FIFA Misconduct, Veteran Employment, Google Chrome, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 1, 2019


Houston Chronicle: FIFA database opens legal cases to more scrutiny. “FIFA has opened its legal work to scrutiny by starting to publish detailed verdicts in most ethics and disciplinary cases — including documents showing how Chelsea’s transfer ban was the result of 150 rule violations. FIFA launched a website Thursday that will show evidence and legal arguments in cases including bribe-taking by soccer officials, match-fixing and racial abuse by fans.”

Marine Corps Times: Veterans database launching to link veterans with entertainment industry employers. “Veterans interested in the entertainment production industry will have a new resource to connect with employers, thanks to a new non-profit organization called Vets2Set slated to launch on Nov. 6.”


BetaNews: Google pushes out urgent Chrome update to patch actively exploited zero-day vulnerabilities. “The Chrome security team says that both vulnerabilities are use-after-free security issues which can be used to exploit arbitrary code. One vulnerability exists in an audio component of the browser, while the other can be found in the PDFium library. The Windows, macOS and Linux versions of Chrome are all affected.”

Ars Technica: Google buys Fitbit for $2.1 billion. “t’s official: Google is buying Fitbit. The company announced the move in a blog post this morning, and reports say the deal is worth $2.1 billion.” I don’t feel great about this; Google does not have a good track record of successfully integrating hardware companies (NEST), and its own hardware has had its problems. I’m trying to think of a company that’s good at making hardware that isn’t primarily hardware-focused, and I’m not having any luck.


MakeUseOf: 5 Free Audio Converters Online to Convert Any File Easily . “It’s surprising how often you need to convert audio files into an alternative format. Different MP3 players have different requirements. Some apps only work with specific formats, or perhaps you need to compress the size of recording to make it fit in an email or upload it to a cloud service. Whatever the reason, the web can help. There are dozens of audio file converters out there, each of which has different features and is designed for different use cases.”


Poynter: Turkish fact-checkers are at war — against old military operation footage and photos with false captions . “Turkish fact-checkers are at war. They are fighting loads of miscaptioned photos and videos, and a flood of false propaganda on Facebook and Twitter that’s being spread about Syria.”


BBC: Russia internet: Law introducing new controls comes into force. “A law introducing new controls on the internet has come into force in Russia amid concerns it may be used by the government to silence its critics. In theory, the ‘sovereign internet’ law gives officials wide-ranging powers to restrict traffic on the Russian web.”

CNET: Facebook sues hosts behind hacking sites that it says target the social network. “Facebook wants to take down sites like ‘’ and ‘,’ which allegedly offer hacking tools against the social networking giant. But it’s doing so by filing a copyright lawsuit and targeting the two domain hosts where the websites are registered.”


EurekAlert: New tool predicts eye, hair and skin color from a DNA sample of an unidentified individual. “This all-in-one pigmentation profile tool provides a physical description of the person in a way that has not previously been possible by generating all three pigment traits together using a freely available webtool. The tool is designed to be used when standard forensic DNA profiling is not helpful because no reference DNA exists against which to compare the evidence sample.”

Computing: Kew Gardens plans to digitise and release Darwin’s data . “Kew Gardens is planning to implement an integrated collections management system to unify its disparate databases and make their data available to the world. Whilst most think of the sculpted gardens when they think of Kew, and as a plot of land which is home to over 30,000 trees that’s unsurprising, most are unaware that it’s also a centre of scientific research, and home to the world’s most extensive botanic collections.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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