Belgium Genealogy, Canada Elections, Brexit, More: Thursday Buzz, January 18, 2018


From Internetgazet and translated from Dutch: Digital Archive of Old Deeds . “The municipality has digitized all civil status documents and makes the documents that are more than 100 years old publicly available…. That was announced today. Through this website you can view, save and print birth, marriage and death certificates from 1797 to 1917 .”

New-to-me, from The Map Room (y’all, you really gotta read The Map Room if you’re interested in maps or mapping at all): An Online Atlas of Canadian Election Results. “At the federal level the maps go back as far as the 1925 general election; provincial election maps go back as far as the late 1960s or early 1970s. Poll-by-poll results are available for the most recent elections.”


Business Insider: Facebook is finally investigating whether Russia interfered with the Brexit vote. “Facebook is finally launching a standalone investigation into whether Russian groups used its platform to spread misinformation in the run-up to the Brexit vote in 2016. The firm will look into whether it can ‘identify any coordinated activity of the spread of misinformation around the EU referendum'” that it hasn’t already found.”

Google Blog: Introducing the security center for G Suite—security analytics and best practices from Google. “We want to make it easy for you to manage your organization’s data security. A big part of this is making sure you and your admins can access a bird’s eye view of your security—and, more importantly, that you can take action based on timely insights. Today, we’re introducing the security center for G Suite, a tool that brings together security analytics, actionable insights and best practice recommendations from Google to empower you to protect your organization, data and users.”


Library of Congress: Digital Scholarship Resource Guide: So now you have digital data… (part 3 of 7). “So now you have digital data… Great! But what to do? Regardless of what your data are (sometimes it’s just pictures and documents and notes, sometimes it’s numbers and metadata), storage, organization, and management can get complicated.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD Facebook, Twitter, YouTube pressed over terror content. “Terrorists and hate groups continue to get their propaganda onto social media platforms despite efforts by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to shut them down, a US Senate panel heard Wednesday. Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and others have stepped up their use of bots and other methods to fight the artificial intelligence and algorithms the social media giants deploy to screen them out. In addition, they are now turning to smaller platforms and messaging apps with encryption and less ability to police users, like Telegram, Reddit and WhatsApp, though none have offered yet the previous broad reach that Facebook and YouTube have had.”

New York Times: Google Sells A.I. for Building A.I. (Novices Welcome). “Google has been using artificial intelligence to build other artificially intelligent systems for the past several months. Now the company plans to sell this kind of ‘automated machine learning’ technology to other businesses across the globe. On Wednesday, Google introduced a cloud-computing service that it bills as a way to build a so-called computer vision system that suits your particular needs — even if you have little or no experience with the concepts that drive it.”

Two Belgium stories in one ResearchBuzz? I’m just going with it. From MENAFN: 19 year old girl escapes kidnappers using Google Maps. “After being allegedly kidnapped in Belgium, the girl aged 19 explained her safe return to be thanks to locating herself on her Smartphone and sharing the address with her sibling who notified authorities. The girl accused five men of abducting her outside a nightclub in Brussels and held her captive for three days in an apartment in the nearby city of Charleroi.”


BetaNews: Warning: A simple text message can crash iOS and macOS. “The chaiOS bug, as it’s been dubbed, links to a page of code on GitHub. When the recipient clicks on the link, Apple’s Messages app freaks out, and ultimately crashes. Bugs like this are a nuisance rather than a genuine worry, and Apple does tend to roll out updates for such issues pretty quickly, so there’s a good chance it will be fixed in the near future.” I don’t think this has been weaponized, so it’s more of an “Oh boy this is annoying” issue than a security issue.

Ars Technica: Google Chrome extensions with 500,000 downloads found to be malicious. “Researchers have uncovered four malicious extensions with more than 500,000 combined downloads from the Google Chrome Web Store, a finding that highlights a key weakness in what’s widely considered to be the Internet’s most secure browser. Google has since removed the extensions.” Wasn’t it just at the beginning of the year that Bleeping Computer mentioned an extension that was mining cryptocurrency? This seems to be happening a lot more lately.


The XX Committee: It’s Time to Make Twitter Better. “Twitter has it within its power to banish troublemakers, but they haven’t done so. Minor algorithm alterations would do away with 90 percent of the bots immediately, while serious enforcement of the so-called Twitter Rules would do away with most trolls nearly as fast. However, that won’t happen, because if Twitter admitted how many of its followers are bots rather than live humans, its already beleaguered stock price would likely plummet even further.”

TechCrunch: It’s time for Washington to start working on artificial intelligence. “As the founder of the Artificial Intelligence Caucus, I’ve been working to start a new dialogue on Capitol Hill that is focused on the future. Recently, I introduced the House version of the FUTURE of AI Act that would create a formal process for both Congress and the Executive Branch to start looking at AI seriously, asking hard questions and consulting experts on what the next steps should be.” Good morning, Internet…

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