Canada Textbooks, Firefox, Twitter, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, September 6, 2018


CBC: Digital archive of old B.C. textbooks highlights ‘constant dehumanizing of Indigenous people’. “Pia Russell does her work and research deep in the archives of the library at the University of Victoria — but is making sure that the legacy of prejudice she’s uncovering in old school textbooks is not forgotten. Russell, a subject librarian at UVic’s McPherson Library who is responsible for Indigenous studies, has started creating a digital collection of historical textbooks used in B.C. schools since 1866.”


Mozilla Blog: Latest Firefox Releases Available Today. “The latest versions of Firefox for desktop, Android and iOS launched today. Since our last release update, we’ve been working on a couple improvements and laying the foundation for upcoming future releases.”

BBC: Twitter: Algorithms were not always impartial. “Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey has told US lawmakers the company’s algorithms have not always been ‘impartial’. He said the platform ‘unfairly’ reduced the visibility of 600,000 accounts, including some members of Congress. But he was unable to immediately say whether a majority of them were Republican, Democratic or otherwise.”

Reuters: Facebook to invest $1 billion in first Asian data centre in Singapore. “Facebook (FB.O) said on Thursday it will invest more than $1 billion to build its first data centre in Asia in Singapore, slated to open in 2022.”


CNET: How Reddit helped me tackle my biggest insecurity. “Like many preteens going through puberty, I had acne. And like many preteens suffering from the problem, I was mortified by it. Starting when I was 12, each new blistering breakout made me anxious to go outside (let alone attend school), talk to my classmates and meet new people. While my skin cleared up a bit once I emerged from the universally awkward hell known as adolescence, I still have leftover facial scarring and intermittent breakouts that make me apprehensive to appear in photos or CNET videos without makeup. But recently, I’ve begun to embrace this lingering insecurity. And surprisingly, it all stems from Reddit, a site many consider to be the most toxic place on the internet because of the infamous vitriol and trolling by some of its millions and millions of anonymous users.”

Ars Technica: Google wants to get rid of URLs but doesn’t know what to use instead. “Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), the online addresses that make up such an important part of the Web and browsers we use, are problematic things. Their complex structure is routinely exploited by bad actors who create phishing sites that superficially appear to be legitimate but are in fact malicious. Sometimes the tricks are as simple as creating a long domain name that’s too wide to be shown in a mobile browser; other times, such as in the above picture, more nefarious techniques are used. It’s for this reason that a number of Chrome developers want to come up with something new. But what that new thing should be is harder to say.”

BuzzFeed News: This Group Posed As Russian Trolls And Bought Political Ads On Google. It Was Easy.. “Google says it’s securing its ad platform against foreign meddlers, but for just $35 researchers posing as Russian trolls were able to run political ads without any hurdles.”


TechCrunch: Wikimedia warns EU copyright reform threatens the ‘vibrant free web’. “The Wikimedia Foundation has sounded a stark warning against a copyright reform proposal in Europe that’s due to be voted on by the European Parliament next week. (With the mild irony that it’s done so with a blog post on the commercial Medium platform.)”

BetaNews: Malware writers exploit recent Windows Task Scheduler 0-day vulnerability. “It’s a little over a week since a vulnerability in the Windows Task Scheduler was revealed. A patch for the 0-day has been released by third party security firm 0patch, but there’s bad news for anyone who hasn’t secure their system against the security threat — malware writers are already taking advantage of the flaw.”


EurekAlert: Do you know why and how you forget passwords? . “Do you frequently forget passwords to a baffling array of accounts and websites? Much depends on a password’s importance and how often you use it, according to a Rutgers University-New Brunswick-led study that could spur improved password technology and use.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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