South Dakota Missing Persons, Mozilla VPN, Microsoft Edge, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 19, 2020


KEVN: South Dakota launches missing persons clearinghouse. “The South Dakota Attorney General’s office is hoping to streamline the process by which missing people are found in the state. The new clearinghouse stems from SB 27, which passed both houses of the South Dakota State Legislature unanimously. The bill went into effect officially on July 1st.”


PC World: Mozilla’s paid, unlimited VPN service goes live. “Last year, Mozilla began testing the FIrefox Private Network, in its Test Pilot beta network. Today, Mozilla makes it official: the renamed Mozilla VPN is now available for Windows, for $4.99 per month. It rolls out in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, and New Zealand today, with plans to expand to other countries this fall.”

Neowin: Edge 84 begins rolling out with Collections, PDF improvements, and more. “Microsoft has begun rolling out version 84 of the Edge browser to users in the stable channel. The release comes just two days after Chrome released version 84 to the desktop. The Redmond giant aligned the release of its browser with that of Chrome since both are built on the same open-source platform.”


Wired: How to Know If You’ve Been Hacked—and What to Do About It. “The average person will likely face fewer sophisticated threats than, say, a senior politician, activist or CEO. More high-profile figures may be targeted with phishing emails that are looking to steal secrets from corporate networks or initiate the transfer of large sums of money. You, your friends and your family will likely face different threats: from people you know seeking revenge, or, more likely, crime groups using automated tools to scoop up credentials en masse.”


New York Times: Hollywood Stays Away From Facebook Ad Boycott. “The pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Bayer have joined the anti-Facebook campaign. So have Microsoft and Verizon. Also represented are industries like apparel (Levi Strauss, Eddie Bauer), autos (Ford, Honda), household products (Unilever, Kimberly-Clark) and beverages (Coca-Cola, Starbucks). But one of Facebook’s most important advertising categories — Hollywood — has been noticeably silent even though stopping hate speech is one of the entertainment industry’s longtime causes.”

New Age Business (Bangladesh): Telcos asked to stop free, cheap social media offers. “The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has asked the mobile phone operators to stop all the offers that allow mobile phone users to connect with the social media sites, including Facebook, free of cost or at cheap rates. The telecom regulator on July 14 issued a letter to the telecom operators asking them to implement the directive from July 15.”


BBC: Iran halts execution of three protesters after online campaign. “Iran has halted the executions of three men who were sentenced to death over anti-government protests last year, according to one of their lawyers. Babak Paknia told reporters that a request for a retrial had been accepted by the supreme court. The decision comes after a hashtag against their execution was used millions of times online.”

Greater Kashmir: Sopore youth held for ‘misusing’ social media. “Police have arrested a youth here for creating a fake social media account and ‘misusing it for anti-national activities.’ A police official said Rayees Ahmad Mir @ Danish, of Brath Kalan had created a fake facebook page for carrying out anti-national activities.”

TechHive: EU launches antitrust probe focusing on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri . “Are voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant stifling competition when they only let you stream music from a single service, or when then send you to a specific shopping site by default? It’s a fair question, and one that European Union regulators are looking to answer as part of a ‘sweeping’ antitrust probe, Bloomberg reports.”


NiemanLab: Amid a pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests, Facebook users are giving fewer clicks to “soft news”. “Coverage of Black Lives Matter protests and the coronavirus pandemic pushed engagement on Facebook to an all-time high this quarter. A new report from NewsWhip, a social media tracking company, shows that the two topics garnered more engagement — likes, shares, the new caring emoji reaction, etc. — on Facebook than all content in the same quarter of 2018.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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