Seabed Sediment, School Shootings, Mental Health Data, More: Thursday Buzz, October 11, 2018


Scoop New Zealand: Handwritten files provide sediment treasure chest. “Marine geologist Dr Helen Bostock has created a new seabed sediment database for New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf. The database, called nzSEABED, provides information on the percentage of mud, sand and gravel contained in seafloor sediment, which she has used to produce charts plotting their distribution.”

WIVB: Database shows information on school shootings in US. “Two postgraduate students in California have put together an unusual database. It has information on every school shooting in the U.S. over the past 50 years.”

CBR: Mental Health Data Hub Simplifies Datasets for Health Workers. “Coinciding with world mental health day NHS Digital is launching the Mental Health Data Hub which will provide an access point for healthcare workers and researchers to NHS datasets. The Mental Health Data Hub was created by NHS Digital the national information and technology partner of the UK’s health system. The online hub contains official published figures and statistics on mental health, learning disabilities and autism services. It also includes information on the number of people in contact with mental health services.”

What’s New In Publishing: New Humanist archive shows how digital publishing can preserve cultural history.”New Humanist, the 133-year-old periodical published by the Rationalist Association, whose past members include Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell and HG Wells, has made available its entire back catalogue as a digital archive for both individuals and institutions.”


CNET: Snapchat unveils scripted original shows and docuseries. “Snapchat, which has struggled to keep its daily active users, is trying to entice teens to spend more time on the app with the release of new original shows. On Wednesday, the ephemeral messaging app unveiled a list of 12 exclusive scripted shows and docuseries that will make their debut this fall.”

The Intercept: Leaked Transcript Of Private Meeting Contradicts Google’s Official Story On China. “[Ben] Gomes’s remarks to staff, which can be read in full below, highlight the stark contrast between Google’s public and private statements about Dragonfly. The secretive project has been underway since spring 2017 — and has involved about 300 employees, the majority of whom have worked full-time on the plan. It was far beyond an “exploration,” and the plan to launch it was well-developed, as some of Google’s own employees have themselves highlighted in recent weeks, despite the company’s efforts to suppress such information.”


Business Insider: France wants Google to take down pictures of prisons after ‘the jailbreak king’ escaped one by helicopter. “France has asked Google to remove photos of prisons from the internet, including one from which a notorious criminal known as ‘the jailbreak king’ escaped by helicopter this year. Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said she had written to the internet search engine to request the removal of sensitive photos, but no action had been taken.”

The Verge: The many annoying ways Google forced users onto Google+. “Yesterday, Google announced plans to shut down the consumer version of Google+ after a previously undisclosed security flaw was brought to light. Launched in June 2011, Google+ was Google’s most ambitious attempt at creating a social networking platform. It rapidly gained millions of users, but as usage slowed, Google wedged Google+ into countless services, pushing people to join and use the network — whether they wanted to or not.”


The Register: World’s largest CCTV maker leaves at least 9 million cameras open to public viewing . “Yet another IoT device vendor has been found to be exposing their products to attackers with basic security lapses. This time, it’s Chinese surveillance camera maker Xiongmai who was named and shamed by researchers with SEC Consult for the poor security in the XMEye P2P Cloud service. Among the problems researchers pointed to were exposed default credentials and unsigned firmware updates that could be delivered via the service.”

TechCrunch: Garmin-owned navigation unit exposed thousands of boat owners’ data. “Navionics, an electronic navigational chart maker owned by tech giant Garmin, has secured an exposed database that contained hundreds of thousands of customer records. The MongoDB database wasn’t secured with a password, allowing anyone who knew where to look to access and download the data.”

Engadget: Report: US weapons systems are highly vulnerable to cyber attacks. “The Department of Defense will have to ramp up its cybersecurity efforts now that it’s planning to spend $1.66 trillion to develop major weapons systems. According to a new report (PDF) by the Government Accountability Office, nearly all of Pentagon’s weapons systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks.” Sometimes I have to do ResearchBuzz with a side order of Tums.


WCET Frontiers: Research Dispels Myth that Adult Students Don’t Cheat in Online Classes. “I shared the results of a study my colleagues and I conducted, examining 9 sections of a popular online course; we varied which of the four exams, all taken from the same exam pools, that were proctored and looked at the effects of proctoring and the amount of time students took to complete the tests. This controlled for teacher effects and exam difficulty effects.” Good morning, Internet…

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