California Genealogical Society: Update: USCIS comment period extended to February 10. “You may have heard that U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing to exponentially increase fees for retrieval of their genealogy records. In some cases this would mean raising costs as much as 500 percent. We wrote about this previously in our blog. USCIS is the repository for most immigration and naturalization records from the late 19th to the mid-20th century. The proposal has drawn protests from historians and genealogists and even from some Congressional members, most notably Senator Mitt Romney.”
Dexigner: Synoptic Office Launches Open Source Archive of Chinese Typefaces. “Synoptic Office has launched Chinese Type Archive, a volunteer-run, open data resource that will bring awareness and discussion around Chinese typefaces for designers. The archive aims to support designers who use Chinese typography by developing descriptors for concepts and typefaces, as well as archiving related and relevant visual examples.”
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
CNET: Snap misses on revenue but attracts more daily users. “Snapchat roped in new users during the last three months of 2019 but didn’t rake in as many ad dollars as expected, a sign that the ephemeral messaging app is still struggling to keep up with rivals such as Facebook-owned Instagram and TikTok. Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, said Tuesday that 218 million people logged into the app daily during the fourth quarter, up 17% from the same period last year.”
VentureBeat: Facebook Gaming launches tools for streamers to deal with trolls. “Facebook is launching a dashboard and toolkit for streamers and video makers so they can more easily manage their communities, including viewers who don’t follow the rules.”
eWeek: Law Firm Launches Free E-Discovery App. “New York-based law firm Reed Smith on Feb. 3 announced the launch of the new ‘E-Discovery App’ for litigation professionals and others in the e-discovery community. This mobile application was developed in-house by the firm’s Records & E-Discovery (RED) Practice Group in collaboration with the firm’s legal tech subsidiary, Gravity Stack.” I know what “discovery” is in legal terms; for e-discovery I could infer, but I wasn’t certain. Exterro gave me all the deets.
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
CNN: Exclusive: Google kept scam fishing license ads up for months after being told about them, states say. “Google failed to stop a network of predatory websites from buying ads to promote ‘scam’ fishing licenses to people across the country even after multiple state agencies repeatedly complained to the company about the ads, those states told CNN Business.”
BuzzFeed News: BuzzFeed News is recruiting teenagers to make election-themed TikTok and Instagram videos. “BuzzFeed News is looking for a few good teens. The news division of the popular entertainment site is recruiting a brand new type of employee — dubbed ‘Teen Ambassadors’ — who will create original TikTok and Instagram videos as part of the site’s 2020 election coverage.”
New York Times: The Gap Between the Haves and Have-Nots of Tech Widens. “In the last two weeks, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon — like Alphabet, all flirting with a $1 trillion stock value on Wall Street — posted record results. The final member of tech’s Big Five, Facebook, which is a little more than halfway to a $1 trillion valuation, also reported strong earnings. With each passing quarter, tech’s wealthiest companies are building on their power, making it harder for smaller outfits to compete and for entrepreneurs to build the next Google or Facebook.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
Computer Business Review: Flying Blind: 70% of Airport Websites Contain Vulnerabilities. “More than one in five websites operated by airports contain publicly known and exploitable vulnerabilities, while 97 percent still use some form of outdated web software, according to a new report by Switzerland-based web security company ImmuniWeb. The company, which tested the cybersecurity of 100 of the world’s largest airport’s websites, found a mishmash of vulnerable web applications, misconfigured clouds and code repository leaks among other worrying security issues reported this week.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
Medical University of South Carolina: AI tool studied as way to provide cancer risk assessment in low-resource communities. “Originally designed as a type of social network provided through an app, ItRunsInMyFamily has evolved into a simple informatics tool that uses artiﬁcial intelligence and social networking to collect family health history from patients. Participants complete a short 10-minute questionnaire easily accessible through a website. The free survey, which was built by cancer and informatics experts, using the most current health care guidelines and models, helps individuals do a comprehensive hereditary risk assessment.” Good evening, Internet…
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