Javanese Manuscripts, Fake News, Facebook, More: Thursday Buzz, March 22, 2018


British Library: Javanese Manuscripts from Yogyakarta Digitisation Project launched by Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X. “On 20 March 2018 Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, Governor of the Special Region of Yogyakarta, visited the British Library to launch the Javanese Manuscripts from Yogyakarta Digitisation Project. Through the generous support of Mr S P Lohia, over the next twelve months 75 Javanese manuscripts from Yogyakarta now held in the British Library will be digitised, and will be made fully and freely accessible online through the British Library’s Digitised Manuscripts website.”


Washington Post: Google announces plan to combat spread of misinformation. “Google announced Tuesday that it plans to spend $300 million over the next three years to help combat the spread of misinformation online and help journalism outlets. The company said it has adjusted its systems and rankings to lead people to ‘more authoritative content’ on Google search and YouTube, especially when it comes to breaking news events. Google said that bad actors often exploit these situations, seeking to surface inaccurate content on Google’s platforms.”


Fast Company Design: Want To Fight Back Against Facebook’s Algorithm? Check Out These Tools. “During a week in which Facebook’s stock plummeted and regulatory bodies railed against the company’s data protection practices (or lack thereof), many critics are asking whether we could be seeing the beginning of the end for the company. That seems unlikely, but at the very least, the surge of public attention washing over the company is having an effect on users.”

Search Engine Journal: How Search Engines Crawl & Index: Everything You Need to Know. “Optimizing websites without first understanding how search engines function is akin to publishing your great novel without first learning how to write. Certainly a thousand monkeys at typewriters will eventually create something useful (at least this monkey likes to think he does from time to time), but it’s a lot easier if you know the core elements of a task beforehand. So we must understand how search engines work to fully understand how to optimize for them.” A good introductory overview, part 1 in a series.

Teacher Reboot Camp: 34+ Nonsense Apps, Web Tools and Resources to Wake Up the Brain Cells!. “Students can get restless about this time of year. Summer vacation is near and so is April Fool’s Day and Easter. Many students also are testing or gearing up for graduation and this can be a stressful time for both teachers and students. Humor can help you and students avoid burn-out. Humor also engages students and keeps their minds open to the learning when implemented appropriately! Below are some free web tools, apps, and resources to add some humor to lessons.” Have to do a silliness roundup every now and again.


CNET: Twitter has problems. Amnesty International has solutions. “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has put a call out to the public for answers on how to fix the abuse and misinformation that plagues his social network. Amnesty International has a few ideas.”

New York Times: Facebook’s Surveillance Machine. “In 2014, Cambridge Analytica, a voter-profiling company that would later provide services for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, reached out with a request on Amazon’s ‘Mechanical Turk’ platform, an online marketplace where people around the world contract with others to perform various tasks. Cambridge Analytica was looking for people who were American Facebook users. It offered to pay them to download and use a personality quiz app on Facebook called thisisyourdigitallife.”

Irish Times: Facebook used to cripple opposition in run-up to Cambodia’s elections. “Hours before his wedding last month, San Rotha was taking a shower in Kampong Cham, southern Cambodia, when the police came to handcuff and arrest him. The 29-year-old had been caught calling the southeast Asian country’s government ‘authoritarian’ in a video posted to Facebook. His was just one of around a dozen arrests in Cambodia over the past year, all related to the social media giant, which is playing a key and concerning role in the run-up to July’s election.”


ZDNet: Telegram told to give encryption keys to Russian authorities. “A top Russian court has told encrypted messaging app Telegram to share its encryption keys with state authorities. Telegram, founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, has been fighting an effort by the FSB, the state’s security service formerly known as the KGB, which last year demanded that the company hand over its private encryption keys.”

Digital Trends: Hackers could have credit card numbers of 880,000 Orbitz users. “Hackers may have gained access to as many as 880,000 credit cards by hacking into the Orbitz website. On Tuesday, March 20, the Expedia-owned travel-booking company shared that it had found evidence of a hacker gaining access to user data. The company doesn’t have evidence that the information was actually taken, but the access means user data could have been stolen.”


Pew (pew pew pew pew pew!): The Science People See on Social Media. “Millions of people see science-related information on their Facebook feeds or elsewhere on social media, but the kinds of science stories people most likely encounter are often practical tips with ‘news you can use’ or promotions for programs and events rather than new developments in the science, engineering and technology world.”

University of Colorado Boulder: Who might be spying on your tweets in the name of science?. “The majority of Twitter users are unaware that researchers freely collect and analyze their tweets—including deleted ones—in the name of science. Most believe that this shouldn’t be allowed without their consent. And many wrongly assume it would be a violation of Twitter’s terms of service, according to a new study by researchers from CU Boulder and University of Kentucky.” Good morning, Internet…

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