Browser Security, Snitch-Tagging, India Ecommerce, More: Monday Evening ResearchBuzz, January 7, 2019


The Windows Club: Emsisoft Browser Security blocks malware and phishing attacks . “These two are dangerous. While one can turn your computer unusable, the later can steal your account details along with your passwords. Emsisoft Browser Security is a new light-weight browser extension for Firefox and Chrome which can stop both of them.” Sounds promising, but I can’t get past the really broad permissions these kinds of extensions need.


Los Angeles Times: ‘Snitch-tagging’ destroys any subtlety that was left on Twitter. “First came Twitter. Then came Twitter fights. Then came Twitter passive aggression: Insults that don’t explicitly identify the person being criticized are so pervasive they have a name, the subtweet. Now that subtlety is being punctured by a rising Twitter behavior — snitch-tagging.”

Nikkei Asian Review: India’s housewife-entrepreneurs turn a profit from social media. “Shravanti Chanda, a 31-year-old Hyderabad woman who quit her information technology job after she married, is one of many housewives across India earning money at the intersection of e-commerce and social networks. Shravanti discovered Indian social commerce site Meesho a few months ago and now makes $150 a month reselling goods for a markup that she decides.”

The Northern Echo: Animal grave archive to be created online. “Through the Finding Fido project, researchers at Newcastle University hope to create an online archive of all the headstones, plaques and statues dedicated to animals to help understand how the relationship between humans and animals, has changed over time.” This might be UK only. Not clear from the article.

The Globe and Mail: Bought for a buck, now priceless: Alberta Indigenous media archive being digitized. “He bought them for a dollar. Now, ‘boxes and boxes and boxes’ of old audiotape and film that Bert Crowfoot has safeguarded for decades are turning out to be a priceless trove of Indigenous stories, culture and language.” I have been following Bert Crowfoot on Facebook for years. His photography is excellent..


Bleeping Computer: 27% of Passwords From Town of Salem Breach Already Cracked. “Over the holiday, the popular browser-based game Town of Salem had a data breach that exposed the hashed passwords for approximately 7.6 million unique accounts. At the time of this writing, over 27% of the passwords have already been cracked.”

The Verge: The government shutdown is driving users to illegal router settings. “On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission closed the majority of its operations, a result of the ongoing government shutdown. The FCC enforces the rules for all the wireless broadcasts in the United States, and many of most of its important enforcement mechanisms are now closed for the duration of the shutdown, which President Trump recently warned could last months or even years. This means that — hypothetically! — if you wanted to illegally broadcast in violation of someone else’s spectrum rights, this would be the perfect time to do it.” I would not recommend this as part of a balanced breakfast.


Wired: The Quest to Topple Science-Stymying Academic Paywalls. “Science is built, enhanced, and developed through the open and structured sharing of knowledge. Yet some publishers charge so much for subscriptions to their academic journals that even the libraries of the world’s wealthiest universities such as Harvard are no longer able to afford the prices. Those publishers’ profit margins rival those of the most profitable companies in the world, even though research is largely underwritten by governments, and the publishers don’t pay authors and researchers or the peer reviewers who evaluate those works. How is such an absurd structure able to sustain itself—and how might we change it?”

Nature: Scientists despair as US government shutdown drags on. “As the shutdown hits the two-week mark with no end in sight, its effects on science have begun to compound, leaving many government researchers weary, worried and demoralized. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has suspended reviews of grant proposals indefinitely, and is likely to delay panels scheduled to judge applications for postdoctoral fellowships in early January. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has taken widely used weather and climate databases offline. And at NASA, the shutdown threatens to disrupt preparations for upcoming spacecraft launches.”

ScienceBlog: Using Vibration To Curb Digital Addiction. “In his research on college students’ productivity, Cornell Tech graduate student Fabian Okeke heard many accounts of time lost to social media, beginning with a click over to Facebook or YouTube for a quick distraction. But the distraction was not always so quick.” Good evening, Internet…

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