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Life Sciences, Comic Book Character Religions, Garbage Pail Kids, More: Sunday Buzz, February 4, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

PR Newswire: Chemical Heritage Foundation is now Science History Institute (PRESS RELEASE). “The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has changed its name to the Science History Institute. This change follows the 2015 merger with the Life Sciences Foundation (LSF), an organization that focused on the history of the life sciences and biotechnology. The new organization focuses on the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences….Along with the new name, the Institute is debuting its new digital collections website featuring more than 5,000 items, including books, photographs, museum objects, letters, and advertisements…. More than 1,000 of these images, primarily of rare books and museum objects, are being released as public domain, free of copyright, and may be used without requesting permission.”

New-to-me: a database of the religions of comic book characters. Note that characters are not always heroes/villains, etc. There are over 36,000 characters in the database. You can browse by hero team, religion, character name, character type, and so on. I was amused to see there are a couple of Unitarian heroes (though one of them was apparently created by the UUA itself.) I did see at least one character who was listed but religion was noted as undetermined.

New-to-me, and it’s the weekend, so what the heck: a database of Garbage Pail Kids names. Do you remember the Garbage Pail Kids? Trading stickers with garish illustrations and often punny names? “Because there are thousands of different Garbage Pail Kids stickers in existence, it would take quite a long time to flip through the stickers looking for the ones that contain your name…. The ‘Find Your Name’ section contains 3099 total names, and 1141 different first names.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

YouTube Blog: Greater transparency for users around news broadcasters. “A big goal for us in 2018 is to provide greater transparency across the board to our community of creators, advertisers, and viewers. In one small step towards that commitment, today we will start rolling out notices below videos uploaded by news broadcasters that receive some level of government or public funding. Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube.”

The Verge: Instagram’s new ‘type mode’ lets you add text-only pages to your stories. “Instagram’s newest Stories feature doesn’t feel much like Instagram. The platform’s new ‘type mode,’ which starts rolling out today, lets users add pages to their stories that just involve text. No photos or videos are needed. Users can choose from colorful, customizable backgrounds and different text styles, including a neon font and one that’s reminiscent of a typewriter. Stickers can be added, too. You’ve probably already seen a similar-looking page when you respond to a friend’s direct messages.”

USEFUL STUFF

Digital Trends: How to use Instagram Stories: Everything you need to know. “Instagram took on Snapchat last year with the launch of ephemeral Instagram Stories, pictures and videos that disappear 24 hours after being shared. And just like Snapchat Stories, you can write, doodle, and place stickers on your Instagram Stories. There’s a fair chance you’re already familiar with this feature, but if you have yet to dive in beneath the surface, here are all the ins and outs of how to use Instagram stories.” Extensive.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Vintage Vinyl News: The Estate of John Denver Starts Patreon Page to Give Fans Rare Content. From the Patreon announcement included in the article: “Patreon is a Membership platform that makes it easy for creators to offer exclusive content to their fans in exchange for a small monthly pledge. We’ve decided to build a ‘virtual museum’ of John’s work on Patreon so that his most dedicated fans can get access to his personal photographs, previously unreleased recordings, and other special content. The collection will be carefully curated and new content will be released each month. Patreon also serves as a community space, where fans can comment and share their experiences around John’s music and art. ”

Mashable: Facebook promoted lies and conspiracy theories following Amtrak crash. “Facebook just can’t help itself. Following news Wednesday morning that an Amtrak train full of Congressional Republicans crashed into a truck, the social media site was soon promoting conspiracy theories and lies purporting to explain the sinister forces behind the tragedy that left one person dead.”

Salon: Facebook’s experiment in ad transparency is like playing hide and seek. “Facebook has also said it plans to avoid a repeat of the Russia fiasco by improving transparency. An approach it’s rolling out in Canada now, and plans to expand to other countries this summer, enables Facebook users outside an advertiser’s targeted audience to see ads. The hope is that enhanced scrutiny will keep advertisers honest and make it easier to detect foreign interference in politics. So we used a remote connection, called a virtual private network, to log into Facebook from Canada and see how this experiment is working. The answer: It’s an improvement, but nowhere near the openness sought by critics who say online political advertising is a Wild West compared with the tightly regulated worlds of print and broadcast.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Bleeping Computer: New Adobe Flash Zero-Day Spotted in the Wild . “South Korean authorities have issued a warning regarding a brand new Flash zero-day deployed in the wild. According to a security alert issued by the South Korean Computer Emergency Response Team (KR-CERT), the zero-day affects Flash Player installs 28.0.0.137 and earlier. Flash 28.0.0.137 is the current Flash version number.” Adobe says it has a fix on the way.

CBR: Ransomware is ‘not a lightning strike’. “Another worrying fact is that your organisation does not have to be cybersecurity negligent for an attack to be successful, everyone is at risk. More than 77 per cent of respondents hit by ransomware said they were running up to date endpoint protection when they were hit. This signals the critical need for innovative approaches to cybersecurity in general.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Quartz: Americans are logging off Facebook. “Lurking in Facebook’s stellar quarterly earnings report Thursday were some troubling numbers: The company added fewer daily active users than analysts expected, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that as a result of the company’s moves, the time people spent on the platform dropped by 50 million hours daily. More worrying, in Facebook’s most lucrative market, the US and Canada, the number of people who log on to Facebook every day fell for the first time ever, dropping by 700, 000 to about 184 million.” Good morning, Internet…

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