Sonoma Valley Architecture, Great Britain Aerial Photography, Facebook, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, February 22, 2019


Sonoma News: Sonoma history group launches online architectural database. “The original information was gathered in 1978 by a group of league volunteers, lead by Johanna Patri, who is still an active member. At that time the volunteers spent 14 months surveying the Valley with clipboards and cameras, gathering as much architectural information as they could about any house believed to be more than 50 years old. Smaller surveys were completed in 1998 and 2012, updating existing data and adding more homes for a total of approximately 700 properties.”

University of Cambridge: Britain from the air: 1945-2009. “Aerial photographs of Britain from the 1940s to 2009 – dubbed the ‘historical Google Earth’ by Cambridge academics – have been made freely available to everyone on Cambridge University Library’s ground-breaking Digital Library.”


BetaNews: Privacy: Facebook closes controversial Onavo VPN and ceases user data collection. “Following the scandal surrounding the collection of user data, Facebook has removed its Onavo VPN app from the Google Play Store — a full six months after the iOS version of the Facebook Research app was kicked out of the App Store by Apple.”

CNET: Google will end forced arbitration for employees. “Google on Thursday said it’ll no longer require current and future staff to go through mandatory arbitration for disputes with the company. The change goes into effect on March 21. The search giant will also remove mandatory arbitration from its own employment agreements with contract and temporary staff, though the change won’t impact staffing firms. Axios earlier reported the change. ”

eWeek: Duo Security Digs Into Chrome Extension Security With CRXcavator. “Cisco’s Duo Security business unit is announcing the public beta of a new tool called CRXcavator on Feb. 21 that will make it easier for organizations to take inventory of the Chrome extensions running across their enterprise, understand what if any risk they pose and then link that to a policy for secure deployment. As part of the effort to build CRXcavator, Duo also looked at more than 120,000 Chrome extensions to discover potential security concerns and risks.”

TechCrunch: Google makes it easier to find prescription drug disposal sites. “In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, Google will begin labeling places where people can safely dispose of their prescription drugs. Now, users can find clearly labeled drug disposal sites directly from searches for things like ‘drug drop off near me’ or ‘medication disposal.'”


PC Magazine: How to Encrypt a Document Stored on Google Drive. “If you want to keep your files safe from prying eyes, encryption is your best bet—especially if you’re going to store those files in the cloud, where data breaches and other security issues can expose them to the outside world.”


Politico: ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates. “A POLITICO review of recent data extracted from Twitter and from other platforms, as well as interviews with data scientists and digital campaign strategists, suggests that the goal of the coordinated barrage appears to be undermining the nascent candidacies through the dissemination of memes, hashtags, misinformation and distortions of their positions. But the divisive nature of many of the posts also hints at a broader effort to sow discord and chaos within the Democratic presidential primary.”

The Atlantic: When Kids Realize Their Whole Life Is Already Online. “For several months, Cara has been working up the courage to approach her mom about what she saw on Instagram. Not long ago, the 11-year-old—who, like all the other kids in this story, is referred to by a pseudonym—discovered that her mom had been posting photos of her, without prior approval, for much of her life. ‘I’ve wanted to bring it up. It’s weird seeing myself up there, and sometimes there’s pics I don’t like of myself,’ she said.”


Ars Technica: Google Play apps with >10 million installs drain batteries, jack up data charges. “Is your Android phone feeling hot to the touch, acting sluggish, in need of frequent charges, or using dramatically more data than it used to? It may be a victim of DrainerBot, a major fraud operation distributed through Google Play apps with more than 10 million downloads, researchers said Wednesday.”

Madison/AP: Wisconsin court: Judge’s Facebook friendship could show bias. “A Wisconsin judge’s decision to become Facebook friends with a woman whose child custody case he was hearing created at least the appearance of bias, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday in ordering the case to be re-heard by another judge.”


EurekAlert: New weapon to combat counterfeit goods: use your smartphone to check for fake merchandise . “Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have invented a chemical fingerprint that, when used with a phone app, reveals whether a product is genuine or a fake; the fingerprints have been tested and earned a 100 percent success rate.” Good morning, Internet…

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