Illuminated Manuscripts, Mapping Litter, Facebook, More: Monday Buzz, March 26, 2018


Houghton Library Blog (Harvard): Exhibition catalogs digitized. “We’re pleased to share the news that we’ve digitized a few of our favorite exhibition catalogs from the past, focused on our collection of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. We hope those interested in the field will find them a valuable resource.” Not the biggest collection in the world but these are beautiful catalogs.

Green News: Irish entrepreneur on a mission to tackle the global litter crisis. “Seán Lynch is on a mission to map even the tiniest piece of litter on earth to highlight a worldwide ecological emergency: the litter crisis. To do so, the 29.year-old Cork-born entrepreneur has created a web app called Open Litter Map…. Lynch’s website allows users around the world to upload pictures of litter they have stumbled upon, geotag it to pinpoint the exact location, and add it to a global map.” Let’s just not talk about the “littercoin” part…


BuzzFeed: Why Nothing Is Going To Happen To Facebook Or Mark Zuckerberg. “With Wall Street leading the way, the four entities with the strongest ability to cause long-term damage to Facebook in response to revelations that Cambridge Analytica illicitly used 50 million of its users’ data for political purposes didn’t seem ready to do so: Analysts told investors to buy the dip. Advertisers kept spending. Legislators continued to sit on their hands while a basic ad transparency bill rotted in Congress. And though users posted #DeleteFacebook en masse, Facebook actually rose to 8th place from 12th in the iOS mobile App Store since the day before the Cambridge Analytica news broke. It’s holding steady on Android, too.”

TechCrunch: Telegram chalks up 200M MAUs for its messaging app. “Another usage milestone for messaging platform Telegram: It’s announced passing 200M monthly active users ‘within the last 30 days’. The platform passed 100M MAUs back in February 2016, when it held a lavish party at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona to celebrate the metric. At the time it said it was adding 350k new users daily and that there were 15 billion messages generated daily.”

Bernama: Waze to alert drivers of wild animals?. “The Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) is in discussion with community based traffic and navigation app, Waze to include roadkill hot spots affecting wild animals, especially endangered species. Biodiversity Conservation Division assistant director Gilmore G. Bolongon said the effort is one of the department’s long term strategies to protect wildlife.”


Lifehacker: The Chrome Extensions Our Tech Editor Uses to Manage a Messy Browser. “I’m the worst at keeping my browser organized—the absolute worst. I’ll open tabs like adding entries on a to-do list, and then forget about them for weeks as more of their peers join the party in the penthouse above Chrome’s address bar. There are plenty of extensions you can use to manage any organizational … difficulties … you have in Chrome. Here are a few of the ones I use to keep me sane.”


Hollywood Reporter: William Shatner Not Happy With Facebook After Death Hoax Ad. “William Shatner is alive and well — in fact, he turned 87 on Thursday, so the actor was not pleased when he saw an ad on Facebook sharing a story about his alleged death. The Star Trek icon blasted Facebook for the ad via his social media channels after a fan alerted him to it.” This is not uncommon at all, unfortunately.

Naked Security: New whistleblower says Facebook turned a blind eye to covert data harvesting. “Another whistleblower, this time a former Facebook insider, has told British MPs that covert, ‘utterly horrifying’ data harvesting has been routine at the platform, that we’re likely talking about hundreds of millions of Facebook users affected by apps such as the one Cambridge Analytica (CA) got data from, and that Facebook has a history of hiding its head in the sand, likely frightened of being found liable for what it’s enabled developers to do with user data.”

NBC News: Museums across the nation work to archive mementos of grief left after shootings. “At the Clark County Museum in Henderson, Nevada, a group of volunteers gathers every week to sort through boxes of historical artifacts. But rather than coming from ancient times, these mementos are recent tributes in response to tragedies that are becoming all too familiar. Flowers, notes, teddy bears and cowboy hats were left in memorial on Las Vegas Boulevard in the days and weeks after Stephen Paddock killed 58 people during a country concert last October.”


Bloomberg: U.K. to Order Facebook, Google to Redo Data Policies, Times Says. “The U.K. government will direct Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Twitter Inc. and other tech companies to simplify their data management policies for consumers after disclosures about recent breaches, the Sunday Times reported. Matt Hancock, the U.K. digital, culture and media secretary, told the newspaper that the digital powerhouses were failing to provide users with clear and concise terms and conditions for how personal data is used. His goal is to get the information onto one page.”

The Register: Your code is RUBBISH, says GitHub. Good thing we’re here to save you. “Last year, GitHub added security scanning to its dependency graph and flicked the lid off a can absolutely crawling with bugs. The code-sharing site kicked off vulnerability scanning late last year, focussing on known CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures, an announcement list maintained by Carnegie-Mellon University) in Ruby and Javascript libraries…. GitHub announced the first run of the security checker turned up ‘over four million vulnerabilities in over 500,000 repositories’.”


The Sociable: AI for governments monitoring citizen happiness. “Governments may use information gleaned from AI in a beneficial way in monitoring citizen happiness, but this type of data collection carries ethical concerns. The Japanese company NTT DATA has recently collaborated with Spanish startup Social Coin, in a bid to develop an Artificial Intelligence platform used to glean social data from different places around the world. This begs the question: to what end? I decided to dig a little deeper into the full potential and ramifications of using such an AI application in governance.” Good morning, Internet…

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