afternoonbuzz

Firefox Patch, Wolfram Language, Water Management, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 19, 2019

The Register: Awoogah! Awoogah! Firefox fans urged to update and patch zero-day hole exploited in the wild by miscreants. “Mozilla has released an emergency critical update for Firefox to squash a zero-day vulnerability that is under active attack.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Wolfram Blog: The Wolfram Function Repository: Launching an Open Platform for Extending the Wolfram Language. “Just three weeks ago we launched the Free Wolfram Engine for Developers to help people integrate the Wolfram Language into large-scale software projects. Now, today, we’re launching the Wolfram Function Repository to provide an organized platform for functions that are built to extend the Wolfram Language—and we’re opening up the Function Repository for anyone to contribute.”

FAO UN: Unlocking the potential of agricultural innovation to improve farmers’ resilience to drought. “Today FAO launched a revamped version of WaPOR, an open-access database tapping near real time satellite data to monitor land and water productivity in Africa and the Near East. Data from WaPOR, initially launched in 2017, helps policy makers and farmers to make informed decisions to be better prepared for drought and increase agricultural production with less water use.”

USEFUL STUFF

Lifehacker: Ten Google Assistant Tricks You Should Be Using. “Google Assistant is everywhere. From Android handsets, to hundreds of smart home accessories including Google Home, it’s becoming embedded in our workplaces and abodes. But how do you get the most from Google Assistant? Here are our top ten 10 tips, hacks and tricks for a better experience with Google Assistant.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Internet Archive: Please Donate 78rpm Records to the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project. “Good news: we have funding to preserve at least another 250,000 sides of 78rpm records, and we are looking for donations to digitize and physically preserve. We try to do a good job of digitizing and hosting the recordings and then thousands of people listen, learn, and enjoy these fabulous recordings.”

Slate: Saudis Fed Up With Twitter “Censorship” Jump Ship to a Pro-Trump Social Media Site. “Disdain for Twitter’s policies has spread to the Arabian Peninsula, where nearly 200,000 new users—largely from Saudi Arabia—flocked to a pro-Trump social media network called Parler. The users who left Twitter complained the site was suppressing their speech. The new Saudi users actually used Twitter to promote their migration to the new platform, posting hashtags like #Twexit and sharing cartoons and memes of the iconic blue Twitter bird in distress.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

The Washington Post: Sex, drugs, and self-harm: Where 20 years of child online protection law went wrong. “Consumer and privacy advocates have alleged rampant COPPA violations by leading technology companies, including in a highly detailed 59-page complaint against YouTube last year. Even when federal authorities take action, the penalties typically come many years after the violations began and make little dent in corporate profit margins, the advocates say.”

CNN: At least 50,000 license plates leaked in hack of border contractor not authorized to retain them. “At least 50,000 American license plate numbers have been made available on the dark web after a company hired by Customs and Border Protection was at the center of a major data breach, according to CNN analysis of the hacked data. What’s more, the company was never authorized to keep the information, the agency told CNN.”

CNET: Man who shared New Zealand mosque shooting video gets 21-month sentence. “A man who shared a video of the deadly New Zealand mosque shooting received a 21-month prison sentence on Tuesday. Philip Arps pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing the video of the March 15 attacks, which were livestreamed by the shooter as he killed 51 people.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Next Web: The unforeseen trouble AI is now causing. “AI has come a long way in recent years — but as many who work with this technology can attest, it is still prone to surprising errors that wouldn’t be made by a human observer. While these errors can sometimes be the result of the required learning curve for artificial intelligence, it is becoming apparent that a far more serious problem is posing an increasing risk: adversarial data.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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