Syria Revolution, Hyperaccumulator Plants, Legacy Software, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, November 23, 2017


Al-Monitor: Digital archive preserves creative side of Syrian revolution. “The Syrian revolution witnessed an unprecedented outpouring of cultural expressions. Since the protests erupted across the country in 2011, citizens from all walks of life employed art, satire and creative writing to stand against the regime. These protests did not initially call for the downfall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but for greater freedoms and dignity, and remained relatively peaceful until December 2011, when rebel groups began forming under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army in response to violence by the state security forces. As the voices of ordinary Syrians have been lost amid the violent clashes that have dominated the past six years, how will the creative spirit of the revolution be remembered in the coming years?” New database catalogues plants that soak up contamination. “Hyperaccumulators are unusual plants that can absorb much larger amounts of metal compounds in their leaves and stems than normal plants, and they are very useful for cleaning up contaminated land. As described in a New Phytologist article, researchers have published a database that provides easier access to information on the plant world’s hyperaccumulators.”


Techradar: Old software may stop working on new PCs in 2020. “Intel has announced that it will cease legacy BIOS support for PCs as the firm looks to fully transition to the more secure UEFI by 2020 – which is effectively the death knell for 32-bit software.”

Hello Giggles: Instagram wants everyone to see your live conversations with your bestie with this new feature. “Just when you think Instagram has become the best version of itself, the app went and created a new feature you’re about to be obsessed with. With Instagram’s latest update, you can ‘go live’ with another person — as in, someone else, somewhere else, who has their phone on them too. You and your bestie have always said your conversations were funny and/or insightful enough to make you famous, right? Well, Instagram just gave you the platform to test it — literally.”

The Next Web: Facebook’s testing an Instagram-style ‘Collections’ feature for saved posts. “Facebook is trialing a new feature that should make it easier to rifle through your saved posts and find the ones you actually want to revisit. It’s called Collections, and it’s similar to the Instagram feature of the same name that launched in April: in addition to saving posts from your feed to an ever-expanding list you can retrieve later, you’ll now be able to organize these into folders for easy retrieval.”

IQ: Global Google Crackdown On Ticket Resellers. “Secondary ticketing websites will from January 2018 be subject to stringent restrictions on their use of Google AdWords, as the search engine giant cracks down on ticket resellers’ controversial gaming of its online advertising platform.”


State Tech Magazine: 30 Must-Read State and Local IT Blogs 2017. “The 2017 State and Local IT Must-Read Blogger List, the sixth iteration of the list, spans further than any previous, tackling not just CIO and IT department blogs, but also expertise on smart city initiatives, open data, digital government, public library technology, public safety IT trends and all the nooks and crannies in between.”


Hindustan Times: Lost over Google Translate: Rail safety message makes a mess of Marathi in Mumbai. “A railway campaign urging Mumbai train commuters to use foot over-bridges (FOBs) safely has got lost in translation. English and Hindi messages on stickers pasted on the steps of the FOBs, were translated into Marathi, but the job was botched up. Stickers on the FOB steps at Santacruz and Goregaon railway stations, which read: ‘Krupaya lahan chendu gheu naka’. In Marathi, this means: ‘Please do not use small ball’. What the WR intended to convey: ‘Please do not use short cuts’.”


Phandroid: Malware targeting several bank customers found on Google Play . “Avast has released a new report detailing a new kind of malware called BankBot that targets customers of large banks including Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank, and DiBa (formerly ING). Customers of these banks across several different countries were affected by the malware which has now been removed from Google Play.”


Quartz: Facebook’s latest “effort” to warn people about Russian propaganda is wildly inadequate. “Oh, but where’s the fun in a straightforward advisory that you may have been duped by Russian propaganda? Facebook would rather this be a bit of a challenge! Asked whether the company plans to notify users who have liked or followed Russian content, a Facebook spokesman clarified in an email that ‘they will have to go to the Help Center portal to see the information,’ adding that the company will ‘take significant steps to make users aware of this new tool.’ The tool will also not tell Facebook users if they were exposed to content from the Internet Research Agency that they didn’t personally like or follow. In other words, if a friend shared pages from Russian trolls, or they were promoted into your newsfeed, you may never know. ” Good afternoon, Internet…

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