WWII Casualties, Poland Crime, Golden Globes, More: Wednesday Buzz, January 3, 2018


Stars and Stripes: Free online records database aims to identify unknown troops from WW2. “An online database that could be used to identify unknown World War II-era U.S. servicemembers buried around the world will soon be available free to families and researchers. The directory — which cross-references information about recovered unknown troops with missing servicemembers’ attributes — is expected to go live sometime this month. It was developed by Kenneth Breaux and his team at the Houston-based M.I.A. Recovery Network, a nonprofit that advocates for missing-in-action servicemembers and their families.”

Deutsche Welle: Poland launches online register of sex offenders. “Some 800 sex offenders’ details were published as the online database launched in the new year. According to Poland’s Justice Ministry, only the most dangerous offenders’ data was published, most of whom are either pedophiles found guilty of abusing children under the age of 15 or rapists.”


TechCrunch: Facebook, not Twitter, will live stream this year’s Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show. “Facebook has scored the exclusive rights to live stream this year’s Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show – a deal that last year went to Twitter. On Tuesday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and dick clark productions announced the two-hour event would be exclusively available on the Golden Globes Facebook page from 6 to 8 p.m. ET (3 to 5 p.m. PT) on Sunday, January 7, 2018.”

Search Engine Roundtable: Yahoo Search Filled With Search Ads. “If you visit Yahoo and do a search at their web site, you will see that to get to the organic listings, you are going to have to scroll and scroll and scroll. It reminds me of when gave up on search and they pretty much filled up their search results with ads at the top and at the bottom they put some organic results.” Oh, gross. It’s giving me AltaVista flashbacks.


Engadget: Twitter pulls conspiracist’s verified badge after celebrity outrage. “Twitter’s stricter approach to verification isn’t just taking checkmarks away from the leaders of racist groups. The social network has pulled the verified badge from conspiracy peddler Liz Crokin after Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend reacted to Crokin’s unsupported claims that the two were trafficking their child in a Washington, DC pedophile ring. As Teigen explained, it didn’t make sense that Twitter would verify someone who was accusing her of horrific acts, especially not when this person has nearly 50,000 followers.”

The Telegraph: Britain should stop building new museums, Government review finds . “Britain should stop building new museums to ensure that the ones that we have can survive, a Government commissioned review has found. Institutions across the country are struggling to make ends meet and rather than investing in new infrastructure the money should be used to fix the historic buildings that house collections or help digitise collections for the modern age, it concludes.”

Urban Milwaukee: DNR Censors All Climate Change Info. “Not content with having already stripped content and links from an agency webpage about climate change – – deletions I documented some years ago and which I have frequently referenced – – the ideologues intent on scrubbing science off these pages and sowing doubt and confusion about the consensus view of experts worldwide about climate change have edited, deleted and otherwise compressed information in order to whitewash long-standing concepts and facts off a climate change page about the Great Lakes – – the same way, I will add, that Walker edited and watered-down the Wisconsin Idea, which has for decades had been the University system’s historic mission statement.”


New York Times: How Antivirus Software Can Be Turned Into a Tool for Spying. “Security software runs closest to the bare metal of a computer, with privileged access to nearly every program, application, web browser, email and file. There’s good reason for this: Security products are intended to evaluate everything that touches your machine in search of anything malicious, or even vaguely suspicious. By downloading security software, consumers also run the risk that an untrustworthy antivirus maker — or hacker or spy with a foothold in its systems — could abuse that deep access to track customers’ every digital movement.”

BetaNews: 2017: Year of the data breach. “Barely a week seemed to go by in 2017 without news of a new data breach exposing customer or commercial data. But just how bad was it? File transfer specialist Ipswitch has put together an infographic looking at the year in breaches.”


CogDogBlog: Organizing My Pile of Old Web Bones. “The bava has been at it; Jim has been cleaning up his pile pf past webs, like an abandoned Known and the OpenVA web site. He’s been writing about Archiving his Digital Past and the concept of an Archive of One’s Own. I’ve been harping some on this too, in the wake of Storify’s going MIA I’m not taking it lying down. I made a tool I’m putting to use to yank those URLs from storify and embed them into a WordPress site; I have a start on the reclaimed ones going. It’s in the air. Jim and I are plotting something on this in 2018. Cough.”

Salon: Social media anti-harassment strategies won’t stop trolls. “There’s a good chance that if you regularly spend time on the internet (and who doesn’t these days?), you may have been harassed. The Pew Research Center says 41% of Americans have been harassed online in some way, and about one in five people have been seriously harassed, like receiving ‘physical threats, harassment over a sustained period, sexual harassment or stalking.” And women are nearly twice as likely to say they’ve reported severe harassment online — frequently on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Entire internal task forces have been created to monitor and police the platforms, and they’ve repeatedly insisted that tackling this issue is a major priority. But a recent study shows that as they attempt to quell hateful behavior on their platforms, Twitter and Facebook may actually be making thing worse.” How Facebook could stop a disease outbreak. “Facebook accounts and telephone records can be used to pinpoint the best individuals to vaccinate to stop a disease outbreak in its tracks, researchers said Wednesday. Such people would be ‘central’ in their social networks, and thus likelier to spread disease-causing germs from one group to another. Assuming there is an outbreak, and not enough vaccines for every person in the world, immunising these well-connected individuals would remove social ‘bridges’ by which germs can spread, experts wrote in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.”

CNET: Your phone really does make you feel good, study says. “You clutch it. And when you’re not clutching it, you can feel where it is. And when you can’t actually feel it, you know precisely where you put it and it’ll take only a small stretch of your arm to touch it. That’s how most people are with their phones. Which leads to the suggestion that we’re all addicted and addiction isn’t a good thing.” Good morning, Internet…

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