Thailand Churches, Reddit, Windows Defender, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, March 19, 2019


Christianity Today: Making Missions Count: How a Major Database Tracked Thailand’s Church-Planting Revival. “Dwight Martin can tell you the exact number of churches in Thailand. At the start of 2019, his site reported 5,805. By the next week, the number would be different.” This article is partially paywalled, but there’s enough that you can learn about the database of Thai churches.


The Daily Beast: Reddit Bans Gory Subreddits After New Zealand Shooting. “Reddit took down two of its most notorious subreddits on Friday, apparently because their users were sharing footage of the New Zealand mosque shootings. Visitors to two subreddits known for sharing video and pictures of people being killed or injured—R/WatchPeopleDie and R/Gore—were met with a message saying the forums had been ‘banned from Reddit.’ ”

BetaNews: New Windows Defender Application Guard add-ons for Chrome and Firefox open untrusted sites in Microsoft Edge. “Microsoft has joined the fight to prevent users unwittingly visiting bad sites by creating new extensions for Google and Mozilla’s browsers which automatically redirect users from untrusted sites to Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge.

The Guardian: Facebook faces fresh questions over when it knew of data harvesting. “Facebook is facing explosive new questions about when senior executives knew of Cambridge Analytica’s abuse of users’ data, one year on from when the scandal first broke, as federal prosecutors investigate claims that the social media giant has covered up the extent of its relationship with the firm.”

British Library: Why we love the Harley Irish Gospels. “How better to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than to announce the digitisation of two important Irish manuscripts from the British Library’s collections? Harley MS 1023 and Harley MS 1802 were both made in the 12th century in Armagh, St Patrick’s foundation and medieval cult centre.”


New York Times: The Lewis and Clark of the Digital Building Frontier. “On a bone-chilling day here with the winter rains pelting down, the architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello retreated to their cozy 3-D printed cabin in the backyard…. It was just another weekend for the couple, 3-D printing pioneers who have developed novel techniques for sustainable building, often using low-cost waste materials like mud, dirt, nutshells, coffee grounds, and other discards that are ‘essentially free,’ Ms. San Fratello said.”

The Atlantic: Social Media Are a Mass Shooter’s Best Friend. “A terrorist attack in New Zealand cast new blame on how technology platforms police content. But global internet services were designed to work this way, and there might be no escape from their grip.”

Mashable: The trans meme community on Reddit is about so much more than jokes. “There’s r/asktransgender, dedicated to people’s questions about the community, r/transgender, a subreddit for trans news, and r/transtimelines, where people can document their transitions. These are large and vibrant groups, with followers in the tens of thousands. But for some folks who are just coming out as trans, memes and GIFs — not traditional, location-based support groups or advice-based subreddits — are where they first find community.”

Ars Technica: How Google influences the conversation in Washington. “A few days after last year’s midterm election, a Google policy manager and lobbyist sent an email to a congressional staffer with a link to a blog post on the right-wing news site Red State, written under the name The Real DC. In the post, the author accuses Google’s competitor Yelp of prodding President Trump to tweet a ‘professionally designed’ video about Google’s alleged bias, which The Real DC calls ‘fake news’ because it ‘bears many similarities’ to content produced by Yelp.”


Bloomberg Quint: State Attorneys General Lay Groundwork for Google Investigation. “Last September, Jeff Sessions, then the U.S. attorney general, called a meeting of state attorneys general to discuss his suspicions that Google and Facebook were suppressing conservative views. After hearing him out, his audience steered the conversation toward a different concern. The state officials argued that the real problem was Silicon Valley’s market power and its handling of personal data, and they made the case for aggressive antitrust action, according to people familiar with the event, who asked for anonymity to describe private discussions.”

TorrentFreak: Scammers Use Fake Copyright Notices to Steal Instagram Accounts. “Scammers are using fake copyright notices to obtain login credentials from Instagram users, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky reveals. The recipients are told that their account will be suspended for copyright infringement within 24 hours. They can, however, ‘verify’ their account if they believe it’s a mistake.”


Engadget: Fan uses AI to remaster ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ in HD. “Unfortunately, you’re highly unlikely to see an official remaster of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Its special effects were shot on video rather than added to film, making an already daunting remastering process that much more difficult — and since it’s not a tentpole show like The Next Generation, CBS might not consider it worth the effort. Machine learning might make it easier for fans to fill the gap, however.” Good morning, Internet…

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