Breast Cancer Genes, Google, Windows 7, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, January 15, 2019


National Cancer Institute: BRCA Exchange aggregates data on thousands of BRCA variants to inform understanding of cancer risk. “A global resource that includes data on thousands of inherited variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is available to the public. The BRCA Exchange was created through the BRCA Challenge, a long-term demonstration project initiated by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) to enhance sharing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 data. The resource, available through a website and a new smartphone appExit Disclaimer, allows clinicians to review expert classifications of variants in these major cancer predisposition genes as part of their individual assessment of complex questions related to cancer prevention, screening, and intervention for high-risk patients.”


CNBC: Google employees to launch social media campaign on sexual harassment policies after previous protests brought ‘no meaningful gains for worker equity’. “Google employees, who walked out of offices around the world in November in protest of sexual harassment policies, are extending their critiques to the rest of the industry. The organizers are launching a social media campaign Tuesday to educate the public and protest the issue of forced arbitration by tech companies.”

Ars Technica: Windows 7 enters its final year of free support. “Windows 7’s five years of extended support will expire on January 14, 2020—exactly one year from today. After this date, security fixes will no longer be freely available for the operating system that’s still widely used.”

Mashable: Facebook wants you to hype events in Stories. “Facebook’s latest tactic to push users from News Feed into Stories? Get them to hype events. The social network is testing a new feature that lets users share Facebook events directly in their Stories. The feature is being tested in the United States, Mexico, and Brazil, but could eventually roll out more broadly. ”


BetaNews: Windows 10 has a built-in free screen recorder that you might not know about. “You’ve very probably been using Windows 10 for a long time now, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve discovered everything it has to offer. The operating system is packed with features, but there are some that are hidden away to the extent that they could be considered secrets. One such gem is the screen recording tool.”


UNIAN: Admins of some popular Ukrainian pages operate from Russia, new Facebook rules reveal. “Facebook is now offering users an opportunity to see from which countries pages they might like or follow are managed. The innovation allowed Ukrainian users to find out that a number of Facebook Pages, including those promoting ‘patriotic’ content, are in fact administered from the Russian Federation, the country that has been waging hybrid war against Ukraine for almost five years, including with the use of information warfare aimed to destabilize its neighbor and regain control over the territory Moscow believes must remain part of its ‘area of influence.'”

Stoke-on-Trent Live: Treasure trove of North Staffordshire’s mining heritage to be put online. “Volunteers have won a 10,000 grant to bring North Staffordshire’s mining heritage back to life for the digital generation. They have rescued thousands of photos, maps, artefacts and other documents that were left abandoned following the collapse of Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum. Now these items are being turned into an online archive that people can dip into for enjoyment or to help with school projects and family research.”

Gizmodo: The U.S. Government Has Amassed Terabytes of Internal WikiLeaks Data. “Late last year, the U.S. government accidentally revealed that a sealed complaint had been filed against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Shortly before this was made public, the FBI reconfirmed its investigation of WikiLeaks was ongoing, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Justice was optimistic that it would be able to extradite Assange. Soon after, portions of sealed transcripts leaked that implicate WikiLeaks and Assange in directing hackers to target governments and corporations. The charges against Assange have not been officially revealed, though it’s plausible that the offenses are related to Russian hacking and the DNC emails.”

New York Times: How We Apologize Now. “To be famous in 2019 one must possess (in addition to talent, or at least popularity) a patina of authenticity and a willingness to admit wrongdoing. Also: an iPhone.”


Fast Company: How Microsoft has (so far) avoided tough scrutiny over privacy issues. “Quietly but confidently, Microsoft is back. For the first time in almost a decade, it’s the most valuable company in the world while its archrival Apple stumbles. It’s been lauded for its smart pivot into AI and cloud services in recent years and its acquisition of the popular GitHub software development platform. And it’s almost completely avoided the privacy debacles and questions about monopolistic tendencies that have dogged Facebook, Google, and Amazon, which have resulted in those companies facing negative headlines on a daily basis, nasty lawsuits, and their top executives being grilled in U.S. Congress.”

TechCrunch: Some of the biggest web hosting sites were vulnerable to simple account takeover hacks. “A security researcher has found, reported and now disclosed a dozen bugs that made it easy to steal sensitive information or take over any customer’s account from some of the largest web hosting companies on the internet. In some cases, clicking on a simple link would have been enough for Paulos Yibelo, a well-known and respected bug hunter, to take over the accounts of anyone using five large hosting providers — Bluehost, DreamHost, Hostgator, OVH and iPage.”


The Next Web: IBM teaches AI to debate humans by crowdsourcing arguments. “‘Project Debater – Speech by Crowd,’ as IBM calls it, is a ‘new and experimental cloud-based AI platform for crowdsourcing decision support.’ It solicits arguments for and against a specific topic from as many humans as possible and then uses them to create debate speeches.” Good morning, Internet…

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