Open Access Journals, Google Allo, Facebook Groups, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, December 6, 2018


EurekAlert: People and plants: Working together for the planet . “Plants, People, Planet, a cross-disciplinary Open Access journal, launches today with its first issue. Plants, People, Planet will publish peer-reviewed articles, opinion and review that focuses on the connections between plant science and society. The new journal aims to celebrate everything new, innovative and exciting in plant sciences that is relevant to society and peoples’ daily lives.”


Engadget: Google may shut down its Allo messaging app ‘soon’. “The ‘classic’ version of Hangouts might not be the only Google chat service on the chopping block. A source talking to 9to5Google claims the company will shut down Allo ‘soon.’ While the apparent insider didn’t explicitly say why it would switch off the messaging service, it’s most likely due to both shifting priorities at the company and a general lack of interest.”

BBC: Facebook bans the sale of community groups. “Facebook has banned the selling of administration rights for community groups. This follows BBC News uncovering several incidents of group owners being approached about selling their pages.”

Digital Trends: You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool. “Facebook just made saving posts more social and less secretive. On Tuesday, December 4, Facebook announced shareable collections. The update allows the collections where Facebook’s saved posts are housed, to be shared with hand-picked friends that are added as contributors to the collection.”


MakeUseOf: 5 New RSS Reader Apps for News Feeds and Podcast Subscriptions. “RSS readers aren’t as popular today as they once were, but they are still awesome for news junkies and those who don’t want to miss a single post from their favorite blog or site. These new RSS readers promise to make you fall in love with news feeds again.” I remain Team NewsBlur.


The Daily Beast: Facebook Lets Users Post About Killing Immigrants and Minorities. “The company just two weeks ago touted new technology it says detects 52 percent of hate speech before anyone reports it. (Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed the technology caught 90 percent of pro-ISIS and al Qaeda content.) Yet that technology didn’t catch more than 100 instances in the last six months of Facebook users advocating to shoot or kill others, according to a Daily Beast review.”

Washington Post: Facebook allegedly offered advertisers special access to users’ data and activities, according to documents released by British lawmakers. “A trove of emails and internal documents released by a British lawmaker on Wednesday illustrate how Facebook rose to dominance years ago by using people’s data as a bargaining chip, undermining the social media giant’s claim that changes to its business practices were motivated by a desire to protect people’s privacy.”

Vanity Fair: “Everyone’s For Sale”: A Generation Of Digital-media Darlings Prepares For A Frigid Winter. “As the threat of the so-called FAANGs—Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google—continues to grow, large legacy players, such as AT&T and Time Warner, or Disney and 21st Century Fox, are combining at a rabid pace. Certain heritage brands, like Time, Fortune, and The Atlantic, have landed in the warm bosoms of philanthropic billionaires. New York Media, the parent company of New York and a coterie of buzzy Web brands including The Cut, is pursuing a sale or strategic investment.” I suspect the author meant “rapid” instead of “rabid,” but that’s the best typo I’ve seen in many a day.


Krebs on Security: Phishing Your Employees 101. “A new open source toolkit makes it ridiculously simple to set up phishing Web sites and lures. The software was designed to help companies test the phishing awareness of their employees, but as with most security tools, this one could be abused by miscreants to launch malicious attacks.”

Threatpost: 1-800-Flowers Becomes Latest Payment Breach Victim. “Those buying flowers for Mother’s Day or looking to send a plant for a birthday could find their thoughtful gestures reaping a crop of misery: Payment card data has been lifted from the Canadian online outpost of 1-800-Flowers, in an incident that has persisted for four years.” Since August 2014. That’s bonkers.

Oath agrees to pay $5M to settle charges it violated children’s privacy
. “TechCrunch’s Verizon-owned parent, Oath, an ad tech division made from the merging of AOL and Yahoo, has agreed to pay around $5 million to settle charges that it violated a federal children’s privacy law. The penalty is said to be the largest ever issued under COPPA.”


Irish Tech News: New DCU Research Finds Social Media Used To Polarise Public Opinion Against Refugees. “Research by Dublin City University has found that far-right groups and political organisations dominated conversations on Twitter creating powerful anti-refugee sentiment during a key period of the refugee crisis.” Good morning, Internet…

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