UVA Today: To Russia With Love: UVA Research Team Creates One-of-a-kind Database. “With the U.S. State Department seeking its assistance, the pressure was on a team of University of Virginia researchers to complete a one-of-a-kind project that could help save lives – and potentially improve relations between the U.S. and Russia. After combing through more than 8,000 scientific articles, the team – led by Dr. Scott Heysell, an associate professor of medicine for infectious diseases and international health – has put the finishing touches on what they believe is the only geo-located database of HIV research conducted in Russia and former Soviet Union countries.” I could not find a link to the database in the article, so I e-mailed one of the team members, Dr. Rebecca Dillingham. She was very kind and sent me the link:
Edmonton Journal: Online database aims to improve participation in Alberta clinical trials. “Clinical trials taking place across the province on everything from arthritis to melanoma to urinary incontinence are the focus of a new online database that aims to increase Albertans’ participation in medical research.”
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
Quartz: It’s official: “Shitpost” is the word that best describes the internet in 2017. “Each January, the American Dialect Society selects a single word or phrase that best represents the mood and interests of online discussions in the previous year. From a nominee list that included ‘blockchain,’ ‘rogue,’ and ‘digital blackface,’ the society has selected ‘shitpost’ as the “Digital Word of the Year” for 2017.”
Engadget: BBC decides it won’t shut down its popular recipe site after all. “Back in the spring of 2016, the BBC announced it would be axing various periphery websites and apps in an effort to save £15 million in upkeep costs. One of the items on the chopping block was recipe site BBC Food, the news of which sparked a public backlash and petition to save it, reminiscent of the campaign that kept Radio 6 Music on air the previous decade. In reaction to this, the BBC was quick to clarify the catalogue of over 11,000 recipes would remain accessible through the Good Food site, the online complement to the print magazine of the same name, run by commercial arm BBC Worldwide.”
Ubergizmo: Telegram Updated With Support For Multiple Accounts, Quick Replies. “If you’re someone who juggles multiple chat accounts for different purposes, like personal, school, work, business, and etc., then being able to have multiple accounts within a single messenger app probably comes in handy. The good news is that if you’re a Telegram user, the app has been updated with support for multiple accounts, quick replies, and more.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
The Verge: Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6. “Chrome is now the most popular browser across all devices, thanks to Android’s popularity and the rise of Chrome on Windows PCs and Mac computers. As Google continues to dominate our access to the web, information through its search engine, and services like Gmail or YouTube, Chrome is a powerful entry point in the company’s vast toolbox. While Google championed web standards that worked across many different browsers back in the early days of Chrome, more recently its own services often ignore standards and force people to use Chrome.” The last time I ran into this was with YouTube TV, which instructed me I had to use Chrome.
Financial Express: Google cashing in millions from health referral ads in Britain: Report. “Google is secretly reaping millions of money from vulnerable people, seeking treatment for addictive diseases, by charging advertisers secretly working for private clinics’ in Britain, a media report said on Sunday. The internet giant charges the middlemen — known as referral agents — as much as 200 pounds each time someone visits their website via search page advertisements at the top of a Google page, an investigation by The Sunday Times has revealed.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
Recode: The leading lobbying group for Amazon, Facebook, Google and other tech giants is joining the legal battle to restore net neutrality. “A leading lobbying group for Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Twitter and other tech giants said Friday that it would be joining the coming legal crusade to restore the U.S. government’s net neutrality rules. The Washington, D.C.-based Internet Association specifically plans to join a lawsuit as an intervening party, aiding the challenge to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s vote in December to repeal regulations that required internet providers like AT&T and Comcast* to treat all web traffic equally, its leader confirmed to Recode.”
Naked Security: Microsoft could soon be “password free”. “As each New Year rolls by, someone somewhere usually predicts the death of passwords as a trend for the coming months. Every year so far, they’ve been proved wrong – somehow passwords cling on despite an exhausting list of maladies, mostly to do with how easy they are to forget, steal and misuse. The moral would seem to be never to listen to predictions about passwords. However, post-Christmas comments by Microsoft chief information security officer Bret Arsenault offer a small but tantalising sign that the password age might finally be nearing its end.” I’ll take passwords paired with 2FA over biometric security any day – at least at the moment.
WVLT: Vermont law bans employers from reviewing social media accounts of workers. “A new law in Vermont that went into effect on New Year’s Day bans employers from asking for the social media passwords of workers. Employers will also not be able to review private accounts at all, WCAX reports. Champlain College Professor Elaine Young has been studying social media use for years. She says employers checking accounts isn’t unusual.” Good afternoon, Internet…
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