Digital Badges, Gurkhas in Singapore, Serres Gospels, More: Wednesday Buzz, June 13, 2018


PRWeb: Concentric Sky Announces BadgeRank – a New Search Engine for Digital Badges (PRESS RELEASE). “Powered by a sophisticated ranking algorithm, BadgeRank indexes over 100,000 digital badges from around the world and ranks them based on signals such as Endorsements by external organizations and Outcomes for credential holders. The ability to sort learning achievements based on meaningful signals is essential to building the next generation of credentialing technology.” Apparently the search engine searches for badges compliant with the Open Badges standard, about which I knew nothing. Overview at .

Quartz: Who are the fiery Gurkhas protecting Trump and Kim in Singapore this week?. “The story of how the Gurkhas got to Singapore in the first place goes back further in the colonial era to the Anglo-Nepal War fought between the East India Company and the Kingdom of Gorkha from 1814 to 1815. Impressed by the Gurkhas’ fighting skills, the British decided to recruit some of them, and these troops followed in the colonial empire’s footsteps as it expanded across southeast Asia. Over the years, over 200,000 Gurkha soldiers would go on to fight in both the world wars, besides serving in Malaysia, the Falkland Islands, and even Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, outside of Nepal, they’re found in a handful of countries, including the UK, India, and Singapore.” The bottom of the article links to an online archive about Gurkhas in Singapore.

British Library: The Serres Gospels goes online. “In this spectacular portrait, Jacob, bishop of Serres (b. 1300, d. 1365), humbly presents his Gospel-book to Christ. He is shown at the end of a copy of the Four Gospels in Old Church Slavonic, known as the Serres Gospels. This book is now completely digitised, and is available to view online on the British Library’s Digitised Manuscripts site.”

StarTribune: Minnesota launches new tool to find outdoor adventures. “On the hunt for the nearest park offering canoe rentals? Searching for a spot with Wi-Fi and a waterfall? Wondering where you might find an accessible yurt? Minnesotans have a new tool to sort through outdoor destinations, as state officials debuted a website Tuesday that serves as a one-stop shop for amenities at hundreds of regional and state parks and trails.”


BuzzFeed: Facebook Just Launched An Excruciatingly Difficult Tool To Rate Advertisers. “Facebook rolled out a new tool Tuesday that allows you to leave feedback about vendors and your shopping experiences after clicking on a business ad. There’s a teeny problem though: The tool is buried within a series of Facebook menus.”

CNET: Chrome extensions soon only available from Google’s website. “If you want to install Chrome extensions, Google’s Chrome Web Store soon will be the only place to get them. Extensions — the software that lets you do things like block ads, manage your tabs better, explore art on your new-tab page or cover your screen with doge dogs — can be useful and fun. Unfortunately, they can also be a conduit for malware that spies on you or cryptocurrency miners that let others profit off your computer’s horsepower.” I’m not sure how this is supposed to be safer.

Powder: Leave No Trace Announces Social Media Guidelines for the Outdoors. “The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a national organization that protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly, recently released new guidelines for social media as it relates to documenting our time spent in the outdoors. We like their suggestions a lot.”


BBC: Hidden writing in ancient desert monastery manuscripts. “For a monk who lives in the Sinai desert in Egypt, in the world’s oldest working monastery, Father Justin replies to emails very speedily. It should come as no surprise: the Greek Orthodox monk is in charge of hauling the library at St Catherine’s into the 21st Century. This ancient collection of liturgical texts, including some of the earliest Christian writing and second in size only to the Vatican, is going to be made available online for scholars all over the world.”


Ars Technica: FBI recovers $14M from bogus business account wire transfers. “Federal authorities announced Monday that they had “disrupted” what they call ‘Business Email Compromise’ schemes, which involve a malicious actor sending a phishing email and somehow convincing employees with access to a company’s financial credentials to transfer money fraudulently. The FBI added that $2.4 million dollars was seized, while $14 million in ‘fraudulent wire transfers’ was recovered.”

BetaNews: Dixons Carphone suffers two major security breaches exposing customers’ bank card details and personal information. “Another week, another cyberattack. This time around, it’s the Dixons Carphone group which says it has fallen victim to not one but two major breaches. The bank card details of 5.9 million customers have been accessed by hackers in the first breach. In the second, the personal records of 1.2 million people have been exposed.”


Scholarly Kitchen: Has Google Become a Journal Publisher?. “An initiative emanating out of Google Brain with the participation of YC Research, DeepMind, and OpenAI is the publication of what appears to be a ‘house’ journal called Distill, which is ostensibly published by the Distill Working Group. Where this working group resides isn’t clear. Distill is positioned as a research journal, claims to be peer-reviewed, and is indexed in Google Scholar. Their archival strategy consists of backups and the Internet Archive, but they claim they are thinking about adding LOCKSS to their archiving approach.”

Wired: How Pro-Eating Disorder Posts Evade Filters On Social Media. “New research published last month in the peer-reviewed journal New Media & Society highlights how pro-ED groups continue to evade attempts at moderation. The study also found that sites like Pinterest and Instagram sometimes suggest more pro-ED content to users via their recommendation algorithms.” Good morning, Internet…

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