First Amendment, Sonoma Fires, Antibiotic Resistance, More: Monday Buzz, October 16, 2017


New York University: Carter Journalism Institute Launches “First Amendment Watch” to Highlight, Analyze Threats to Freedom of Expression. “First Amendment Watch… documents contemporary threats to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and petition, posting stories as they arise along with related content to better inform the conversation. Through daily updates, analysis, access to relevant legal cases and historical background, First Amendment Watch includes extensive resources for journalists and a thoughtful public eager to keep up with current controversies and understand how First Amendment principles apply to them.”

BohoBlog: Local Makers Create Comprehensive Database on Sonoma Fires. “A team of volunteers based out of Chimera Arts and Makerspace in Sebastopol has spent the last four days creating, compiling and sharing verified up-to-date information, resources and news regarding the Tubb’s, Nunn’s and other fires in Sonoma County…”

University of Minnesota: Global antibiotic resistance tracking project launched. “Global charitable foundation Wellcome Trust today announced a new research project to track and document the burden of disease associated with antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Global Burden of Disease AMR project will be collecting data from all over the world to create a map of disease and deaths caused by drug-resistant infections, according to a news release from UK-based Wellcome, which announced that it will be investing £2.4 million ($3.2 million US) in the project as part of its efforts to address the AMR threat. ”


The Register: It’s Patch Blues-day: Bad October Windows updates trigger BSODs . “Microsoft’s October batch of security patches and bug fixes caused some corporate PCs to suffer blue-screen-of-death crashes when starting up this week. The Redmond software giant has fielded multiple complaints on its support forum from system administrators, who said the KB4041676 and 4041691 updates are making their machines go titsup.”


Digital Trends: Foolproof Ways To Remove The Background From An Image. “Looking to remove the background from an image, but not quite sure how to go about doing it? You’ve come to the right place! Don’t worry, changing a background is probably easier than you may think — especially with the right software! Below, we’ll cover web apps like Background Burner, as well as offline tools like Photoshop. Read on for all the details.” I’m in with an upvote for Background Burner.

The Telegraph: Smartphone screen repair: seven DIY fixes . “Mobile phones are not as indestructible as the small-screened handsets of old. You could almost throw the Nokia 5210 on the floor and there would be little discernable damage to the phone’s screen. But with the advent of much larger, delicate screens on smartphones, cracking, scratching or breaking the screen altogether is much harder to avoid. Here we bring you seven DIY ways to fix your screen and avoid costly repairs.”


Seattle Times: Minnesota researchers create mass shooting database. “Two Twin Cities researchers are building a database of mass shooters with the goal of better understanding why mass shootings happen and identifying ways to prevent them. Jillian Peterson, a Hamline University assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice, and James Densley, an associate professor of criminal justice at Metropolitan State University, are working on the project, Minnesota Public Radio reported .”

The Atlantic: What Facebook Did to American Democracy. “Tech journalists covering Facebook had a duty to cover what was happening before, during, and after the election. Reporters tried to see past their often liberal political orientations and the unprecedented actions of Donald Trump to see how 2016 was playing out on the internet. Every component of the chaotic digital campaign has been reported on, here at The Atlantic, and elsewhere: Facebook’s enormous distribution power for political information, rapacious partisanship reinforced by distinct media information spheres, the increasing scourge of ‘viral’ hoaxes and other kinds of misinformation that could propagate through those networks, and the Russian information ops agency. But no one delivered the synthesis that could have tied together all these disparate threads.”

Bloomberg: Twitter Is Crawling With Bots and Lacks Incentive to Expel Them. “On Wednesday, the exterior of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters bore an eerie message: ‘Ban Russian Bots.’ Someone— the company doesn’t know who— projected the demand onto the side of its building. Bots, or automated software programs, can be programmed to periodically send out messages on the internet. Now Twitter is scrambling to explain how bots controlled by Russian meddlers may have been used to impact the 2016 president election.”


Ars Technica: Dutch privacy regulator says Windows 10 breaks the law. “The lack of clear information about what Microsoft does with the data that Windows 10 collects prevents consumers from giving their informed consent, says the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA). As such, the regulator says that the operating system is breaking the law.”


Search Engine Journal: Fake News & Facebook Ads: It’s Shockingly Cheap to Influence Elections [DATA]. “Last week I ran an experiment to see if it’s still possible to become a fake news media mogul on Facebook, nearly an entire year after the 2016 U.S. presidential election which first brought attention to this issue. TLDR: the entire effort took less than an hour of work and just $50 of Facebook ads. The results were appalling.” Caution: this article may make your blood boil.

Recode: Nearly half of U.S. teens prefer Snapchat over other social media. “Snapchat is more popular among U.S. teens than ever, according to new research from investment firm Piper Jaffray. The company surveys teens in the U.S. about their media habits every spring and fall. This fall’s survey found that 47 percent of surveyed teens say Snapchat is their preferred social media, up from 39 percent in the spring. Way back in the spring of 2015, Snapchat was their least preferred social media platform. And Instagram hasn’t been the most popular platform since 2015, according to the survey data.” Good morning, Internet…

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