Deepfakes, Windows 95, Google Fi, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, February 12, 2019


Wired: A New Tool Protects Videos From Deepfakes and Tampering. “Video has become an increasingly crucial tool for law enforcement, whether it comes from security cameras, police-worn body cameras, a bystander’s smartphone, or another source. But a combination of ‘deepfake’ video manipulation technology and security issues that plague so many connected devices has made it difficult to confirm the integrity of that footage. A new project suggests the answer lies in cryptographic authentication.”

BetaNews: Developer launches new version of Windows 95 that runs under Windows 10, macOS and Linux. “Who doesn’t feel a little nostalgic from time to time? Progress is great, but sometimes it’s nice to look back at how things used to be — even if it’s only to laugh at how different and primitive things used to be. The world of computing is no different in this regard. Last year, developer Felix Rieseberg released Windows 95 as an Electron app to let 90s computer users relive their younger years. Now he’s back with a second version of the Windows 95 app, and it’s even better than ever — gaming classics such as Doom and Wolfenstein3D are now included, for starters!”

Neowin: Best Buy starts selling Google Fi SIM cards. “Just a couple of months ago, Google’s Project Fi service became Google Fi, and upon dropping the ‘Project’, the firm immediately took steps to make it more mainstream. While all GSM unlocked and T-Mobile phones already worked on the network, ‘official’ support was added, which meant that you can now activate a device that’s not officially made for Fi, rather than having to activate an official Fi device and swap the SIM card to another phone.”

Mashable: LinkedIn finally rolls out video livestreaming service LinkedIn Live. “LinkedIn is getting into the video livestreaming game. The social networking website built for business professionals has started rolling out a streaming service called LinkedIn Live, as first reported by TechCrunch.”


Engadget: The best audio editing software for beginning podcasters. “For this review, we’ve focused on software intended for audio recording and mixing: the process of capturing sound from a microphone or other device plugged into an audio interface, and then processing it digitally. Since podcasters are typically looking to record voices and natural environments to support their storytelling, this is the type of software best suited to that process. This is also the workflow you’d use when recording musicians live, and many of the apps we looked at are well-suited to this type of recording, too.”

MakeUseOf: What Is Web Scraping? How to Collect Data From Websites. “Think of a type of data and you can probably collect it by scraping the web. Real estate listings, sports data, email addresses of businesses in your area, and even the lyrics from your favorite artist can all be sought out and saved by writing a small script.” This article has a couple of good examples, but it’s mostly an overview (this is not meant as a criticism; it’s an incredibly broad topic that nobody could cover in one article!)


Sydney Morning Herald: Google search ranking boss warns against algorithm oversight. “Search giant Google has warned that the Australian competition watchdog’s proposal for a regulator to oversee its algorithm could increase risks from spammers. One of the Google’s top executives, vice-president of search Pandu Nayak, said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s proposal to impose oversight on the way search engines rank information and news articles through a review authority could invite trouble.”

Recode: The alternative to your dying local paper is written by one person, a robot, and you. “In the last few weeks, both Gannett and McClatchy, which own hundreds of newspapers throughout the country, have announced layoffs and buyouts that will cut hundreds of jobs. A hedge fund-backed bidder wants to buy Gannett, and if it’s successful it would likely ax even more. Against that backdrop, take a look at Patch, the all-digital local news company you probably stopped paying attention to years ago, when AOL used to own the company. For better or worse, it may represent the future of local news.”


CBC: Immigration Minister Hussen impersonated in refugee scam. “A brash new scam on social media hijacked the identity of Canada’s immigration minister to defraud desperate refugees of thousands of dollars. The fake Facebook profile of Ahmed Hussen spelled his last name with one ‘s’ but used the same photos the minister has on his official Facebook page. The account’s information was written in Arabic and English.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Former Reed official charged with violating open records law. “The press secretary for former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has been cited for allegedly violating the Georgia Open Records Act in the first-ever criminal complaint filed in connection with the law, the state attorney general’s office announced Monday.”

ZDNet: WordPress plugin flaw lets you take over entire sites . The WordPress plugin security revelations seem to be coming thick and fast lately, don’t they? “WordPress site owners who are using the Simple Social Buttons plugin to support social media sharing features should update the plugin as soon as possible to plug a security hole that can be exploited to take over sites.”


Mozilla Blog: Open Letter: Facebook, Do Your Part Against Disinformation. “Mozilla, Access Now, Reporters Without Borders, and 30 other organizations have published an open letter to Facebook. Our ask: make good on your promises to provide more transparency around political advertising ahead of the 2019 EU Parliamentary Elections.” Good morning, Internet…

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