iPhone Security, Free Ebooks, UK Genealogy, More: Monday Buzz, June 25, 2018

I mentioned this in an earlier issue so let me put this up-top: It does not appear that iPhones are vulnerable to brute force password attacks. From a BetaNews article: “One hacker thought he had cracked it. Security researcher Matthew Hickey proudly boasted at having discovered a delightfully simple method for brute-forcing entry into an iPhone — he even posted a video of his hack in action. But there’s no need to panic. Apple explains that ‘incorrect testing’ renders Hickey’s method worthless.”


DPLA: DPLA launches Open Bookshelf, a Collection of Free Ebooks. “The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce the launch of Open Bookshelf, a digital library collection of popular books free to download and handpicked by librarians across the US. The collection currently has more than 1,000 books, with new titles added daily. Open Bookshelf is designed both for libraries and for readers: it is currently available to libraries through the DPLA Exchange and to readers via the SimplyE mobile app.”

Family Tree: Change of Names database released by TheGenealogist. “A new database released by TheGenealogist today allows researchers to search for ancestors who officially changed their forename or surname in Britain.”


TechCrunch: Facebook expands fact-checking program, adopts new technology for fighting fake news. “Facebook this morning announced an expansion of its fact-checking program and other actions it’s taking to combat the scourge of fake news on its social network. The company, which was found to be compromised by Russian trolls whose disinformation campaigns around the November 2016 presidential election reached 150 million Americans, has been increasing its efforts at fact-checking news through a combination of technology and human review in the months since.”


CogDogBlog: More Than Archiving, Organizing Your Shared Stuff Begins at Home. “To archive something to make sure it’s never lost, is important, but I have a different angle on shaving with your own Occam brand razor. Developing a process of managing all the stuff you create before it goes into the cloud, is not only about saving it from destruction, but more so, to make it as useful to yourself as possible. The cloud should never be the primary place to store / manage what you create; it should always be the exhaust.”


Ars Technica: Selfies show worm slithered through woman’s face for 2 weeks. WARNING: the pictures in this story are not traditionally gory, but they left me nauseated. “A 32-year-old woman who visited a rural area outside of Moscow returned home with a surprising stowaway—in her face. And it was a restless one at that, according to a short report published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).”

EurekAlert: NSF funds Natural History Museum of Utah, College of Ed to develop online curriculum . “The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant with total funding expected to reach $1.3 million this month to the Natural History Museum of Utah and the College of Education at the University of Utah to develop and evaluate an on-line learning environment to support student learning in the biosciences.”

The Verge: Young People Still Love Twitter — As Screenshots On Instagram. “As social media platforms grow more popular, younger audiences tend to flee in search of newer alternatives. This generation is no different. Pew Research Center recently reported that fewer teenagers than ever are using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. But that doesn’t mean that younger users are finished with the content from those sites altogether. Instead, Instagram — still hugely popular as a place to post glossy, aspirational images of your vacation, your coffee, or gratuitous selfies — has grown into a home away from home to consume screenshots of the best content from those services.”


Business Insider: ‘You will have victims’ blood all over your hands’: Sexual harassment lawyer accuses Google of killing revenge porn laws. “Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer who fights online sexual harassment, has accused Google of making an eleventh-hour intervention to kill new revenge porn laws in the US state of New York. The bill has been in the works in Albany, New York, for five years. It would have made the nonconsensual dissemination of sexually explicit images a misdemeanour punishable by up to a year in jail. It would also have allowed victims to sue web hosts to remove the offending images.”

Egypt Independent: Egypt parliament considers draft law to impose taxes on Social Media advertisements. “The Egyptian Parliament is considering a draft law presented that will impose taxes on companies which advertise on social networking including Facebook and Google.”


MIT Technology Review: It’s time to rein in the data barons. “Facebook, Google, and Amazon all have business models that require them to scoop up large amounts of data about people to power their algorithms, and they derive their power from this information. It’s the sheer scale and sophistication of the data-collection empires they’ve built that make them so distinctive. For the past decade or so, these three firms have had a relatively smooth ride to the top. Their cornucopia of services, often provided for free, made them immensely popular and turned them into some of the most valuable businesses in the world. Their combined market capitalization of some $2 trillion at the end of May was roughly equal to the GDP of Italy. Now, however, debates are in full swing on both sides of the Atlantic about how to deal with their dominance.”

Bloomberg Quint: Everyone Should Hate Google Glass. “The summer of 2014 was a turning point for me. I had always considered myself a genuinely nice person who would never consider violence against a stranger. But then, at a conference in Silicon Valley, I saw a guy wearing the Google glasses with the little camera attached. I had to suppress the urge to punch him in the face. It gave me a visceral understanding of the Luddites. I hated the guy for his smug assumption that everyone should submit to his digital intrusion.” Good morning, Internet…

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2 replies »

  1. Re: Family Tree: Change of Names database released by TheGenealogist.
    Access requires a Diamond subscription to TheGenealogist website. £119.45 per annum.

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