afternoonbuzz

US Neighborhoods, NHL Coaches, Patent Prior Art, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, October 3, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

US Census Bureau: The Opportunity Atlas. “In a new study, we construct a comprehensive census tract-level atlas of children’s outcomes in adulthood using anonymized data covering nearly the entire U.S. population. For each tract, we estimate children’s earnings distributions, incarceration rates, and other outcomes in adulthood by parental income, race and gender. These estimates allow us to trace the roots of outcomes such as poverty and incarceration to the neighborhoods in which children grew up. All research results are provided in a new publicly available online data visualization tool, the Opportunity Atlas…”

A new Web site is designed to provide information on the roles of NHL hockey coaches– and eventually, for coaches of other hockey leagues as well: http://behindthebenches.com . From the About page: “Up until now, there hasn’t been a convenient way to look up the specific roles and histories of NHL coaching staffs. Behind the Benches hopes to change that. We want our site to be a trustworthy resource for fans and members of the media who want to know more about coaches and what they do. Eventually, we plan to expand our data into leagues outside of the NHL, including the AHL, NCAA D-1, the CWHL, and the NWHL.”

Google Blog: Coming together to create a prior art archive. “A healthy patent system requires that patent applicants and examiners be able to find and access the best documentation of state-of-the-art technology. This documentation is often found in sources other than patents. Non-patent literature can be particularly hard to find and access in the software field, where it may take the form of user manuals, technical specifications, or product marketing materials. Without access to this information, patent offices may issue patents covering existing technology, or not recognize trivial extensions of published research, removing the public’s right to use it and bringing the reliability of patent rights into question. To address this problem, academia and industry have worked together to launch the Prior Art Archive, created through a collaboration between the MIT Media Lab, Cisco and the USPTO, and hosted by MIT. The Prior Art Archive is a new, open access system that allows anyone to upload those hard-to-find technical materials and make them easily searchable by everyone.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

BetaNews: Google launches new .page TLD. “Google has announced the availability of a new TLD (top-level domain) from its own Google Registry. Joining the likes of .com and .org comes .page which is described as ‘a new opportunity for anyone to build an online presence’.”

Quartz: GeoCities Japan is finally shutting down. “Yahoo Japan announced today (Oct. 1) that it will shut down (link in Japanese) its GeoCities service in March 2019, 22 years after its launch. The company said in a statement that it was hard to encapsulate in one word the reason for the shut down, but that profitability and technological issues were primary factors. It added that it was full of ‘regret’ for the fate of the immense amount of information that would be lost as a result of the service’s closure.”

USEFUL STUFF

CNET: Google tested this security app with activists in Venezuela. Now you can use it too. “The app takes on DNS (Domain Name System) manipulation, one of the most common techniques used for political manipulation and spreading malware. Intra creates an encrypted connection between your phone and DNS servers, which makes it much harder for governments and hackers to intercept that traffic.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Federal News Radio: Report: Government is underutilizing social media. “Government agencies have been slow to adapt to the way Americans are switching to social media, missing out on or underutilizing a powerful and efficient solution for delivering information and engaging the public. This assessment comes from a new report issued in September 2018 by Hootsuite, the social media platform manager. In The State of Social Media in Government in 2018, Hootsuite’s authors detail how social media behavior is changing government communications. And it offers recommendations to media managers at all levels of government on how to take advantage of the changing landscape.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

TechCrunch: Website flaw exposed a Canadian ISP’s entire customer database. “Canadian internet provider Altima Telecom has fixed a flaw in its website that could have given an attacker full access to its customer database. The customer database was connected to the company’s website, but could be remotely accessed with a blind SQL injection attack. Daley Borda, founder of Underdog Security, found the bug and reported it to TechCrunch, which we passed on to Altima.”

Ars Technica: First UEFI malware discovered in wild is laptop security software hijacked by Russians. “ESET Research has published a paper detailing the discovery of a malware campaign that used repurposed commercial software to create a backdoor in computers’ firmware—a ‘rootkit,’ active since at least early 2017 and capable of surviving the re-installation of the Windows operating system or even hard drive replacement. While the malware had been spotted previously, ESET’s research is the first to show that it was actively attacking the firmware of computers to establish a tenacious foothold.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

EurekAlert: Can we trust digital forensic evidence? . “Digital forensics is the recovery and investigation of digital devices and digital materials, often related to serious crimes, such as terrorism and murder, but also more localised issues within the workplace such as employee misconduct and cyber bullying.New research at the University of York examining digital forensic laboratories in England and Wales has shown that evidence of the accuracy of digital forensic methods may be missing from the regulatory framework.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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