Banned Coaches, Google Assistant, The Troubles, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, February 26, 2019


Sportskeeda: Coaching site builds list of those banned from US Olympics. “An advocacy group has published a first-of-its-kind comprehensive list of coaches banned from Olympic sports, creating a database of nearly 1,000 people no longer allowed to work in the U.S. Olympic system because of sex-abuse allegations, doping positives and other criminal activities involving minors.” This is great, but it looks like GreatCoach will make you register for an account in order to see the list.


Neowin: Dedicated Google Assistant button landing on over 100 million devices this year. “While 5G is all the rage at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), with Huawei, LG, and Xiaomi having announced their respective bets for the next-gen connectivity standard, one feature doesn’t seem to be getting as much attention. Almost all of the phones unveiled on the show floor have a dedicated Google Assistant button.”

Belfast Telegraph: Archive of Northern Ireland Troubles to close. “An online archive of the Troubles is to close, it has been reported. For years, academics around the world – as well as journalists, writers and historians – have used the respected Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN). But BBC NI reported that the comprehensive resource, run from Ulster University’s Magee campus is to be closed.”


Lifehacker: Eject Water From Your Phone’s Speakers After an Unexpected Dunk Using This Web Tool. “Fix My Speakers is a web app that works similarly to the Apple’s Watch’s built-in water ejection feature. With it, you press a button and the phone plays a specific tone that helps generate sounds waves that eject all that water from your phone.” Interesting. I have not tried this.


The Guardian: Spare Rib digital archive faces closure in event of no-deal Brexit. “Spare Rib, the trailblazing women’s magazine that defined generations of feminism, faces the axe from the British Library’s digital archive if there is no Brexit deal, it has emerged.”

The Verge: The Trauma Floor. “It’s a place where, in stark contrast to the perks lavished on Facebook employees, team leaders micromanage content moderators’ every bathroom and prayer break; where employees, desperate for a dopamine rush amid the misery, have been found having sex inside stairwells and a room reserved for lactating mothers; where people develop severe anxiety while still in training, and continue to struggle with trauma symptoms long after they leave; and where the counseling that Cognizant offers them ends the moment they quit — or are simply let go.”


TechCrunch: New flaws in 4G, 5G allow attackers to intercept calls and track phone locations. “A group of academics have found three new security flaws in 4G and 5G, which they say can be used to intercept phone calls and track the locations of cell phone users. The findings are said to be the first time vulnerabilities have affected both 4G and the incoming 5G standard, which promises faster speeds and better security, particularly against law enforcement use of cell site simulators, known as ‘stingrays.’ But the researchers say that their new attacks can defeat newer protections that were believed to make it more difficult to snoop on phone users.”

Ars Technica: Plain wrong: Millions of utility customers’ passwords stored in plain text. “In September of 2018, an anonymous independent security researcher (who we’ll call X) noticed that their power company’s website was offering to email—not reset!—lost account passwords to forgetful users. Startled, X fed the online form the utility account number and the last four phone number digits it was asking for. Sure enough, a few minutes later the account password, in plain text, was sitting in X’s inbox. This was frustrating and insecure, and it shouldn’t have happened at all in 2018. But this turned out to be a flaw common to websites designed by the Atlanta firm SEDC.”

BBC: Investment scam targets Instagram users. “Victims aged in their 20s have each lost an average of £8,900 after falling for investment scams that appear on image-sharing platform Instagram. Action Fraud, a UK police-led awareness centre, said there had been a surge in activity in recent months by fraudsters posting about get-rich-quick schemes. Victims are promised high returns within 24 hours, but the fraudsters demand fees and then disappear.”


Phys .org: All publicly funded Australian research could soon be free for you, the taxpayer, to read. “What happens to research that is funded by taxpayers? A lot ends up in subscription-only journals, protected from the eyes of most by a paywall. But a new initiative known as Plan S could change that. Plan S focuses on making all publicly funded research immediately fully and freely available by open access publication.”

Quartz: There’s a way to find out if your Twitter interactions are sexist. “Conversations in patriarchal societies tend to amplify men’s voices more than women’s, and Twitter is no exception to this rule. A study last year found male US political reporters retweet other men three times more than they do their female colleagues, while Harvard Business School researchers in 2009 found men in general were almost twice as likely to follow another man as a woman. Many Twitter users may not be intentionally ignoring women’s input, but these small biases add up. And there’s now a tool that shows whether you retweet and respond to men more than women on Twitter.” Just a note that the domain name in the article, at this writing, as an extra period at the end and will give you an error. Remove the period and you’ll get to the tweet analysis tool.

CogDogBlog: The Slimy Sideshow of Public Domain. “Again, it’s technically true that the flickr photos I license under CC0 can be used for any purpose, commercial or not, and people do not have do anything, they need not attribute, they need not share the same way, the can make derivations, they can even make money. So while many people see licenses as some way to ‘protect’ their works, my switching from CC-BY to CC0 was my own test to see what would happen, just because people do not have to attribute and because they can do what ever they want, how badly would it hurt me?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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