afternoonbuzz

Facebook, Google Sheets, Excel Sheest, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, May 15, 2018

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

TechCrunch: Facebook launches Youth Portal to educate teens on the platform, how their data is being used. “Today, Facebook is releasing a new Youth Portal that offers some guidance to teens on how to navigate the service, how to stay secure, while also helping them understand how their data is used. Facebook says that that they began showing tips for teens in the newsfeed earlier this month related to some of these topics.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: How to Automate Repetitive Tasks in Google Sheets With Macros . “While Google Sheets has long allowed users to write their own Apps Script functions, macros open up this kind of functionality to all Google Sheets users—no coding experience required. Macros are particularly useful if you find yourself dealing with multiple sheets over and over with similar data or information. For instance, any kind of monthly trackers with elaborate functions to collate data will benefit from the of macros.”

Online Journalism Blog: How to: uncover Excel data only revealed by a drop-down menu. “Sometimes an organisation will publish a spreadsheet where only a part of the full data is shown when you select from a drop-down menu. In order to get all the data, you’d have to manually select each option, and then copy the results into a new spreadsheet. It’s not great. In this post, I’ll explain some tricks for finding out exactly where the full data is hidden, and how to extract it without getting Repetitive Strain Injury.” Ooo. Spreadsheet forensics. I like.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Forbes: The Influence of Instagram: How Social Media Put ‘Riverdale’ On The Map. “The cast of Riverdale takes Instagram very seriously. At first glance, it might not seem like it. Between Lili Reinhart’s ironic captions and KJ Apa’s real-time pranking over Instagram Stories, their interactions with the platform could certainly be read as fun, even frivolous entertainment. But #Riverdale didn’t become the third most followed hashtag globally without a plan. In between the jocularity, there’s some no-nonsense brand marketing going on.”

BBC News: ‘Pakistan’s army tried to hack my Facebook’. “In December 2016 Diep Saeeda, an outspoken human rights activist from the Pakistani city of Lahore, received a short message on Facebook from someone she didn’t know but with whom she had a number of friends in common: ‘Hy dear.’ She didn’t think much of it and never got round to replying. But the messages weren’t coming from a fan of Mrs Saeeda’s activism – instead they were the start of a sustained campaign of digital attacks attempting to install malware on her computer and mobile phone to spy on her and steal her data.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Ars Technica: Decade-old Efail flaws can leak plaintext of PGP- and S/MIME-encrypted emails. “Unfixed bugs in widely used email programs make it possible for attackers to obtain the plaintext of messages that are encrypted using the PGP and S/MIME standards, researchers said early Monday morning. The attacks assume that an attacker has possession of the encrypted emails and can trick either the original sender or one of the recipients into opening an invisible snippet of the intercepted message in a new email.”

The Register: How many ways can a PDF mess up your PC? 47 in this Adobe update alone . “Adobe has posted security updates for Acrobat, Reader, and Photoshop, many of them critical fixes. The developer says the Acrobat and Reader update will address a total of 47 CVE-listed vulnerabilities, including two dozen remote code execution flaws in the PDF readers. Adobe notes that none of the bugs are being actively targeted yet.”

Los Angeles Times: Facebook must face high-stakes trial over privacy and facial recognition, judge rules. “A judge scolded Facebook Inc. for misconstruing his own rulings as he ordered the company to face a high-stakes trial accusing it of violating user privacy. The social media giant has misinterpreted prior court orders by continuing to assert the ‘faulty proposition’ that users can’t win their lawsuit under an Illinois biometric privacy law without proving an ‘actual injury,’ U.S. District Judge James Donato said in a ruling Monday. Likewise, the company’s argument that it’s immune from having to pay a minimum of $1,000, and as much as $5,000, for each violation of the law is ‘not a sound proposition,’ he said.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

EurekAlert: New tool predicts eye, hair and skin color from a DNA sample of an unidentified individual . “An international team, led by scientists from the School of Science at IUPUI and Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, has developed a novel tool to accurately predict eye, hair and skin color from human biological material — even a small DNA sample — left, for example, at a crime scene or obtained from archeological remains. This all-in-one pigmentation profile tool provides a physical description of the person in a way that has not previously been possible by generating all three pigment traits together using a freely available webtool…. The innovative high-probability and high-accuracy complete pigmentation profile webtool is available online without charge.” WOW.

SEO Roundtable: Google: 15% Of All Queries Are Still Never Seen Before. “Since 2013, Google has been saying 15% of queries are new and never seen before by Google. The interesting part, this is five years later and the stat has not changed. In 2007 it was 25% of queries, so it took a big bump down from 2007 to 2013, but since then, at least according to the Google speak, it is still at 15%.” It’s amazing to me that that percentage has stayed steady for FIVE YEARS. Good afternoon, Internet…

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