serve overseas in WWII, 104,000 of them served with the 2NZEF. Auckland Museum is now making these WWII Army personnel records publicly accessible through Online Cenotaph.”

BusinessWire: OZMOSI Launches a Global Clinical Trials Database to Transform Drug Development Forecasting (PRESS RELEASE). “OZMOSI, an emerging leader in competitive intelligence and forecasting solutions for global pharmaceutical, biotech, and investment companies, announces the launch of a new global website which consolidates clinical trial data from all around the world into a single searchable database, Now anyone can use this free, real-time, global resource to search more than 280,000 trials covering over 3,700 disease areas to better understand and explore clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry.”


BetaNews: Facebook tests Instant Video downloading over Wi-Fi to save your data. “Facebook has managed to effectively reduce page loading times for its users with the Instant Articles feature. Now the social network is looking to do something similar with video content.”

The Next Web: WhatsApp testing unsend feature that lets you delete embarrassing texts. “Following in the footsteps of fellow messenger apps like Telegram, WeChat and Viber, WhatsApp is getting closer to rolling out its ‘Delete for everyone’ feature, which lets you wipe out messages you sent by mistake before your contact has had a chance to read them.”


Lifehacker: Seven Tips to Make Your Instagram Feed Stand Out. “So you’ve had Instagram for a while and you upload photos regularly, but nobody seems to care. No likes, no follows, and no comments. Boo. Give these tips a try, you sad instagrammer you.” Better than these kinds of lists normally are, which is why I’m including it here.


Daily Beast: Exclusive: Russia Used Facebook Events to Organize Anti-Immigrant Rallies on U.S. Soil. “Russian operatives hiding behind false identities used Facebook’s event management tool to remotely organize and promote political protests in the U.S., including an August 2016 anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rally in Idaho, The Daily Beast has learned. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Beast that the social-media giant ‘shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown we described last week.'”

South China Morning Post: WeChat users censoring content amid China crackdown on social media. “Regulations released last week made creators of online groups responsible for managing information within their forums and the behaviour of members. The measure do not take effect until next month, but the authorities have jumped into action by disciplining 40 people in one group for spreading petition letters and arresting a man who complained about police raids, according to reports in official Chinese media. The prospect of punishment for the actions of others has led many administrators to disband groups while others circulate self-imposed rules discouraging the spreading of rumours or unauthorised information about Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

My Salaam: Staying alive: WhatsApp finds new uses in conflict zones . “Keeping a standardized track of attacks on health facilities and workers has been a major challenge in conflict zones. But a new digital instant messaging tool that relies on smartphone application WhatsApp has been developed by the WHO and its partners to detect, verify and log the devastating consequences of such attacks.”


ZDNet: Equifax’s credit report monitoring site is also vulnerable to hacking. “In the aftermath of the breach, the going recommendation has been to set up alerts and freezes on any and all credit accounts. Countless are thought to have flocked to the websites and the credit rating agency phone banks to protect themselves from hackers. The problem is that that Equifax’s site used to set up alerts on individual’s credit rating history (which we are not linking to) can be easily spoofed, security researcher Martin Hall told ZDNet.”

The Register: Mexican tax refund site left 400GB of sensitive customer info wide open. “Mexican VAT refund site MoneyBack exposed sensitive customer information online as a result of a misconfigured database. A CouchDB database featuring half a million customers’ passport details, credit card numbers, travel tickets and more was left publicly accessible, security firm Kromtech reports. More than 400GB of sensitive information could be either downloaded or viewed because of a lack of access controls before the system was recently secured.”

Bleeping Computer: Apple and Google Fix Browser Bug. Microsoft Does Not.. “Microsoft has declined to patch a security bug Cisco Talos researchers discovered in the Edge browser, claiming the reported issue is by design. Apple and Google patched a similar flaw in Safari (CVE-2017-2419) and Chrome (CVE-2017-5033), respectively. According to Cisco Talos researcher Nicolai Grødum, the vulnerability can be classified as a bypass of the Content Security Policy (CSP), a mechanism that allows website developers to configure HTTP headers and instruct the browsers of people visiting their site what resources (JavaScript, CSS) they can load and from where.”


TechCrunch: Study finds Reddit’s controversial ban of its most toxic subreddits actually worked. “It seems like just the other day that Reddit finally banned a handful of its most hateful and deplorable subreddits, including r/coontown and r/fatpeoplehate. The move was, at the time, derided by some as pointless, akin to shooing criminals away from one neighborhood only to trouble another. But a new study shows that, for Reddit at least, it has had lasting positive effects.” Good morning, Internet…

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