Firearm Deaths, Firefox Monitor, Windows Updates, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 16, 2018


EurekAlert: Researchers launch website on firearm deaths & injuries among children. “Based at the University of Michigan, with more than two dozen researchers from 12 universities and health systems, FACTS aims to fill a knowledge gap about firearms and young people, and make up for a ‘lost generation’ of research on the issue. The effort is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health.”


Mozilla Blog: Firefox Monitor Launches in 26 Languages and Adds New Desktop Browser Feature. “Along with making Monitor available in multiple languages, today we’re also releasing a new feature exclusively for Firefox users. Specifically, we are adding a notification to our Firefox Quantum browser that alerts desktop users when they visit a site that has had a recently reported data breach. We’re bringing this functionality to Firefox users in recognition of the growing interest in these types of privacy- and security-centric features. This new functionality will gradually roll out to Firefox users over the coming weeks.”

The Register: If at first or second you don’t succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update. “The 1809 build of Windows 10 and Windows Server is fast becoming infamous, after Redmond pulled it shortly after release when it started deleting people’s files and stumbling in other ways. Redmond reissued the software on Tuesday, and today it’s clear you shouldn’t rush into deploying it, if installing it at all, in its present state.”


Mashable: Facebook’s board just responded to that New York Times bombshell. “Following the Nov. 14 New York Times bombshell report detailing a host of gross miscalculations and alleged malfeasance at the social media giant both in the run up to and following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Facebook board has come out with a statement. And oh boy, even filtered through innumerable layers of corporate speak the message is clear: Board members aren’t happy with Mark Zuckerberg.”

New York Times: ‘I Don’t Really Want to Work for Facebook.’ So Say Some Computer Science Students.. “A job at Facebook sounds pretty plum. The interns make around $8,000 a month, and an entry-level software engineer makes about $140,000 a year. The food is free. There’s a walking trail with indigenous plants and a juice bar. But the tone among highly sought-after computer scientists about the social network is changing. On a recent night at the University of California, Berkeley, as a group of young engineers gathered to show off their tech skills, many said they would avoid taking jobs at the social network.”


TechCrunch: A leaky database of SMS text messages exposed password resets and two-factor codes. “A security lapse has exposed a massive database containing tens of millions of text messages, including password reset links, two-factor codes, shipping notifications and more. The exposed server belongs to Voxox (formerly Telcentris), a San Diego, Calif.-based communications company. The server wasn’t protected with a password, allowing anyone who knew where to look to peek in and snoop on a near-real-time stream of text messages.”

Techdirt: The Wonky Donkey: How Infringement Helped Create A Best Seller… Which Would Be Impossible Under Article 13. “That video is almost certainly copyright infringement. It’s a derivative work with the grandmother reading the entire book out loud. Obviously, neither the author nor the publisher mind that this happened. Indeed, they’re pretty happy about it. And so this could just be yet another example of where copyright infringement actually ends up helping the copyright holder significantly. But this is also an excellent example of the massive harm that the EU is about to do with Article 13 and the EU Copyright Directive.”


Phys .org: Twitter use influenced by social schedules, not changing seasons and daylight . “An analysis of Twitter data from the U.S. shows that social media usage largely mirrors daily work schedules and school calendars. The data reflect the amount of ‘social jet lag’ caused when social demands make people wake up much earlier than their biological rhythms would prefer.”

Quartz: There’s already a blueprint for a more accessible internet. If only designers would learn it. “The internet was a welcoming place when [Vint] Cerf conceived of it. Email, for instance, originated as an assistive device that allowed the deaf to receive messages accurately. He developed its protocols, in part, to communicate with his wife Sigrid, who is deaf. Cerf often recounts the story about how she got the proper cochlear implants quickly when she communicated with doctors via email. ‘It’s a great equalizer in that everyone, hearing and deaf, uses the same technology,’ he said to the New York Times in 1998. But as websites got flashier, the experience has quickly become a source of frustration for disabled users.”

Search Engine Land: Search engines still dominate over social media, even for millennials. “For many years people have been proclaiming the demise of traditional search traffic and the death of the SEO industry that supports it. While Google has posted consistent revenue growth from its core search business for the last many years, the pundits are convinced that the proclivity of users to search on a search engine for new information is a relic of the past to be replaced by a rising always-on social media presence. Every winter, the technology blogosphere is replete with thought pieces about how the coming new year will be the year of social or some innovation. While some may say that foretelling the growth of search in the coming year is akin to heralding the return of the palm pilot; I strongly beg to differ.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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