afternoonbuzz

Wyoming Maps, Earthquakes, Fake News, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, February 20, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

University of Wyoming: Successful Wyoming Atlas Project Launches Digital Version for Wyoming’s K-12 Schools. “The digital version, like the hard copy, is produced by three UW programs — the Department of Geography, the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) and the Wyoming Geographic Alliance. The digital 55-page atlas includes more than 100 full-color, interactive maps, along with numerous charts, tables and photographs. The School of Energy Resources provided the funding. The digital student atlas is targeted to students in Wyoming grades 4-8. The previous hard-copy version was targeted to school libraries; elementary and junior high classrooms where geography is taught as part of the curriculum; and county libraries and their associated branches.” I know the headline says “for Wyoming’s K-12 Schools,” but I was able to access it without issue.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Scoop News: UC launches QuakeStudies 2.0. “QuakeStudies is an online repository and UC’s contribution to the CEISMIC programme. Maintained by the [University of Canterbury] Arts Digital Lab, it holds collections of photographs, documents, videos, audio recordings, and media articles relating to the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes. The online repository has around 135,000 items available for public viewing and use, plus around 12,000 items for use by approved researchers.”

USEFUL STUFF

Phys .org: Fake news ‘vaccine’: Online game may ‘inoculate’ by simulating propaganda tactics . “A new online game puts players in the shoes of an aspiring propagandist to give the public a taste of the techniques and motivations behind the spread of disinformation—potentially ‘inoculating’ them against the influence of so-called fake news in the process.”

From Amit Agarwal: How to Verify an Email Address? . “When you send an email to someone, the message goes to an SMTP server which then looks for the MX (Mail Exchange) records of the email recipient’s domain. For instance, when you send an email to hello@gmail.com, the mail server will try to find the MX records for the gmail.com domain. If the records exist, the next step would be to determine whether that email username (hello in our example) exists or not. Using a similar logic, we can verify an email address from the computer without actually sending an email message. Here’s how…”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

WANE: Hidden History: Curator highlights Allen County’s African-American pioneers in online database. “Black History Month is a perfect time to learn about the earn about the African-American men and women who took bold chances to make their marks on Northeast Indiana. In the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, one woman took it upon herself to make sure these stories are heard and embraced every day of the year… and from anywhere.”

Digital Trends: How Instagram’s being used to make the outdoors more inclusive and diverse. “This is Ambreen Tariq, founder of the Instagram account Brown People Camping. As a South Asian immigrant, a person of color, and a Muslim woman, Tariq wanted to create something capable of utilizing personal narratives and storytelling to promote diversity in outdoor communities. With the creation of BPC, she’s able to authentically discuss how her identities shape her outdoor experiences. By sharing her own personal stories via the account, she hopes it inspires others to step outside their comfort zone, as well.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

The Register: Google reveals Edge bug that Microsoft has had trouble fixing. “Google has again decided to disclose a flaw in Microsoft software before the latter company could deliver a fix. Indeed, Microsoft has struggled to fix this problem. Detailed here on Google’s Project Zero bug-tracker, the flaw impacts the just-in-time compiler that Microsoft’s Edge browser uses to execute JavaScript and makes it possible to predict the memory space it is about to use.”

Bleeping Computer: Anchor CMS Sites May Be Spewing Their Database Passwords. “Websites built using the Anchor CMS may be accidentally exposing their database passwords in publicly-facing error logs, Dutch security researcher Tijme Gommers has discovered. Gommers says that an attacker can navigate to the following URL and download a copy of the site’s errors log, where in some cases, he may find the site’s database password exposed in cleartext.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Verge: Google’s new AI algorithm predicts heart disease by looking at your eyes. “Scientists from Google and its health-tech subsidiary Verily have discovered a new way to assess a person’s risk of heart disease using machine learning. By analyzing scans of the back of a patient’s eye, the company’s software is able to accurately deduce data, including an individual’s age, blood pressure, and whether or not they smoke. This can then be used to predict their risk of suffering a major cardiac event — such as a heart attack — with roughly the same accuracy as current leading methods.”

Arabian Gazette: Middle East Social Media Usage Trends Revealed. “The use, and adoption, of social media continues to rapidly evolve. A new white paper from Damian Radcliffe and Amanda Lam at the University of Oregon provides an up-to-date analysis of how people across the Middle East are using social networks, highlighting the rise of messaging apps, visual social networks like Instagram and Snapchat and occasional regulatory and other tensions.”

Science Daily: Is social media to blame for poor grades? . “Do teenagers who frequent Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites perform worse academically? Scientists from Germany have looked into these worries.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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