Google Fi, Windows 10, WordPress 5.0, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, November 14, 2018


Ars Technica: Google adds always-on VPN to its Project Fi cellular service. “Today, Google announced a new feature for its Project Fi cellular service: an always-on VPN. Project Fi’s VPN previously was used to encrypt traffic while connecting to a network of free public Wi-Fi hotspots, but now Google will enable the VPN for all your traffic, be it over the LTE service or a Wi-Fi connection.”

PC World: Microsoft re-releases the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, admitting its testing needs to improve. “Microsoft said Tuesday that it’s begun slowly releasing the postponed Windows 10 October 2018 Update once again to the general public, having put in place additional ‘signals’ that will allow users to flag instances where data loss might occur.”

WordPress 5.0 Beta 4 is now available.. “The WordPress 5.0 release date has changed, it is now scheduled for release on November 27, and we need your help to get there.”

Engadget: Facebook’s new career site aims to help job-seekers hone their skills. “Facebook has updated some of its career tools and launched a new website in order to help its users find new job opportunities, the company said today. Now, along with posting jobs on their Pages, businesses can also post them in Groups, and Facebook says its Mentorship tool will now make it easier for people to choose a mentor based on relevant goals and interests. Individuals will be able to share info about what they’re looking for or what they can offer as a mentorship partner, and members of their Group can look through a list of that information to find a partner. The tool will also provide weekly prompts to keep mentorship pairs’ conversations moving along.”


MakeUseOf: The 15 Best Web Proxies for Geo-Blocked Content and Online Privacy. “Want to improve your online privacy but don’t want to use a VPN? The alternative is a web proxy, but with so many available, the experience can differ wildly. If you’re looking for a free web proxy that actually works, keep reading. We’ve listed the top 15 services available today.”


CNET: China deletes 9,800 social media accounts of independent media. “Chinese has erased 9,800 social media accounts tied to independent media. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said the accounts violated rules such as ‘spreading politically harmful information, maliciously falsifying (Chinese Communist) party history, slandering heroes and defaming the nation’s image,’ Reuters reported Monday.”

Atlas Obscura: You Can Now Eavesdrop on Orcas on Your Computer . “An internet app called OrcaSound allows citizen scientists to livestream the ocean sounds of the Pacific Northwest from anywhere in the world, to help gather data about the resident killer whales and their environs. Scott Veirs, the project’s lead researcher, said that hydrophones (underwater microphones) have been in place off Washington’s San Juan Island since the mid-2000s, capturing the submarine goings-on and bringing them to listeners in a rudimentary form. The app relaunched recently, and now offers real-time streaming, as well as sounds from an all-new hydrophone station off Whidbey Island, just to the southeast of the the older ones.”

Chronicle of Higher Education: Will Blockchain Revolutionize Scholarly Journal Publishing?. “Since the 1990s, some academic netizens have predicted that open access will upend scholarly journal publishing, yet an oligopoly still dominates the $25-billion industry. Orvium, a European start-up, recently joined those taking on the giant players. It offers a publishing and business plan based on blockchain — a coding structure that embeds origins and changes within a file. The format will allow for open-access or other licensing models to be determined by each client journal’s editors. The company’s ultimate objective is ‘to be the leading publication platform for the research community while returning the benefits of science to society.'”

The Next Web: Digital rights groups demand Facebook let you appeal removed posts. “A group of 88 civil liberties groups have penned an open letter to Facebook requesting the company allow users to appeal whenever their posts are removed — an option they currently do not have.”


New York Times: Facebook Failed to Police How Its Partners Handled User Data. “Facebook’s loose oversight of the partnerships was detected by the company’s government-approved privacy monitor in 2013. But it was never revealed to Facebook users, most of whom had not explicitly given the company permission to share their information. Details of those oversight practices were revealed in a letter Facebook sent last month to Senator Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat, a privacy advocate and frequent critic of the social media giant.”

9to5 Mac: Some iPhone users finding their Apple ID accounts have been inexplicably locked, requiring password resets. “We haven’t quite yet worked out the pattern or the cause but we have received many reports of users waking up to find that their Apple ID has been locked, and plenty more are complaining on social media. Apple will lock accounts for many different reasons, usually when someone attempts to access an ID by entering their incorrect password too many times.”

TechCrunch: Facebook bug let websites read ‘likes’ and interests from a user’s profile . “Facebook has fixed a bug that let any website pull information from a user’s profile — including their ‘likes’ and interests — without that user’s knowledge. That’s the findings from Ron Masas, a security researcher at Imperva, who found that Facebook search results weren’t properly protected from cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks. In other words, a website could quietly siphon off certain bits of data from your logged-in Facebook profile in another tab.” Good morning, Internet…

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