African-American Veterans, Twitter, SkyTorrents, More: Sunday Buzz, February 25, 2018


Library of Congress: New Online: William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection. “The Library of Congress is delighted to launch online in time for African-American History Month the William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection, consisting of about 500 items. Gladstone was a historian and author of books about black Civil War troops. The collection spans the years 1773 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from the Civil War period, 1861–65.”


CBC: Twitter bars tactics used by ‘bots’ to spread false stories. “Twitter Inc. said on Wednesday it would no longer allow people to post identical messages from multiple accounts, cracking down on a tactic that Russian agents and others have allegedly used to make tweets or topics go viral.”

MSN: Twitter Moves To Shield Florida Shooting Survivors. “Twitter is taking action to shield survivors of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, after they faced online harassment over their support for gun control.”

TorrentFreak: SkyTorrents Dumps Massive Torrent Database and Shuts Down. “The ad-free and privacy-focused torrent site ‘SkyTorrents’ has become a victim of its own success. With millions of pageviews per day, the site was too expensive to manage, leaving the operator no other option than to shut it down. People who are interested in the site’s 15 million torrent database can now grab a copy before it disappears for good.”

TASS: Some 143,000 monuments added to Russian culture heritage database — minister. “Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky confirmed on Tuesday that some 143,000 monumenets have already been added to the state’s unified database of cultural heritage sites.”


Wired: How to create a genuinely strong password for your digital life. “Creating and keeping track of the passwords that secure our online life is one of the defining problems of the internet age. Each year hundreds of millions of user accounts are hacked, thanks to easily guessed or reused passwords, often revealed following mass data breaches. The solution for limiting potential damage to your online life is strong and unique passwords. For these you really should be using a password manager – preferably not the one built into your web browser – to keep track of them and create secure new ones.” A bit of a deep dive into password security.

Useful for a given value of useful, but hey, weekend! From Amit Agarwal, who has just been fire this week: How to Make Pixel Paintings with Google Spreadsheets. “If you would like to create your own spreadsheet art but don’t have the time to carefully paint every cell manually, here’s a simple workaround for you. You can take any photograph, vector art, or any other image and use a Google Script to convert that bitmap image into spreadsheet art.”

I know this article is from a few months ago, but I found a different article about this resource but didn’t trust the source. I do trust The Next Web: This extension adds a sorely-needed attachment finder to your Gmail inbox. “Looking for an easier way to rifle through your Gmail attachments? There’s a search filter for that, but it’s not of much use when you have tons of messages to comb through. Dittach, on the other hand, makes the whole process go a lot quicker.”


WNYC: WNYC, Two Other Public Radio Stations Acquire Gothamist and Sister Sites. “In a deal largely funded by two anonymous donors, WNYC is acquiring the news site Gothamist, including its archives, domain name and social media assets. The move comes as part of a larger deal involving two other public radio stations and Gothamist’s network of local news sites. KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., will take over LAist, while WAMU in Washington will acquire DCist.”

CBS News: “Technology is like a bomb”: Social media weaponized in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis. “The utopian dream of internet and social media pioneers — the idea that connecting millions of people in cyberspace would make the world a better place — has run into a darker reality as invisible armies of trolls, bots and propagandists use the technology to sway public opinion and poison debate. Perhaps nowhere has that impact been more malign than in Myanmar, where social media has been weaponized against the vulnerable Rohingya minority as the regime carries out what one U.N. official calls ‘a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'”


Infosecurity Magazine: Bot-Driven Credential Stuffing Hits New Heights. “More than 40% of global log-in attempts are malicious thanks to bot-driven credential stuffing attacks, according to the latest report from Akamai. The cloud delivery provider’s latest State of the Internet/Security report for Q4 2017 comprised analysis from over 7.3 trillion bot requests per month.”


Select All: It’s Time to End ‘Trending’. “What does it mean, exactly, for something to be ‘trending’? YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter all make frequent use of the term, but none of them have a public or transparent definition — let alone a common one. When we sort through our feeds, ‘latest’ has an obvious chronological sorting mechanism; even ‘popular’ has a fairly clear and agreed-upon definition. ‘Trending,’ however, does not.” Good morning, Internet…

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