Twitter Lists, Butterball Hotline, XKCD Charts, More: Tuesday Evening ResearchBuzz, November 19, 2019


TechCrunch: Twitter launches a way to report abusive use of its Lists feature. “Like many things found on today’s social media platforms, Twitter’s Lists feature was introduced without thinking about the impact it could have on marginalized groups, or how it could otherwise be used for abuse or surveillance if put in the hands of bad actors. Today, Twitter is taking a step to address that problem with the launch of a new reporting feature that specifically addresses the abusive use of Twitter Lists.”

WTHR: The Butterball hotline is back and it even has an Alexa Skill. “It’s a Thanksgiving tradition that has become as familiar and comforting as family and football. It’s the Butterball hotline, and it’s been keeping up with the technological times with advice on social media and even Amazon’s Alexa.”


Kottke: Javascript Library for Creating XKCD-Style Charts. “Tim Qian has created a Javascript library called chart.xkcd for making charts that look hand-drawn in the style of XKCD.”

Lifehacker: These Viral Excel Shortcuts Are Actually Useful. “‘How fast can you work in Excel?’ asks a viral video that’s been bouncing around the internet for over a year. The animation demonstrates some quality Excel shortcuts.”


TechCrunch: Iran shuts down country’s internet in the wake of fuel protests. “Iran, one of the countries most strongly identified with the rise cyber terrorism and malicious hacking, appears now to be using an iron fist to turn on its own. The country has reportedly shut down nearly all internet access in the country in retaliation to escalating protests that were originally ignited by a rise in fuel prices, according to readings taken by NetBlocks, an NGO that monitors cybersecurity and internet governance around the world.”

South China Morning Post: Heritage conservation in China: why ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ devoted her life to keeping Buddhist caves and relics alive . “Anyone with more than an ounce of interest in Dunhuang will have heard of Fan Jinshi. Now 81, the Chinese archaeologist who has spent more than half a century researching and preserving the caves at the heart of the ancient Silk Road in Gansu province is known as the ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ in her field, though ‘protector’ is probably a more fitting description.”

ReviewGeek: Google Stadia Review: An Expensive and Limited Beta. “I wish Google had labeled Stadia as a beta product because that’s what it is. If they had, I’d be able to recommend the streaming game platform as a curiosity to interested early adopters. But instead, Google is positioning the Stadia Founder’s Edition and the nearly identical Premiere Edition as a retail product. And evaluated on those terms, it’s not ready for prime time and not ready to compete with the established giants of the gaming industry.”


Boing Boing: Sidewalk Labs’ quiet plan for Canada’s banks to manage a national digital ID for health care and housing. “I’m delighted to welcome Lilian Radovac back for another excellent piece on the digital surveillance shenanigans in Canada, which aren’t always as showy as their stateside counterparts, but are every bit as worrying. In this piece, Radovac reveals the buried plan for a finance-sector managed, all-surveilling National ID card buried in the latest massive wedge of largely unread documents from Google spin-out Sidewalk Labs (previously) that is building a controversial, privatised city-within-a-city in Toronto.”

Ars Technica: Google & Samsung fix Android spying flaw. Other makers may still be vulnerable. “Until recently, weaknesses in Android camera apps from Google and Samsung made it possible for rogue apps to record video and audio and take images and then upload them to an attacker-controlled server—without any permissions to do so. Camera apps from other manufacturers may still be susceptible.”


Hackaday: FieldKit Is The Grand Prize Winner Of The 2019 Hackaday Prize . “FieldKit, an open-source, modular sensor system for conducting research in harsh environments has just been named the Grand Prize winner of the 2019 Hackaday Prize. The award for claiming the top place and title of ‘Best Product’ in this nine-month global engineering initiative is $125,000.” Good evening, Internet…

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