Wayback Machine, Google Home Mini, Anti-Defamation League, More: Thursday Buzz, October 12, 2017


My IFTTT-based Reddit-monitoring tool spotted this. Unfortunately I don’t know how recent it is, but it’s interesting: an online tool called Archivarix. It’s designed for downloading Web sites from the Wayback Machine; the first 200 files are free, additional files are $5 per thousand, or a half-cent per file. From the tutorial page: “Archivarix provides complete restructuring and arrangement of the content of websites that are publicly shared in the Internet Archive. Archivarix proceeds and arranges data in such a way that all the addresses of web pages become available at previous addresses, including also the dynamic ones. The pages code can be fully processed to be brought into full conformity with all applicable standards; all missing or unclosed tags will be fixed. All counters, trackers, suspicious third-party frames and advertisements are cleaned out; CSS styles and JavaScripts are compressed if needed. Images are optimized and reduced in size without loss of quality, backlinks are cleared, 404 errors are repaired through substituting the necessary files. All this and more you can get in a single ZIP file, the content of which is adaptable to most stringent hosting requirements.”


CNET: Google updates Home Mini to address major privacy bug. “The Google Home Mini listens — maybe too closely. The smaller version of Google’s Assistant-equipped smart speaker, unveiled earlier this month, apparently suffers from a bug that caused some units to record sounds at random times and transmit the audio to Google’s servers. Google said Tuesday it issued a software update on Saturday to address the issue.” What? Eww!

Engadget: Tech giants team with Anti-Defamation League to fight online hate. “Internet giants like Facebook and Google have had to step up their fights against hate speech in recent months, but they only occasionally present a united front against bigotry. That might change after today, though. Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter are partnering with the Anti-Defamation League on a Cyberhate Problem-Solving Lab that aims to stem the tide of online hate. The ADL will offer policy considerations and an understanding of how internet hate develops, while the companies will focus on ‘technical solutions’ that keep hateful behavior at bay.”


Hongkiat: How to Transcribe YouTube Videos Automatically . “It’s quite easy to transcribe YouTube videos as YouTube automatically transcribes most of the videos as soon as they are uploaded. In this post, I’ll show you 3 ways to get YouTube video transcriptions for free.” The first one was YouTube, of course, but I was not familiar with the 3rd party options and didn’t know too much about the Google Docs method.

Quartz: These simple design tricks can help diminish hate speech online. “The age-old problem of balancing free expression with harmful, and false, content seems like an impossible problem. But online, at least, there’s a lot that sites can do to fix it, says Susan Benesch, a faculty associate of Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society who studies dangerous speech on and offline. Indeed, our decades of experience in web design have already taught many sites how to discourage incivility and promote reasoned debate.” A number of different case studies. Useful article.

MakeUseOf: The Best Free PDF Tools for Offices Running Windows or Mac. “While all-in-one PDF suites that can do everything exist, they can cost quite a bit. For example, Nitro Pro is $160, PDF Studio is $90, and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC will set you back $15 per month. If you’d rather not pay a single cent, then we have some good and bad news for you. The good news? Free PDF tools abound and many of them deliver acceptable results. The bad news? You’ll have to collect several different tools and assemble your own ‘PDF suite’ a la carte (if you want the very best results).”


Bernama: PNM To Launch Database For Master Catalogue Of Malay Manuscripts Next Year . “The National Library of Malaysia (PNM) will launch the database for the Master Catalogue of Malay Manuscripts next year in a bid to uplift the status and provide intellectual evidence of the greatness of Malay civilisation, said PNM director-general Datuk Datuk Nafisah Ahmad. She said this would be the first database in the world in which thousands of Malay manuscripts collected from across the globe would be compiled.”

BBC: Facebook and Twitter could face ‘online abuse levy’. “Facebook and Twitter could be asked to pay for action against the ‘undeniable suffering’ social media can cause, the culture secretary has said. Cyber-bullying, trolling, abuse and under-age access to porn will be targeted in plans drawn up by Karen Bradley to make the online world safer.”

Bloomberg: Peering Inside Google’s $19 Billion Black Box. “There’s a $19 billion black box inside Google. That’s the yearly amount Google pays to companies that help generate its advertising sales, from the websites lined with Google-served ads to Apple and others that plant Google’s search box or apps in prominent spots. Investors are obsessed with this money, called traffic acquisition costs, and they’re particularly worried about the growing slice of those payments going to Apple and Google’s Android allies. ”

BetaNews: Twitter not only changes its mind about ‘inflammatory’ ad, it’s going to change its policies too . “Twitter was accused of censorship after banning an ‘inflammatory’ ad campaign by Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. But just one day after implementing the ban, the company has backed down, saying the video — which sees Blackburn talking about fighting to stop ‘the sale of baby body parts’ — can be promoted on Twitter.”


Motherboard: T-Mobile Website Allowed Hackers to Access Your Account Data With Just Your Phone Number. “Until last week, a bug on a T-Mobile website let hackers access personal data such as email address, a customer’s T-Mobile account number, and the phone’s IMSI, a standardized unique number that identifies subscribers. On Friday, a day after Motherboard asked T-Mobile about the issue, the company fixed the bug.”

CNET: Equifax hackers took driver’s license info on 10M Americans. “In the Equifax breach, hackers stole the driver’s license information of more than 10 million Americans, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. That’s in addition to the Social Security numbers and other personal details about 145.5 million Americans hackers took from Equifax’s systems. ” Good morning, Internet…

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