GAO Reports, WhatsApp, Facebook Libra, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, October 3, 2019


US Government Accountability Office (GAO): Our New “Science & Tech Spotlights”. “GAO has launched a new line of science and tech quick reads, 2-pagers providing brief overviews of key topics in the field. To complement our more in-depth evaluations and assessments, these ‘Science & Tech Spotlights’ summarize emerging innovations and the relevant policy context.”


Slashgear: WhatsApp messages may soon delete themselves. “When it comes to security and privacy, one of WhatsApp’s main draws is its use of end-to-end encryption. It may not be long before WhatsApp is offering another feature to pull in the privacy-first crowd: self-destructing messages. As it turns out, the company is currently testing ‘disappearing messages’ functionality that essentially allows users to put a timer on their messages with others.”

CNN: Facebook’s financial partners in Libra may be getting cold feet. “The coalition Facebook assembled to create a global payments network may be losing some key financial support. Visa, Mastercard and other financial partners who signed on to support Libra are reconsidering their involvement in the network, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.”


How-To Geek: How to Edit Any Web Page in Chrome (or Any Browser). “Web pages are just documents your web browser displays. But what if you could type directly on any web page to modify it? You can, and you don’t need a browser extension—it’s a feature built into every modern browser.”


New York Times: John Rothman, Who Made The Times’s Archives Accessible, Dies at 95. “John Rothman, who in an era before Google conceived and helped develop The New York Times Information Bank, a revolutionary system that let computer users easily find journalism by The Times and dozens of other publications, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 95.”

McGill Tribune: Finsta culture creates space for more personable social media. “Despite the variations and differing styles of the accounts, finsta users tend to agree that secret accounts are beneficial for dealing with social media pressure, and they value having a private space online. Finstas typically create a setting where users allow their personality to take centre stage without worrying about what others might think. Delina Efrem, U0 Science, shares her experience with finstas, detailing the unspoken pressure that surrounds a lot of social media.”

Betches: A Company Shamed An Applicant For Her IG Pic & It’s Backfiring Spectacularly. “Yesterday started out just like any other mediocre American Tuesday. Birds were singing, politicians were tweeting, and millennials around the country were trying to find jobs that would help them pay off their thousands of dollars in student loan debt while simultaneously not making them want to die (aka: the dream).”


NBC News: Ex-Yahoo engineer pleads guilty to hacking thousands of accounts. “A former Yahoo software engineer pleaded guilty Monday to hacking into the accounts of thousands of Yahoo users while looking for sexual images and videos, according to federal prosecutors and court documents.”

Reuters: Exclusive: Comcast emerges as new Google antitrust foe – sources. “Comcast Corp, one of America’s largest media and communications companies, is wading into the epic regulatory pile-on against big tech companies such as Google, according to people familiar with the matter.”

BBC: Facebook can be ordered to remove posts worldwide. “Facebook and similar apps and websites can be ordered to take down illegal posts worldwide after a landmark ruling from the EU’s highest court. Platforms may also have to seek out similar examples of the illegal content and remove them, instead of waiting for each to be reported.”


FE News: New tool to democratise debates on tax and welfare policy across the UK. “Tax and benefit models are used to assess the impact of policy changes on household incomes and government finances. UKMOD will be an invaluable tool for those wanting to analyse who wins or loses from commitments made in the Autumn Budget, and how the pain of austerity or the proceeds of any new giveaways are being shared between richer and poorer households.”

Slate: Being Bad at the Internet Shouldn’t Disqualify Job Candidates. “In the U.S., students sometimes learn to write résumés and cover letters in high school. Many college campuses have career centers that teach the same skills. But few people, especially those who graduated long before applications migrated online, have been explicitly taught how to use the internet in job searches. These applications have added an unspoken requirement that candidates possess basic knowledge about how to appear professional online, making an already-difficult-to-navigate system even more opaque.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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