afternoonbuzz

OCLC, Tibetian Buddhism, Facebook Stories, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, October 13, 2017

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

OCLC: OCLC and Internet Archive collaborate to expand library access to digital collections. “OCLC and Internet Archive are working together to make the Archive’s collection of 2.5 million digitized books easier to find and access online and through local libraries. OCLC will process metadata from the Internet Archive for its digital collection, matching to existing records in WorldCat, the world’s most comprehensive database of information about library collections, or adding a new record if one does not exist. The WorldCat record will include a link leading back to the Archive.org record. From there, searchers can examine or potentially borrow the related digital item.” This is TERRIFIC news.

Xinhua: China Focus: Digital archiving preserves Tibetan Buddhist artwork. “In the morning, researchers and monks gather in front of a hall in Sakya Monastery, the earliest monastery of the Sakya Sect of the Tibetan Buddhism. They go through the security checks and enter the hall, which is designated as a work area for the second round of a digital archive project which was launched in September…. The project aims to archive 26 types of artifacts in the Sakya Monastery, Tibet Autonomous Region.”

TechCrunch: Facebook Stories open to Pages, bringing brands to the ghost town . “No one’s posting to Facebook Stories. Only eight of my 2,800 friends have Stories up right now, and three came from the new ‘cross-post from Instagram Stories’ feature. Maybe younger or international demographics are, but I’d bet they’re too wrapped up in Snapchat and Instagram. It’s slow adoption for a feature cloned from Snapchat that’s proven wildly popular elsewhere, and lives prominently at the top of perhaps the world’s most-used app. Maybe big budget video can turn things around.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Washington Post: Facebook takes down data and thousands of posts, obscuring reach of Russian disinformation. “Social media analyst Jonathan Albright got a call from Facebook the day after he published research last week showing that the reach of the Russian disinformation campaign was almost certainly larger than the company had disclosed. While the company had said 10 million people read Russian-bought ads, Albright had data suggesting that the audience was at least double that — and maybe much more — if ordinary free Facebook posts were measured as well. Albright welcomed the chat with three company officials. But he was not pleased to discover that they had done more than talk about their concerns regarding his research. They also had scrubbed from the Internet nearly everything — thousands of Facebook posts and the related data — that had made the work possible.”

The Hindu: On a mission to create an Indian answer to Google. “This is the story of 15-year-old A Suryachandra Pavan, a self-taught app developer hailing from a family of modest means, who claims to have developed five apps in a short span f five months and is now working to develop a platform similar to the Google Playstore which will feature all Indian-made apps. His ultimate dream is to create an Indian competitor to take on the world’s most powerful brand Google and in the process, get the ‘Make in India’ slogan louder.” China has Baidu, Russia has Yandex. Why shouldn’t India have a search engine specific to its country?

Keith Ellison (Minnesota): Rep. Ellison Letter to the Federal Trade Commission On Google Investigation. “We write to request the Federal Trade Commission make public the reports by the Bureau of Competition and the Bureau of Economics documenting the complete findings and analysis in the Google antitrust investigation that concluded in 2013.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Ars Technica, in our, “You’ve-Got-to-Be-Kidding-Me” Department: Equifax website borked again, this time to redirect to fake Flash update. “In May credit reporting service Equifax’s website was breached by attackers who eventually made off with Social Security numbers, names, and a dizzying amount of other details for some 145.5 million US consumers. For several hours on Wednesday, and again early Thursday morning, the site was maliciously manipulated again, this time to deliver fraudulent Adobe Flash updates, which when clicked, infected visitors’ computers with adware that was detected by only three of 65 antivirus providers.” Can someone please just shut this company down. This is insane.

The Hacker News: Buggy Microsoft Outlook Sending Encrypted S/MIME Emails With Plaintext Copy For Months. “Beware, If you are using S/MIME protocol over Microsoft Outlook to encrypt your email communication, you need to watch out. From at least last 6 months, your messages were being sent in both encrypted and unencrypted forms, exposing all your secret and sensitive communications to potential eavesdroppers.”

ZDNet: Republican polling firm’s database was hacked, exposing donor records. “A Republican phone polling firm has been hacked, exposing data on hundreds of thousands of Americans who submitted donations to political campaigns, ZDNet has learned. Several database files, one of which totaled 223 gigabytes in size and amountied to about two billion lines of data, was stolen in January from Victory Phones, a Grand Rapids, MI-based automated phone research and data compilation firm.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Medium: Algorithmic Consumer Protection. “This March, Facebook announced a remarkable initiative that detects people who are most at risk of suicide and directs support to them from friends and professionals. As society entrusts our safety and well-being to AI systems like this one, how can we ensure that the outcomes are beneficial?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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