Net Neutrality, Windows 10, Zagat, More: Thursday Buzz, January 4, 2018


The Hill: Activists launch site to track lawmakers’ positions on net neutrality. “A pro-net neutrality group is launching a new campaign to pressure members of Congress into saving the Federal Communications Commission rules from repeal. Fight for the Future announced a new website on Wednesday to turn up the heat on lawmakers ahead of the midterm elections later this year.”


BetaNews: You can still get Windows 10 for free — for now at least. “Microsoft officially called time on the free Windows 10 upgrade offer in 2016, but allowed anyone using assistive technologies to continue to upgrade to the new OS without paying a penny. This offer worked on an honor system — you weren’t required to provide any proof that you used assistive technologies in order to make use of the deal — allowing anyone to continue to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Microsoft finally closed this loophole on December 31, 2017, except (whisper it) the site, and the deal, are still available.” There are some interesting comments, but you have to wade through a lot of — um, not interesting comments — to get to them.

Reuters: Alphabet’s Google explores sale of restaurant reviewer Zagat: sources. “Google has held informal talks in recent months with multiple companies about offloading Zagat, the sources said, asking not to be named because the matter is private. Any deal would likely involve the Zagat brand name and website, the sources added. Google’s asking price is not known, and there is no certainty it will agree to sell Zagat, the sources said.”


Library of Congress: New Year, New You: A Digital Scholarship Guide (in seven parts!). “To get 2018 going in a positive digital direction, we are releasing a guide for working with digital resources. Every Wednesday for the next seven weeks a new part of the guide will be released on The Signal. The guide covers what digital archives and digital humanities are trying to achieve, how to create digital documents, metadata and text-encoding, digital content and citation management, data cleaning methods, an introduction to working in the command line, text and visual analysis tools and techniques, and a list of people, blogs, and digital scholarship labs to follow to learn more about the topic. If you need all of this information immediately, feel free to binge on the full guide, available now in PDF. (No spoilers!)”

Hannah Hethmon: A Complete List of Podcasts for Museum Professionals. “I’ve been a podcast listener for a while, but when I started my own podcast, Museums in Strange Places, I started listening to a much wider variety of shows and more shows on my subject, museum work and museum professionals. That led me to compile a list of all the podcasts about museum work and museum professionals that I could find (with help from the Twitterverse and the EMP Facebook group). You’ll find the fruit of my labors below: a complete (-ish) list of podcasts about museum work.”


Ars Technica: Academic researchers fire latest shots in adblocking arms race. “Advertising pays much of the budget for most online publishers, making the growth of adblockers an existential threat. As such, adblocking has set off a software-based arms race, with publishers finding software solutions that keep ads appearing or entreat people using adblocking software to white-list them. Adblockers readily respond with modified software that targets these specific responses, triggering the publishers to try again.”

Gay Star News: Google apologizes for banning use of words ‘bisexual’ and ‘gay’. “Faith Cheltenham is the VP of BiNet USA, an American nonprofit organization for the bisexual community. She tweeted a picture of an email she received yesterday about BiNet USA’s AdWords account being flagged. Google AdWords told her they flagged the account because they were using ‘sexually explicit’ keywords. The specific words mention were bisexual and gay.” Another Google rep told her they did NOT have a policy banning those words. So who knows. She did have screenshots of the e-mail received.


TechCrunch: Google faces revised gender-pay lawsuit. “Google is facing a revised gender-pay class-action lawsuit that alleges Google underpaid women in comparison with their male counterparts and asked new hires about their prior salaries, The Guardian first reported. The revised lawsuit also adds a fourth complainant, Heidi Lamar, who was a teacher at Google’s Children Center in Palo Alto for four years.”

The Next Web: Security flaw found in Intel chips may also affect AMD and ARM processors. “Originally spotted by The Register, the kernel vulnerability leaves the chips vulnerable to hackers who can exploit security bugs. While there is a fix in the works, The Register reports the patch could slow down computers by up to 30 percent. The flaw could potentially allow malicious programs to read login and password information on secure parts of the computer’s memory. But most unluckily, it might not be limited to the millions of Intel chip-based computers.”

Tribune India: Rs 500, 10 minutes, and you have access to billion Aadhaar details. “It was only last November that the UIDAI asserted that ‘Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI.’ Today, The Tribune ‘purchased’ a service being offered by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp that provided unrestricted access to details for any of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar numbers created in India thus far.” 500 rupees is, at this time, about $7.89.

CNET: Homeland Security breach exposes data on 240,000 employees. “The breach at the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) Case Management System affected 247,167 people employed by DHS in 2014, as well as subjects, witnesses and complainants associated with DHS OIG investigations from 2002 through 2014, the department said in a statement. Information exposed included Social Security numbers, dates of birth, positions, grades and duty stations.” Good morning, Internet…

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