afternoonbuzz

Africa Cities, Microsoft Patches, YouTube Annotations, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 29, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

Cities Today: New database released to better assess African cities. “The most complete data set on African urban agglomerations has been launched during the 8th Africities Conference in Marrakesh. Africapolis includes data on more than 7,500 urban agglomerations in 50 countries and aims to become a tool for governments, policy makers, researchers and urban planners.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The Register: It’s a patch bonanza as Microsoft showers its OS platforms with update love . “Microsoft issued a whole bunch of updates last night, including one to deal with an alarming bug in Windows Server 2016. Tucked innocuously among a swathe of fixes ranging from dealing with Russian time zone changes to fixing wobbly Hyper-V servers is the text: ‘Addresses an issue in File Explorer that sometimes deletes the permissions of a shared parent folder when you delete the shared child folder.'”

Neowin: Google set to finally extinguish YouTube annotations once and for all . “Google has announced that existing annotations on YouTube videos will be removed on 15 January 2019. The news comes as the adoption of end screens and cards has grown while annotation use has dropped by over 70%. Google stopped giving creators access to the annotations editor way back in May of 2017 but older videos with annotations have still lingered on the platform.”

Ubergizmo: Dropbox Now Supports Extensions. “Dropbox works with many apps, where you can choose to save or pull files directly from Dropbox without having to open an app. An example would be Gmail where users can pull files from Dropbox to add as an attachment in emails. Now it looks like the opposite is true, where Dropbox can now work with other apps.”

Search Engine Journal: Google to Serve Ads Across Disney Properties Through New Partnership. “Google has formed a new global strategic partnership with The Walt Disney Company, which will allow Google to serve ads across Disney properties. Disney will bring its entire global video and display business onto the Google Ad Manager.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: 6 Google Spreadsheet Tricks That Are Easy to Learn and Remember. “Google Sheets is a popular Microsoft Excel alternative. As with other Google tools, the Sheets is a core part of Google Drive. In this article, we have taken the liberty to dive deep and unearth a handful of super useful Google Sheets tricks that you may have never heard before.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Online Journalism Blog: How Periodista de Datos aggregated over 300 journalists in Spain and Latin America to help data journalism collaboration. “In July an aggregator of data journalists from Spain and Latin America was launched under the name Periodista de Datos. Four months later, Maria Crosas Batista interviewed Félix Arias, project lead with Miguel Carvajal, to find out more about how the project came about — and where they plan to take it next.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Ars Technica: Widely used open source software contained bitcoin-stealing backdoor. “A hacker or hackers sneaked a backdoor into a widely used open source code library with the aim of surreptitiously stealing funds stored in bitcoin wallets, software developers said Monday. The malicious code was inserted in two stages into event-stream, a code library with 2 million downloads that’s used by Fortune 500 companies and small startups alike.”

Los Angeles Times: Lawmakers seek to quash ‘Grinch’ bots that inflate holiday toy prices. “A group of Democratic lawmakers is trying to make it illegal for people to use automated accounts to inflate the prices of consumer products online. On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, they announced the Stopping Grinch Bots Act of 2018 in an effort to prevent anonymous profiteers from deploying bots that buy in bulk in-demand products on retailers’ websites and resell them elsewhere at exorbitant prices.”

TechCrunch: Hackers are using leaked NSA hacking tools to quietly hijack thousands of computers . “More than a year after patches were released to thwart powerful NSA exploits that leaked online, hundreds of thousands of computers are unpatched and vulnerable. First they were used to spread ransomware. Then it was cryptocurrency mining attacks. Now, researchers say that hackers are using the leaked tools to create an even bigger malicious proxy network.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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