afternoonbuzz

Kehos Seforim, Mozilla VPN, Making GIFs, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, February 20, 2020

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Anash: Newest Kehos Books Online for All. “Over the past few months, HebrewBooks.org has been uploading hundreds of the newest Kehos seforim to their online database, including those just published for the first time.”

The Next Web: Mozilla launches a VPN app for Android and Windows. “The app is currently in the beta phase, and you need an invite to sign up. Once you get an invite, you need to pay $4.99 a month, because privacy is not a free lunch. In return, Mozilla vows not to log your network traffic or your browsing history.”

USEFUL STUFF

Tom’s Guide: How to make a GIF: A complete guide to making GIFs on iPhone, Android and PC . “Although most mobile operating systems and messaging services are outfitted with GIF libraries, you might be wondering how to make a GIF of your own. Whether it’s a YouTube clip or personal photos and videos you want to turn into internet art, there are a few tools at your disposal.”

TechRadar: The best free drawing software 2020: free apps for artists of all abilities . “Here, we’ve picked out the very best free drawing software for Windows. Some of these tools are designed for serious illustrators, while others are better for keeping children occupied without the mess of real painting. There’s something for everyone – the only limits are your imagination and skill.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Library of Congress: The Magnificent Seven: Looking Back on a Year of Exploring the Web Archives Datasets. “It has been just over a year since we kicked off a deep dive into the Library of Congress Web Archives on the Signal! Now at over 2 petabytes, the web archives are a complex aggregation of interrelated web objects that make up the internet as we know it (images, text, code, audio, video, etc.). In keeping with the Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress, we are working to ‘throw open the treasure chest’ by making this digital content as broadly available as possible. However, without the proper tools to navigate this complex resource, users may think of the treasure chest as more of a Pandora’s box!”

ZDNet: Facebook ‘deeply concerned’ about Singapore directive to block access. “Facebook has called out the Singapore government for its use of the country’s Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) to block access to a page on the social networking platform. The move goes against an earlier pledge that the legislation would not be used to censor voices, says the US internet giant.”

Wired: YouTube Gaming’s Most-Watched Videos Are Dominated by Scams and Cheats. “In January, all seven of the most-watched YouTube Gaming channels weren’t run by happy gamers livestreaming the game du jour. They were instead recorded, autoplaying videos advertising videogame cheats and hacks, sometimes attached to sketchy, credential-vacuuming websites, according to one analytics firm. The trend has continued into this month, with five of the top seven most-watched YouTube Gaming channels last weekend advertising cheats.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

VentureBeat: How AI is fighting, and could enable, ransomware attacks on cities. “Before 2019, ransomware was perhaps best known for targeting businesses and individuals. Attacks against Travelex, oil and gas companies like Maersk and industrial control systems led to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses in recent years. But increasingly, cities, public utilities, and public-facing institutions are also being targeted. As attacks increase, a growing number of security experts are using AI to improve the effectiveness of their malware attack defenses.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

MIT Technology Review: The messy, secretive reality behind OpenAI’s bid to save the world . “The implication is that [Artificial General Intelligence] could easily run amok if the technology’s development is left to follow the path of least resistance. Narrow intelligence, the kind of clumsy AI that surrounds us today, has already served as an example. We now know that algorithms are biased and fragile; they can perpetrate great abuse and great deception; and the expense of developing and running them tends to concentrate their power in the hands of a few. By extrapolation, AGI could be catastrophic without the careful guidance of a benevolent shepherd. OpenAI wants to be that shepherd, and it has carefully crafted its image to fit the bill.” Deep, disturbing dive.

TechCrunch: Web traffic increases in 2019 were driven by mobile; top 100 sites saw average of 223B monthly visits. “Mobile adoption around the world is having a significant impact on the web’s traffic. According to a new report from SimilarWeb, out today, mobile web traffic has jumped 30.6% since 2017, while desktop traffic dropped 3.3%. But it’s not just the numbers that are changing. Mobile visitors also behave differently from their desktop web counterparts, staying on pages for shorter periods of time, for example, which is impacting core metrics web publishers today track.” Good evening, Internet…

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