William Blake, Google Chrome, Twitter, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, February 18, 2019


University of North Carolina: William Blake Archive Opens New Digital Archive Exhibitions Wing. “The William Blake Archive at UNC recently announced the grand opening of its newest digital wing: an Archive Exhibitions space, which allows viewers to browse through curated presentations and special topics related to Blake’s work. Its first show, now open to the public, highlights Blake’s remarkable and enigmatic depiction of the pilgrims from the Canterbury Tales. The Archive Exhibitions feature digital galleries which include both informational text and high-resolution scans of Blake’s drawings, paintings, engravings, and more.”


ZDNet: Google backtracks on Chrome modifications that would have crippled ad blockers. “A study analyzing the performance of Chrome ad blocker extensions published on Friday has proven wrong claims made by Google developers last month, when a controversy broke out surrounding their decision to modify the Chrome browser in such a way that would have eventually killed off ad blockers and many other extensions.”

TechCrunch: Twitter considering a tweet ‘clarifying’ function . “At a Goldman Sachs event this week, Jack Dorsey clarified that, rather than adding a controversial edit function, Twitter might just let people ‘clarify’ earlier statements. The feature, it seems, is less aimed at the typo part of the equation than the whole ongoing thing with people living to regret some horrible thing they said to the world years prior.”


Observer: Debunking the Myth of ‘Blogger Boyfriends’ and ‘Instagram Husbands’. “Toronto-based influencer Allegra Shaw has 234K followers on Instagram and 863K subscribers on YouTube. She also co-runs Uncle Studios, a sustainable clothing line. Her high-fashion style features occasional nods to the ‘influencer’ uniform (think: tiny sunglasses and biker shorts), but it’s her un-edited vlogs that set her apart from the rest. In them, she provides her viewers with an intimate look at the art of influencing and showcases her boyfriend’s role, too.”

BuzzFeed News: Twitter Suspended A DC Think Tank For Violating Its Rules Against Fake Accounts. “Twitter has suspended three accounts connected to a Washington cybersecurity think tank that has connections to senior government and intelligence officials, and that has a history of using shady social media practices.”

Washington Post: Google reaped millions in tax breaks as it secretly expanded its real estate footprint across the U.S. . “Google — which has risen to become one of the world’s most valuable companies by transforming the public’s ability to access information — has vastly expanded its geographic footprint over the past decade, building more than 15 data centers on three continents and 70 offices worldwide. But that development spree has often been shrouded in secrecy, making it nearly impossible for some communities to know, let alone protest or debate, who is using their land, their resources and their tax dollars until after the fact, according to Washington Post interviews and newly released public records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.”

Boing Boing: YouTube’s algorithms demonitizes piano tutorial site for “Repetitious content”. “When you’re learning to play a musical instrument, you have to play the same songs and scales over and over again. YouTube’s algorithm doesn’t seem to know this, and so it demonetized a piano tutorial channel for ‘Repetitious content.'” Happily the channel was re-monetized after — anyone? anyone? Bueller? — public outcry.


Ars Technica: Behold, the Facebook phishing scam that could dupe even vigilant users. “Phishers are deploying what appears to be a clever new trick to snag people’s Facebook passwords by presenting convincing replicas of single sign-on login windows on malicious sites, researchers said this week.”

Mashable: Twitter still keeps archives of your DMs years after you deleted them. “You know how when you delete a Twitter DM and you’re expecting it to, like, be erased and non-retrievable ever again? Turns out Twitter’s still keeping archives of deleted DMs according to a security researcher who shared his discovery with TechCrunch.”

The Verge: The golden age of dark web drug markets is over. “In July 2017, federal agents took down the Alphabay marketplace, then one of the largest and most profitable sources for drugs on the dark web. At the time, it seemed like a messy end to the string of dark net takedowns that started with the Silk Road. But more than a year and a half after the takedown, federal agents are still making arrests in Alphabay cases, chasing down dealers who sold drugs through the site.”

University of Maryland Baltimore: Legal Scholars Dive into Implications of Deep Fakes. “‘Imagine the night before an IPO, a deep fake video of the CEO comes out of the CEO soliciting a child prostitute or doing drugs,’ said University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law professor and privacy expert Danielle Citron, JD to a full house in the school’s ceremonial moot courtroom. ‘There goes the IPO, and the faith of the marketplace for the CEO is wrecked,’ she continued. Citron was the keynote speaker at the Maryland Law Review 2019 spring symposium, ‘Truth Decay: Deep Fakes and the Implications for Privacy, National Security and Democracy.'” The keynote speech for the symposium is available as embedded video at the end of the article.


Motherboard: Most Online ‘Terms of Service’ Are Incomprehensible to Adults, Study Finds. “Two law professors analyzed the sign-in terms and conditions of 500 popular US websites, including Google and Facebook, and found that more than 99 percent of them were ‘unreadable,’ far exceeding the level most American adults read at, but are still enforced.” Good morning, Internet…

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