People Search, Vivaldi, Google, More: Friday Buzz, September 28, 2018


VentureBeat: Findera taps a database of 133 million records to connect professionals. “Ever meet someone at a party whose name you can’t remember? LinkedIn or Facebook can lend a helping hand, but they’re not exactly tailor-made for such searches — at least, not unless you’ve got a few details to go on. That’s why Christophe Daligault, a former general manager at Microsoft, launched Findera, a new search engine designed to help everyday folks, businesspeople, and recruiters find individuals — and their place of work — more quickly. After launching in private alpha earlier this year, it’s available for free starting today.”


CNET: Vivaldi 2.0 browser brings sync, themes and new Chrome-conquering ambitions. “Vivaldi, with about 1 million people using it each month, doesn’t have anything like the visibility or clout of Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox or Apple’s Safari. But if you’re looking for something different — especially lots of customization — it can be worth a look with the new version released Wednesday.”

PC Magazine UK: Google Search Turns 20 With New Easter Eggs, Homepage Doodle. “Today is the 20th anniversary of Google’s search page, and the company is throwing in a new doodle and a bunch of silly search Easter eggs for you to type into the home page.”

Google Blog: Image rights metadata in Google Images. “As part of a collaboration between Google, photo industry consortium CEPIC, and IPTC, the global technical standards body for the news media, you can now access rights-related image metadata in Google Images.”


NBC News: On Reddit, Russian propagandists try new tricks. “The ongoing cat-and-mouse game between Russia-linked propagandists and tech companies now includes a simple tactic the Russians are using to sidestep social media bans — changing web addresses.”

Daily Beast: The Strange Disappearance of LGBT Content From Federal Websites. “One of the first things LGBT advocates noticed after the inauguration of Donald Trump was what happened to the White House’s LGBT rights website—namely, it vanished. That removal—as Snopes and other fact-checkers noted—was part of a more general archiving of material from the Obama White House. But it was telling still, as the Washington Post observed, that the incoming presidential administration ‘did not choose to include anything about the LGBT community’ on its new web presence.”

Inside Higher Education: Controversy Over an ISIS Archive . “Middle East studies scholars are criticizing a decision by George Washington University to cooperate with The New York Times to create a public online archive of the ‘ISIS files,’ internal Islamic State documents that were removed from Iraq by the newspaper and became the subject of the investigative article ‘The ISIS Files.’ The Middle East Studies Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom previously criticized the newspaper’s decision to remove and publicize the documents, arguing in a letter in May that the Times had no right to remove the documents and that the publication of documents containing personal information risked endangering the safety of individual Iraqis.”


TechCrunch: DoorDash customers say their accounts have been hacked. “Dozens of people have tweeted at @DoorDash with complaints that their accounts had been improperly accessed and had fraudulent food deliveries charged to their account. In many cases, the hackers changed their email addresses so that the user could not regain access to their account until they contacted customer services. Yet, many said that they never got a response from DoorDash, or if they did, there was no resolution.”

Ars Technica: Defcon Voting Village report: bug in one system could “flip Electoral College”. “Today, six prominent information-security experts who took part in DEF CON’s Voting Village in Las Vegas last month issued a report on vulnerabilities they had discovered in voting equipment and related computer systems. One vulnerability they discovered—in a high-speed vote-tabulating system used to count votes for entire counties in 23 states—could allow an attacker to remotely hijack the system over a network and alter the vote count, changing results for large blocks of voters. ‘Hacking just one of these machines could enable an attacker to flip the Electoral College and determine the outcome of a presidential election,’ the authors of the report warned.”

Gizmodo: Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information. “Last week, I ran an ad on Facebook that was targeted at a computer science professor named Alan Mislove. Mislove studies how privacy works on social networks and had a theory that Facebook is letting advertisers reach users with contact information collected in surprising ways. I was helping him test the theory by targeting him in a way Facebook had previously told me wouldn’t work. I directed the ad to display to a Facebook account connected to the landline number for Alan Mislove’s office, a number Mislove has never provided to Facebook. He saw the ad within hours.”


ScienceDaily: Analysis of billions of Twitter words reveals how American English develops . “Linguists and geographers analysed 8.9 billion words contained within 980 million Tweets posted across the United States between 2013 and 2014 to identify the regions from which new words tend to originate. Led by Professor Jack Grieve, from the Centre for Corpus Research at the University of Birmingham, researchers used advanced computer technology to analyse the geocoded Tweets which revealed the precise longitude and latitude of the user at the time of posting.”

University at Buffalo: Your Facebook friends don’t mean it, but they’re likely hurting you daily . “Social media sites often present users with social exclusion information that may actually inhibit intelligent thought, according to the co-author of a University at Buffalo study that takes a critical look not just at Facebook and other similar platforms, but at the peculiarities of the systems on which these sites operate. The short-term effects of these posts create negative emotions in the users who read them, and may affect thought processes in ways that make users more susceptible to advertising messages.” Good morning, Internet…

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