Space Exploration, Digital Reproductions, Petitions to Government, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, December 19, 2017


This is a PDF, from Habitable Worlds 2017: Starchive: The Open Access, Open Source Stellar Database. “The Starchive… is an open source, open access stellar database. It will host observable, physical, and derived properties of stars and planets as well as observational data such as direct imaging (AO and seeing limited), spectra, light curves, and other time series data sets. ”


Museums Association: V&A unveils digital reproductions declaration . “The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has launched a declaration on digital reproductions of artworks and other artefacts. The Reach (Reproduction of Art and Cultural Heritage) Declaration is designed to offer guidance on how cultural institutions produce, store and share digital heritage assets.”

The Hill: White House taking down petition website, pledges to launch new one. “The White House says it will take down a website that hosts petitions to the federal government, with a promise to restore it as a new site next year. The ‘We The People’ website, launched by then-President Obama in 2011, will be taken down on Tuesday at midnight, The Associated Press reported Monday.”

Los Angeles Times: Twitter suspends white nationalists as new rules take effect. “Twitter Inc. suspended the accounts of several well-known white nationalists Monday after putting into place new rules on what it sees as abusive content. The account of far-right group Britain First, which regularly posts inflammatory videos purporting to show Muslims engaged in acts of violence, was among the first to go dark. The individual accounts of two of its leaders, Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, were also suspended.”

TechCrunch: Facebook is clamping down on posts that shamelessly beg for your engagement. “A lot of crap gets shared on Facebook, but coming soon the volume may be a little less after Facebook made a move to penalize content that shamelessly begs people for engagement. The social network giant said today that it will penalize Page owners and people who resort to ‘engagement bait,’ which means posts that encourage users to like, comment or tag people in the comments section in order to gain wider visibility of their content.” YAY!


Hongkiat: Free FTP Clients and Alternative Ways to Transfer via FTP. “When it comes to transferring large files over the internet, FTP/SFTP is what almost everyone prefers. Although there are a lot of paid FTP (File Transfer Protocol) applications that are highly reliable and do the job, it is always a good idea to keep a couple of free FTP services as an option.”


New York Times: For Russian ‘Trolls,’ Instagram’s Pictures Can Spread Wider Than Words. “The enduring popularity of a provocative post on Instagram, created by a company with connections to the Kremlin, demonstrates why fighting propaganda on social media will be an uphill battle. The photograph in the post, of a smiling woman wearing a black hijab, seems innocent. But the text around it was crafted to push buttons. This is a woman, readers are warned, who hates everything from Jews and Christians to lesbians and wine — yet she ‘complains about Islamophobia.'”

New Zealand Herald: Google ‘confirms’ All New Zealanders are sheep shaggers. I beg your pardon for the language in this excerpt. “It remains the Aussies’ favourite putdown for Kiwis – and now Google says it’s true: us Kiwis are all sheep-shaggers. The question was posed by a Reddit user: ‘Do New Zealanders f**k sheep?’ Unsure of our sexual habits, Reddit user StackableGoats’ decided to ask Google for the answer. And Google had a surprising response.”

AP: Iowa justice blocks newspaper from reporting court records. “An Iowa Supreme Court justice has taken the unusual step of temporarily ordering the state’s largest newspaper not to publish the contents of court records legally obtained by one of its reporters. Press freedom advocates protested the order against the Des Moines Register and investigative reporter Clark Kauffman, and called on the full court Friday to immediately lift the stay.”


Forbes: 120 Million American Households Exposed In ‘Massive’ ConsumerView Database Leak. “Information on more than 120 million American households was sitting in a massive database found left exposed on the web earlier this month, Forbes has been told. It included an extraordinary range of personal details on residents, including addresses, ethnicity, interests and hobbies, income, right down to what kind of mortgage the house was under and how many children lived at the property. In total, there were 248 different data fields for each household, according to the researcher who uncovered the leak data this week.”

Hackaday: Brute Forcing Passwords With A 3D Printer. “Many of us use a 4 digit pin code to lock our phones. [David Randolph] over at Hak5 has come up a simple way to use a 3D printer to brute force these passwords. Just about every 3D printer out there speaks the same language, G-code. The same language used in CAD and CNC machines for decades.”


CNET: For Congress members, divisive news is a hit on Facebook. “For Congress members, widening the political gap appears to lead to success on Facebook. People on Facebook shared and liked posts from politicians more often if they contained links to national news outlets on the most liberal or most conservative ends of the political spectrum, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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