Louis Armstrong, Genome Mapping, Account Security, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 19, 2018


New York Times: Louis Armstrong’s Life in Letters, Music and Art. “For his entire adult life, away from the spotlight, Armstrong amassed a huge trove of personal writings, recordings and artifacts. But until this month, you would have had to travel far into central Queens to find them. Now anyone can access them. Thanks to a $3 million grant from the Fund II Foundation — run by Robert F. Smith, the wealthiest African-American — the Louis Armstrong House Museum has digitized the entire collection he left behind and made it available to the public.”


Quartz: Everyday people can now map their genomes and maybe keep their privacy. “For the first time, a company is offering a direct-to-consumer tool that can map out a person’s entire genome. The service, which is run by Nebula Genomics, is a double-edged sword, though. On the one hand it can help a person search through a broad array of their genetic code to find disease-related genes. On the other, the company faces the herculean task of carefully walking the ethical line around keeping people’s data private.”


Motherboard: How to Tell if Your Account Has Been Hacked. “Hackers routinely target high profile victims like politicians or wealthy cryptocurrency investors. But you could become a target too. Maybe an abusive former partner wants to stalk you, or a run-of-the-mill cybercriminal wants to get into your bank account. If you think you have been targeted, or worse, hacked, how can you even tell if someone got hold of your account?”

Social Media Explorer: 6 Unique (And Effective) Ways to Grow Your Instagram Account. “Have you recently noticed a decrease in engagement on your Instagram account? It might be time to vary your strategy. Every once in a while, Instagram adjusts its algorithm to improve the user experience, and it often means businesses have to change their strategies to stay relevant. If you’ve been stuck using the same strategy for your Instagram account, switch things up. Here are some unique, but highly effective account growth tips to apply now.”


BBC: Nigerian police say false information on Facebook is killing people. “Nigerian police say false information and incendiary images on Facebook have contributed to more than a dozen recent killings in Plateau State – an area already torn by ethnic violence. When BBC Africa Eye got in touch with Facebook, the company disabled the account of a man in the UK who was spreading misinformation to thousands in Nigeria. Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners in Nigeria have committed just four full-time fact checkers to review false information, on a platform used by 24 million Nigerians.” This article contains graphic images. They’re fuzzed out, but still disturbing.

New Yorker: How Podcasts Became a Seductive—and Sometimes Slippery—Mode of Storytelling. “Eighty-odd years after [Walter] Benjamin wrote about the decline of storytelling, we are living in a new golden age of it, in the form of the podcast: on-demand audio that a listener can download and play while commuting or exercising or, given the right equipment, showering. A recent study conducted by Edison Research found that nearly a quarter of Americans listen to podcasts at least once a month.”


Reuters: Thai proposal for all-powerful cyber agency alarms businesses, activists. “A proposed cybersecurity law in Thailand would give a new government agency sweeping powers to spy on internet traffic, order the removal of content, or even seize computers without judicial oversight, alarming businesses and activists.”

ZDNet: AWS rolls out new security feature to prevent accidental S3 data leaks. “Amazon’s Web Services division has rolled out new security features to AWS account owners today that are meant to prevent accidental data exposures caused by the misconfiguration of S3 data storage buckets.”


The Verge: Despite Its Flaws, Facebook Still Holds My Memories, And Giving That Up Is Hard. “…despite scandals with the geopolitical significance of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and breaches that affect 29 million Facebook accounts. I still haven’t been able to pull the trigger. I objectively hate this service, and spend minutes at a time staring at that neat blue ‘Delete Account’ button, but there’s still something here that I can’t face losing entirely. It’s a cliche, the thing that Facebook obnoxiously prides itself on storing, and I hate myself for saying it… But I don’t want to delete the memories.”

The Harvard Gazette: Fish teeth mark periods of evolution. “Elizabeth Sibert is rewriting the story of how the asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs affected fish, and she’s doing it one tooth at a time. Based on close examination of thousands of fossilized fish teeth, Sibert, a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, found that while the impact did cause some fish species to die off, it also set the stage for two periods of rapid evolution among marine life….Going forward, Sibert said she hopes to continue to build a database of fossil teeth and is working with collections at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) to connect the ancient teeth with modern fish.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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