Hacker History, Women in Film, Public Domain Materials, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, January 2, 2020

Y’all, that’s about the sickest I’ve been in a long time. Thank you for your nice comments. Think I finally got rid of the last of it this morning, but I expect to be on a rice and applesauce diet for a while. Onward!


SC Magazine UK: EXCLUSIVE: Free resource launched to teach infosec researchers a thing or two from the past. “The Octopi Hacking Archive is a totally free to access online resource aimed at security researchers and members of the broader infosec community. This truly massive chunk of computer history is being put online to bring the collected works of some of the earliest hacking groups into one archive.”

Bustle: Meet The Women Who Pioneered The Film Industry. “Created by film scholar Jane Gaines in 1993, Columbia University’s Women Film Pioneers Project (WFPP) is now an online database dedicated to documenting the contributions women made to the silent film era beyond acting. Today, the database has over 280 profiles of women who worked across six continents in roles ranging from accountants and agents to screenwriters, editors, producers, art directors, camera operators, casting directors, composers, cinematographers, costume designers, and even animal trainers and stunt performers. There are 117 profiles of female directors alone.”


Center for the Study of Public Domain: Public Domain Day 2020. “On January 1, 2020, works from 1924 will enter the US public domain, where they will be free for all to use and build upon, without permission or fee. These works include George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, silent films by Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, and books such as Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, and A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young. These works were supposed to go into the public domain in 2000, after being copyrighted for 75 years. But before this could happen, Congress hit a 20-year pause button and extended their copyright term to 95 years.” So much goodness. Harold Lloyd, a silent film stuntster like Buster Keaton, is not known enough. Check out this scene from the iconic film Safety Last. Filmed almost a century ago and still had me on the edge of my seat.

CNET: TikTok releases transparency report as US lawmakers question Chinese ownership. “TikTok released its first transparency report this week, revealing that it received no user information requests from China in the first half of 2019. The release follows the US Army and Navy banning the video app, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, from government phones over fears that it’s tied to the Chinese government.” No user information requests from China in the first half of 2019? This is me lifting my eyebrows.


Gizmodo: 12 Things to Do to Your Friends’ and Family’s Tech to Get Them to Stop Bothering You. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year: The time when you get to tackle a year’s worth of tech troubles in just one visit to the home of a relative. If you’re the designated IT expert in your branch of the family, here’s how to pass on the most useful advice in the quickest time possible, so you can get back to enjoying yourself.”


Mashable: The tech we lost in 2019: RIP iTunes, MoviePass, and AirPower. “From folding phones to more wireless earbuds than we can name, there was a lot of new tech we fell in love with in 2019. But for every eye-popping new gadget we tried, there was another one that never made it. From Apple toys that once had so much promise (AirPower! 12-inch MacBook!), to those that were probably doomed from the start (MoviePass, Coolest Cooler), this is our annual reminder that no product or service can sustain itself on hype alone.”

CNN: A fake Twitter account stirred tensions between Jews and African Americans. Trolls celebrated.. “Trolls on the online forum 4chan celebrated on New Year’s Day as a fake Twitter (TWTR) account seeking to stoke tensions between Jewish and black Americans amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in New York provoked outrage. Even as the trolls celebrated, the account went unchecked by Twitter for hours despite dozens of users saying they reported the account to the social media company.”

Taipei Times: Lawmaker urges university to hand over KMT files . “Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) yesterday urged National Taiwan University to hand over historical files associated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to the Transitional Justice Commission so that they could be made public.”


ProPublica: IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax. “The IRS announced significant changes Monday to its deal with the tax prep software industry. Now companies are barred from hiding their free products from search engines such as Google, and a years-old prohibition on the IRS creating its own online filing system has been scrapped.”

New Westminster Record: Mounties defend social-media profiling after assembling portrait of activist . “The RCMP is defending its practice of profiling people by scouring their online social-media presences, saying the national police force lawfully obtains information with the aim of protecting Canadians. A Toronto activist concerned about mining-industry abuses recently learned the Mounties compiled a six-page profile of her shortly after she showed up at a federal leaders debate during the 2015 election campaign.”


Ars Technica: This time, for sure! Ars Technica’s 2020 Deathwatch . ” We have taken the pulse of our editors and readers and divined the ashes from all those lovely dumpster fires in an effort to prognosticate the companies, services, and products in the tech world that will lead 2020’s inevitable march into ignominy. And we’re not even going to mention the election cycle, I promise.”

ScienceBlog: Mindfulness Video Game Changes Areas Of The Brain Associated With Attention. “A research team at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of California, Irvine, designed a video game to improve mindfulness in middle schoolers and found that when young people played the game, they showed changes in areas of their brains that underlie attention.” Which is great, but the game is not yet publicly available. Good afternoon, Internet…

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