afternoonbuzz

Drug Reactions, Child Soldiers, Wikipedia, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, February 21, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

Stanford: Database allows physicians to tailor prescriptions to complement an individual’s genome. “The database is a website that, through careful curation, collects information to help researchers, doctors and patients understand the intersection of genes and drugs, a field of study known as pharmacogenomics. Visitors to the site will find detailed information about molecular drug structures, metabolic pathways, and perhaps most valuably, specific genes that have the potential to influence how certain medications function in the body. Currently, the website…highlights about 5,500 genetic variants that affect the activity of 600 drugs.”

ReliefWeb: Child Soldiers World Index reveals shocking scale of child recruitment around the world. “The Child Soldiers World Index, developed by human rights group Child Soldiers International, is the first comprehensive worldwide resource on child recruitment…. Covering all 197 UN Members States, the World Index, which includes more than 10,000 data points, will include authoritative data on national laws, policies and child recruitment practices worldwide.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Wikimedia: “Visual diffs” make it easier to see editing changes on Wikipedia. “The Wikimedia Foundation’s Editing team announces the launch of visual diffs, which will let users visually review the changes made to Wikimedia sites without requiring knowledge of the wikitext markup language.”

Times Higher Education: Elsevier’s profits swell to more than £900 million. “The world’s largest academic publisher grew its profits to more than £900 million last year, although it warned that a move towards openly available research could hurt its business. Elsevier, currently locked in a dispute with German research institutions that want it to move away from a paywalled subscription model towards pay-to-publish open access, had its financial results released last week as part of those of its parent company, RELX.”

USA Today: Facebook says Kremlin-linked ads ready for public view, but House hasn’t released them. “A Facebook official said Tuesday that the social network had finished ‘scrubbing’ personal information from Kremlin-linked ads placed on their platform to influence the 2016 election, clearing the way for Congress to release them to the public. However, the House Intelligence Committee has still not released the ads, which Facebook said it provided to lawmakers last week after removing any personally identifiable information that could violate people’s privacy.”

USEFUL STUFF

Search Engine Journal: Migrating a WordPress Website from HTTP to HTTPS: A Complete Guide. “In this post, I will share the experience I had from migrating the SEJ website to HTTPS and many other WordPress-based websites I’ve worked on. I’ll be assuming you have basic WordPress coding skills and have already installed an SSL certificate on your website, since most hosting providers offer that feature with one click.” This is VERY thorough with LOTS of screenshots.

SECURITY & LEGAL

Ars Technica: uTorrent bugs let websites control your computer and steal your downloads. “Two versions of uTorrent, one of the Internet’s most widely used BitTorrent apps, are vulnerable to a host of easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities that allow attackers to execute code, access downloaded files, and snoop on download histories, a Google Project Zero researcher said. uTorrent developers are in the process of rolling out fixes for both the uTorrent desktop app for Windows and the newer uTorrent Web product.”

Phys .org: Mobile health applications put the personal data of millions of users at risk. “80 percent of the most popular health applications available on Android do not comply with standards intended to prevent the misuse and dissemination of user data. This is the finding of a European study started in 2016 involving Agusti Solanas and Constantinos Patsakis. The research has brought to light evidence of serious security problems regarding the 20 most popular applications on the internet. The research consisted of analysing the security problems, communicating them to the software developers and then checking them to see if they had been resolved.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Seeker: AI Earthquake Tracker Is Inspired by Speech Recognition Technology. “The state of Oklahoma has witnessed a stunning rise in the frequency of earthquakes, which has been linked to an increase in the use of fracking technology in the oil and gas sector. Starting in 2009, the annual number of quakes measuring above magnitude 3.0 in the state exploded from fewer than three to as many as 903 in 2015. Now, all this seismic activity has prompted scientists to develop a new tool for tracking it — drawing on speech recognition technology.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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