Financial Advisers, Facebook Free Basics, Top-Level Domains, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, May 3, 2018


InvestmentNews: Beyond BrokerCheck: SEC adds online adviser search tool. “The SEC has added an online search feature to its website that enables investors to check whether advisers have a judgment or order entered against them in an enforcement action. The tool — SEC Action Lookup for Individuals, or SALI — differs from the BrokerCheck site of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. in that it contains information about unregistered as well as registered individuals.”


TechCrunch: Facebook’s Free Basics program ended quietly in Myanmar last year . “As recently as last week, Facebook was touting the growth of Free Basics, its project designed to give users free curated web access in developing countries, but the app isn’t working out everywhere. As the Outline originally reported and TechCrunch confirmed, the Free Basics program has ended in Myanmar, perhaps Facebook’s most controversial non-Western market at the moment.”

Google Blog: Introducing .app, a more secure home for apps on the web. “Even if you spend your days working in the world of mobile apps, you can still benefit from a home on the web. With a memorable .app domain name, it’s easy for people to find and learn more about your app. You can use your new domain as a landing page to share trustworthy download links, keep users up to date, and deep link to in-app content.”


MakeUseOf: An Introduction to Facebook’s Closed and Secret Groups. “One of the more interesting aspects of Facebook is the ability to create and join groups. There are groups for everything on the social network, including groups for dating, groups to sell stuff, groups for mothers, and more besides. The thing is, in addition to the open groups, there are closed and secret Facebook groups too. In this article, you’ll learn more about Facebook groups and the differences between each type, and we’ll show you how to find the closed and secret groups.”


Times of India: Google introduces first VR/360-degree doodle to celebrate the work of Georges Méliès. “Google today brought to life the creations of French filmmaker Georges Méliès to celebrate his life through an interactive VR (Virtual Reality) Doodle. This is the first-ever Virtual Reality (VR)/ 360-degree Interactive doodle to be promoted on Google’s homepage.”

New York Times: What Is Telegram, and Why Are Iran and Russia Trying to Ban It?. “Promising its users protection from the prying eyes of intelligence services, Telegram has become one of the most popular instant messaging apps in the world. But providing a platform that allows users to evade official scrutiny has brought its own problems. In recent years, the Islamic State has used Telegram to organize terrorism plots, disseminate propaganda and claim responsibility for attacks. Now, citing national security, the governments of Iran and Russia are leading attempts to block the Telegram app.”


Gizmodo: Facebook’s New Tool Outs Phishing Sites Posing as ‘Secure’. “Phishing attacks, which sucker unsuspecting users into clicking malicious links or giving up their login credentials, often rely on domain names that appear similar to a site they’re trying to imitate. For example, an attacker might register a domain like faceb00k[.]com and use it to steal users’ Facebook credentials. Unless a user is carefully examining the link, they might not notice that the O’s have been replaced with zeros…. It’s a problem that Facebook wants to fight—and so Facebook is launching a new tool today to help developers protect their domains.”

The Register: Fancy that, Fancy Bear: LoJack anti-laptop theft tool caught phoning home to the Kremlin. “LoJack for Laptops, a software tool designed to rat on computer thieves, appears to be serving a double purpose – by seemingly working with a Russian state-sponsored hacking team. The application allows administrators to remotely lock and locate, and remove files from, stolen personal computers. It’s primarily aimed at corporate IT types who want to protect stuff that gets nicked, but anyone can use it, and it is installed by default on various notebooks.”


The National: How the first Emirati Arabic dialect database will support struggling pupils. “The Emirati dialect has for the first time been turned into a database to work towards identifying development and speech disorders in children. A research project at UAE University’s Department of Linguistics has copyrighted its own corpus of the Emirati Arabic language. It includes a database of transcribed texts based on six children speaking with their carers at home.”

Wired: Bots Aren’t The Enemy In The Information War—We Are. “OVER THE PAST three years, America’s information ecosystem has proven easy pickings for anyone with a fistful of VPN connections and a sweatshop of kids playing World of Trollcraft. Whatever precise effects Russian interference had on the 2016 election, it finished off both social media’s innocence and traditional media’s authority.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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