Colorado State University, Solar Particle Storms, YouTube, More: Wednesday Buzz, December 6, 2017


Colorado Virtual Library: CHNC News! School is in Session. “The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection is going back to school. With the help of the Morgan Library at the Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CHNC recently added the university newspaper the Rocky Mountain Collegian, 1891-1901. Formerly known as the Colorado Agricultural College, CSU was established in 1870 six years before Colorado Territory became a state. The campus’ first building, Old Main, was built in 1878 and the University welcomed the first five students on September 1, 1879. One year later the enrollment had grown to 25 students.”

Miltech: New web service launched to estimate radiation doses on airline routes (PRESS RELEASE). “Energetic eruptions of the Sun, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, may cause solar particle storms, which produce a large amount of charged energetic particles to the near-Earth environment. Solar particle storms pose a hazard to modern society, especially to space-borne technology. On Earth, we are protected by the atmosphere from the harmful effects of such storms. However, particles may occasionally have sufficient energy and intensity to produce notable effects in the atmosphere, even at the altitude of trans-polar airline routes. Passengers and crew may receive radiation doses significantly above the background level. Since the exposure of flying personnel to cosmic radiation is regarded as an occupational health problem (International Commission on Radiological Protection, 1991), it should be monitored.”


YouTube: Expanding our work against abuse of our platform. “In the last year, we took actions to protect our community against violent or extremist content, testing new systems to combat emerging and evolving threats. We tightened our policies on what content can appear on our platform, or earn revenue for creators. We increased our enforcement teams. And we invested in powerful new machine learning technology to scale the efforts of our human moderators to take down videos and comments that violate our policies. Now, we are applying the lessons we’ve learned from our work fighting violent extremism content over the last year in order to tackle other problematic content. Our goal is to stay one step ahead of bad actors, making it harder for policy-violating content to surface or remain on YouTube.”

Engadget: Google search quiz can help diagnose PTSD. “Google is continuing its efforts to help you improve your mental health. Search for ‘posttraumatic stress disorder’ or related keywords on your phone and you’ll now have the option of taking a clinically validated questionnaire that can screen for signs of PTSD. This won’t provide a definitive answer (Google stresses the importance of an in-person diagnosis), but it can give you useful knowledge to take to your doctor.”


This is a little more commercial than stuff I usually link to, but I know many of us are thinking about holiday gifts. From ReviewGeek: Best Photo Calendar Services. “There are so many photo services that create personalized calendars for you, but how do you choose the right one? Whether you’re a photographer trying to showcase your artwork, or a busy mom who needs last minute gift ideas, we’ve got the picks for you.”

Lifehacker: How to Teach Your Kids to Spot Fake News. “How to teach kids to spot fake news? First: Teach everyone to spot fake news. When I was a child, my parents had access to only a few news sources: our local paper, the big-city dailies (for us, the Washington Post and the New York Times) and the nightly news. Kids today have … the entire internet, with every crackpot theory and faked moon landing right at their fingertips. Even the distinction between ‘media’ and ‘journalism’ has blurred to the point that many adults don’t know if anyone can be trusted at all.”


The Verge: 200,000 Died In Guatemala’s Civil War — This Digital Archive Is Finally Bringing Families Closure. “An estimated 200,000 people were killed, and 45,000 more disappeared, during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, which ended in 1996. A truth commission later found the state to be responsible for 93 percent of the human rights abuses during that time. And the 80 million pages of police documents currently being cataloged and digitized reveal incriminating details of how forced disappearances were carried out by the state.”

Wired: Page Not Found: A Brief History Of The 404 Error. “That the 404 should have crossover appeal seems fitting. It is near-universal and inherently emotional: pure disappointment, the announcement of an unanticipated problem. It’s also a reminder that technology, and the web in particular, is made by humans, and therefore fallible. The internet, after all, is hardly a well-oiled machine; it’s more like a version of The Garden of Earthly Delights built by unidirectional hypertext and populated by broken links, corrupted image files, and incomplete information.”


Washington Post: Trump’s voter fraud commission plans to create a massive voter database. Former national security officials say it could be hacked.. “More than a half-dozen technology experts and former national security officials filed an amicus brief Tuesday urging a federal court to halt the collection of voter information for a planned government database. Former national intelligence director James R. Clapper Jr., one of the co-signatories of the brief, warned that a White House plan to create a centralized database containing sensitive information on millions of American voters will become an attractive target for nation states and criminal hackers.” The government (and I’m not saying just this administration, but the government in general) does not have a great track record when it comes to protecting our security and privacy.

CNET: PayPal says TIO Networks breach affected up to 1.6M users. “PayPal says a data breach at a company it recently acquired may have exposed the personal information for up to 1.6 million customers. The digital-payments company suspended operations of its TIO Networks last month after discovering evidence of a security breach. TIO Networks makes digital bill-payment tools for utilities and other firms and offers kiosks that let people go to a convenience store to pay off their bills using cash.”

Bangalore Mirror: Google’s Tax Case To Be Decided By January 31. “The High Court has directed the Income Tax Tribunal to complete hearing the appeal of Google India Limited by January 31, 2018. The case pertains to a tax demand of Rs 126 crore on the company. Google had deposited Rs 70 crore (over 60 per cent of the demand) for the appeal to get going.” Good morning, Internet…

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