Facebook Hack, Vietnam Researchers, Gaming Easter Eggs, More: Saturday Buzz, September 29, 2018

From Facebook Yesterday: Security Update. “On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 25, our engineering team discovered a security issue affecting almost 50 million accounts. We’re taking this incredibly seriously and wanted to let everyone know what’s happened and the immediate action we’ve taken to protect people’s security.”


Scientific Data: An open database of productivity in Vietnam’s social sciences and humanities for public use. “This study presents a description of an open database on scientific output of Vietnamese researchers in social sciences and humanities, one that corrects for the shortcomings in current research publication databases such as data duplication, slow update, and a substantial cost of doing science. Here, using scientists’ self-reports, open online sources and cross-checking with Scopus database, we introduce a manual system and its semi-automated version of the database on the profiles of 657 Vietnamese researchers in social sciences and humanities who have published in Scopus-indexed journals from 2008 to 2018.”

New-to-me, from MakeUseOf: Browse the Best Gaming Easter Eggs and Deleted Content on This Site. “With all the work that goes into developing video games, do you ever wonder what gets left behind? It’s a common occurrence for developers to leave all sorts of graphics, music, secret messages, and other tidbits in their games. As it turns out, there’s a website that’s completely dedicated to finding unused content in games. It’s called The Cutting Room Floor (TCRF), and it’s definitely worth a look if you’re into games.”


Ars Technica: Microsoft killing off the old Skype client… for real this time. “In July, Microsoft announced plans to end support for the ‘classic’ Skype client in September. But those plans were put on hold after the Skype community complained that the new, modern client was missing some beloved features from the classic client. With plans now in place to reinstate those missing features, Microsoft has resurrected plans to deprecate the old Skype client.”

CNET: Google CEO Pichai to testify before US House committee in November. “Google CEO Sundar Pichai has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, Reuters reported earlier Friday and Pichai has confirmed. The announcement follows a private meeting Pichai reportedly had with top Republican lawmakers, set up by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, to discuss a variety of topics, including the Google’s alleged political bias in search results. Google has denied it has such a bias.”


Poynter: When and how to use 4chan to cover conspiracy theories. “It’s where the Pizzagate and QAnon conspiracy theories were born. It’s where people regularly coordinate hoaxes to try and trick the media into reporting them. And, heading into this fall’s U.S. midterm elections, anonymous message boards and apps like 4chan, 8chan and Discord could be valuable resources for reporters. Of key importance in tracking down viral political hoaxes are sites like 4chan, where conspiracies often first bubble up. With that mind, here are a few tips for using anonymous message boards to cover conspiracy theories.”


University of California Press: A Long Journey to the Washington Mall: A History of Black Museums. “To commemorate the fortieth anniversary (1978–2018) of the African American Museum Association (AAMA), known today as the Association of African American Museums (AAAM), The Public Historian has published a special issue on ‘The State of Black Museums.’ We are pleased to make this issue free for you to read online for a limited time.” I came across this within the last couple of days but it was published in August. I checked two of the articles and it seems they are still available for free.

Neowin: Apple demands hefty $9 billion price tag from Google for default search on iOS . “Having the second largest market share in the smartphone market affords Apple not only serious bragging rights but, as it turns out, it’s also an avenue for some very lucrative deals when it comes to selecting which third-party services work as defaults on Apple devices.”


TechCrunch: Chegg resets 40 million user passwords after data breach . “Chegg, a technology giant specializing in textbook rental, has confirmed a data breach affecting some 40 million customers. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it will reset all user passwords after hackers gained access to the company’s customer database. That database includes users for Chegg’s website but also other products, such as citation service EasyBib, which it owns.”

Tenth Amendment Center: New York Bill Would Limit Surveillance Databases, Hinder Federal Spy Programs. “A bill introduced in the New York Assembly would prohibit the state from creating any database containing aggregate surveillance data including ALPR, audio, video and facial recognition records. Passage would not only protect privacy in New York; it would also put major roadblocks in front of federal surveillance programs.”


Google Blog: Building Google Dataset Search and Fostering an Open Data Ecosystem. “Earlier this month we launched Google Dataset Search, a tool designed to make it easier for researchers to discover datasets that can help with their work. What we colloquially call ‘Google Scholar for data,’ Google Dataset Search is a search engine across metadata for millions of datasets in thousands of repositories across the Web. In this post, we go into some detail of how Dataset Search is built, outlining what we believe will help develop an open data ecosystem, and we also address the question that we received frequently since the Dataset Search launch, ‘Why is my dataset not showing up in Google Dataset Search?'”

Washington Post: Study links restricting screen time for kids to higher mental performance. “Parents who possess the resolve to separate their children from their smartphones may be helping their kids’ brainpower, a new study suggests. Children who use smartphones and other devices in their free time for less than two hours a day performed better on cognitive tests assessing their thinking, language and memory, according to a study published Wednesday in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.” Good morning, Internet…

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