White House Newsletters, Maryborough Floods Of 1955, PACER Dockets, More: Sunday Buzz, September 16, 2018


Quartz: The White House’s website deleted the whole archive of its daily newsletters. “American citizens can get daily updates on the government directly from the White House’s ‘1600 Daily’ newsletter, which was launched in March 2017. The newsletter shares daily updates from the White House, together with a feed of positive news about Donald Trump’s administration… The past issues of the newsletters used to be accessible online, but those pages have been taken down in connection with a White House site redesign in December 2017, according to a report from the Web Integrity Project (WIP) of the Sunlight Foundation, a bipartisan organization focused on government accountability and transparency, released today (Sept. 13).”

State Library of Queensland (Australia): Footage Of The Maryborough Floods Of 1955. “A series of short films made by amateur filmmaker Bill Rahmann have been digitised by State Library of Queensland and made available online. One of these films focuses on the Maryborough floods during March of 1955, following Cyclone Bertha.”

Free Law Project: Uploading PACER Dockets and Oral Argument Recordings to the Internet Archive. “Part of our mission at Free Law Project is to share this information and to ensure its long-term distribution and preservation. A great way to do that is to give it to a neutral third party so that no matter what happens, the information will always be available. For years, we have been lucky to partner with the Internet Archive for this purpose and today we are pleased to share two pieces of news about how we give them information.”


CNET: QAnon: The conspiracy theory that’s sparked Reddit bans, explained. “The theorizing and fanfare around the QAnon theory has been taking place across the internet since before the 2016 presidential election went in favor of then-candidate Donald Trump. But it wasn’t until President Trump held a rally in Tampa Bay, Florida, in early August that the obscure theory came into the mainstream.”

FStoppers: WeTransfer Rival Launches, Offers Free Unlimited File Transfer Size and Longer Availability. “Smash, a new file transfer service has launched, threatening competition such as WeTransfer by becoming the first to offer unlimited file size. The site also allows longer expiration times than WeTransfer’s standard 7 days.”


Ars Technica: Authors’ viral Twitter thread is now a horror film starring Alyson Hannigan. “Last July, Twitter denizens relished a hilarious improvisational thread between fantasy authors Chuck Wendig and Sam Sykes, in which the latter was a summer camp counselor in the midst of a massacre, wondering if, you know, he might be the killer. Now, Wendig has announced on his website that the impromptu story is a feature-length slasher film: You Might Be the Killer, starring Whedonverse superstar Alyson Hannigan (Buffy, How I Met Your Mother) and Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods).”

The Intercept: Google China Prototype Links Searches To Phone Numbers. “GOOGLE BUILT A prototype of a censored search engine for China that links users’ searches to their personal phone numbers, thus making it easier for the Chinese government to monitor people’s queries, The Intercept can reveal.”

The Atlantic: Internet Sleuths Are Hunting for China’s Secret Internment Camps for Muslims. “Citizen journalists and scholars are in a race against time, scouring the internet for evidence before the Chinese government can erase it. Since last year, the country has been sending vast numbers of Muslims to internment camps, where it tries to force them to renounce Islam and embrace the Communist Party, as The New York Times and other media outlets have reported based on interviews with former inmates. At this point, as many as one million Muslims are being held in the camps, according to an estimate widely cited by the UN and U.S. officials.”


The Guardian: GCHQ data collection regime violated human rights, court rules. “GCHQ’s methods for bulk interception of online communications violated privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards, the European court of human rights has ruled. But the ECHR found that GCHQ’s regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal, and it explicitly confirmed that bulk interception with tighter safeguards was permissible.” GCHQ stands for the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters.

MIT Technology Review: “Hundreds” of crimes will soon be solved using DNA databases, genealogist predicts. “Suspects in hundreds of unsolved murders and rapes will be identified using public DNA databases in the near future, a prominent genealogist predicted during MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference today.”

AP: Apple, Firefox tools aim to thwart Facebook, Google tracking. “Facebook and other companies routinely track your online surfing habits to better target ads at you. Two web browsers now want to help you fight back in what’s becoming an escalating privacy arms race. New protections in Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers aim to prevent companies from turning ‘cookie’ data files used to store sign-in details and preferences into broader trackers that take note of what you read, watch and research on other sites.”


Slate: Facebook’s Crackdown on Misinformation Might Actually Be Working. “Facebook’s efforts to reduce misinformation in its news feed since the 2016 election have opened the company to all manner of criticism, including allegations of political bias from both left and right. But a new study from researchers at Stanford University, New York University, and Microsoft Research suggests they might actually be working—at least, to some extent.” Good morning, Internet…

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