Death Sentences, Connecticut Newspapers, Excel, More: Monday Buzz, April 2, 2018

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University of Virginia: Mapping The Modern Death Sentence. “Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Law have collaborated on a new website that uses a data-driven, interactive map to illustrate the rapid decline of the issuance of the death sentence in the United States since 1991.”


This is from the beginning of the month at the Hartford Courant and I apparently completely missed it: Connecticut State Library Announces 25 Historic Newspaper Titles to be Digitized. “The Connecticut State Library is pleased to announce that with a third grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 25 newspaper titles have been selected to be digitized for the Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project (CDNP), and made freely available online. ”

ZDNet: Microsoft to add new geography, stocks data types to Excel. “Microsoft is bringing new kinds of AI-enabled data types to Excel, starting with geography and stocks. Up next: Companies’ own organizational data.”

SEO Roundtable: Google Image Search Exact Size Filter To Be Fixed. “If you go to Google Image search and search for any image, let’s say flowers, and then go to the search tools and select the size option. Then you pick “exactly” and enter in a size and hit “Go.” Nothing, absolutely, nothing will happen. There are a bunch of searchers complaining about this issue over the past week in the Google Web Search Help forums.”


MakeUseOf: How to Spot 7 Online Fakes Used by Scammers. “Anyone who’s used the internet (hopefully) knows that you can’t trust everything you see online. Just because something looks trustworthy doesn’t mean that it’s exactly what it claims. But knowing there are fakes in the wild and being able to spot them are different.” Good roundup article with excellent examples.

Hongkiat: 60 Websites to Download Creative Commons Music for Free. “One of the best things about internet is that you can find a lot of free creative resources on it. Like all other useful stuff, there is a ton of music on an array of websites that you can download and use for free. This post is meant to give you a comprehensive list of websites through which you can access and download Creative Commons music for free. Let’s dig right into it.” Decent annotation, which you don’t often see with a list this large.

Lifehacker: Mute Every Website Automatically with This Chrome Extension. “Letting you mute entire websites in Chrome may be the best upgrade Google ever made to the browser, but it could still be better. Sure, muting every site with annoying pop-up videos is great, but what if you didn’t have to deal any audio at all? Thanks to AutoMute, you’ll never have to hear another peep out of your browser ever again.”


Reuters: Google employees organize to fight cyber bullying at work. “About 100 Google U.S. employees concerned about cyber bullying inside the company have organized into a group proposing new policies for conduct at the unit of Alphabet Inc, five people involved in the effort said in recent interviews.”


Boing Boing: Georgia criminalizes routine security research. “Georgia is a hub for cybersecurity research, with leading university computer science and security programs and a new $35m state cybersecurity research center underway; but the Georgia state legislature just passed SB315, the most onerous prohibition on computer security research ever passed in the USA.”

Krebs on Security: Omitting the “o” in .com Could Be Costly. “Take care when typing a domain name into a browser address bar, because it’s far too easy to fat-finger a key and wind up somewhere you don’t want to go. For example, if you try to visit some of the most popular destinations on the Web but omit the ‘o’ in .com (and type .cm instead), there’s a good chance your browser will be bombarded with malware alerts and other misleading messages — potentially even causing your computer to lock up completely. As it happens, many of these domains appear tied to a marketing company whose CEO is a convicted felon and once self-proclaimed ‘Spam King.'”


Nieman Lab: Has Facebook’s algorithm change hurt hyperpartisan sites? According to this data, nope. “An ongoing engagement. It seems as if Facebook’s algorithm changes — which deprioritize publisher content in News Feed in favor of content from family and friends, and are supposed to favor trusted news sources over untrusted ones — would result in decreased traffic for hyperpartisan sites. But so far, data provided to Nieman Lab by NewsWhip suggests, hyperpartisan sites — as well as two totally-just-fake-news sites — are doing as well or better on Facebook, at least when it comes to engagement, as they were before the changes.”

The Verge: 90 percent of affiliate ads on YouTube and Pinterest aren’t disclosed, says study. “A new research paper from Princeton University has found that 90 percent of affiliate posts on YouTube and Pinterest aren’t disclosed to users…. The paper from Princeton analyzed over 500,000 YouTube videos and 2.1 million unique pins on Pinterest. Of those, 0.67 percent, or 3,472 videos on YouTube, and 0.85 percent, or 18,237 pins, contained affiliate links.” Good morning, Internet…

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