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Bureau of Reclamation, Cloudflare Radar, 2020 Census, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, October 2, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

Bureau of Reclamation: Reclamation launches online tool providing public access to water, power & environmental data . “The Bureau of Reclamation has launched an online tool that makes water, power and environmental data readily available to the public. The Reclamation Information Sharing Environment, also known as RISE, provides searchable data and maps in the West.”

Cloudflare Blog: Introducing Cloudflare Radar. “Each second, Cloudflare handles on average 18 million HTTP requests and 6 million DNS requests. With 1 billion unique IP addresses connecting to Cloudflare’s network we have one of the most representative views on Internet traffic worldwide. And by blocking 72 billion cyberthreats every day Cloudflare also has a unique position in understanding and mitigating Internet threats. Our goal is to help build a better Internet and we want to do this by exposing insights, threats and trends based on the aggregated data that we have.” I thought this might be a little crunchy for someone like me who isn’t directly involved in Internet security, but it’s fascinating.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The Hill: Judge begins contempt proceedings for Wilbur Ross over allegedly defying census order. “U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, appointed by former President Obama, initiated contempt of court proceedings during a Tuesday hearing, accusing the Department of Commerce of disobeying her previous order, Bloomberg News reported. She set a hearing for the proceedings for Friday.”

CNBC: Facebook will ban ads that seek to delegitimize US election. “Facebook on Wednesday announced that it will not allow any ads on its service that seek to delegitimize the outcome of an election, including the upcoming U.S. election on Nov. 3.”

BetaNews: Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.23.0 with promise of new Video Conference utility. “PowerToys v0.23.0 is a release that focuses on ‘stability, localization and quality of life improvements’, and there are numerous fixes to the various the utilities that make up the suite. Unfortunately, there are no new tools in this version, but Microsoft has given an update about the upcoming Video Conference utility.”

USEFUL STUFF

Lifehacker: How to Avoid Malware on TikTok and Instagram. “TikTok’s days as a viable social media platform might be numbered, at least in the U.S. (unless something changes before Trump’s recent executive order kills it for good), but the app still works for now, and its massive user base is as active as ever. And that includes shady app developers who are using the platform to spread scams and malware.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Global Voices: Fearing the national security law, Hongkongers change their social media habits. “Between August 29 and September 1, The Stand News asked its readers, through a series of online polls, how the national security law impacted their lives. The results of the survey, in which 2,587 people took part, are published in this story, which comes along with interviews with protesters, journalists, civil servants, teachers, and others. We wanted to find out how they are managing their fear under the new draconian law.”

CNET: Facebook critics launch shadow oversight board. “A group of Facebook critics have created a shadow oversight board to appraise the social network’s content moderation decisions and other policies. The body, which announced its creation on Friday, will hold its first meeting [this] week, before Facebook’s own oversight board debuts.”

NBC News: QAnon leaders look to rebrand after tech crack downs. “Facing crackdowns from tech companies that limit the reach of their content, leaders in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement have been urging their followers to drop the ‘QAnon’ label from their wide-ranging conspiracy theories and simply refer to their fight against a fictitious cabal of powerful baby-eating politicians without their increasingly problematic branding.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

BetaNews: Source code for Windows XP and other Microsoft software leaks online. “Torrents have appeared online containing the source code for Windows XP, Windows 2000, and other software from Microsoft. Shared on the notorious 4chan, a collection of files approaching 50GB in size also include the source code for Windows Server 2003, Windows NT and MS DOS.”

World Trademark Review: Scams and spam: USPTO users face epidemic of spurious communications. “Suspicious advertising and fraudulent invoice campaigns targeting US trademark owners again appear to be a growing problem, with one victim claiming to have lost more than $30,000 after allegedly being scammed on freelance platform UpWork.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Washington Post: Trump’s assault on Twitter is an attack on the First Amendment. “President Trump’s ongoing assault against Twitter may represent the most egregious violation of the First Amendment by a president since Richard M. Nixon went to war against this newspaper almost half a century ago. Given the stakes, reaction has been strangely muted. Perhaps Americans have become accustomed to the president’s tweets and don’t believe he would do violence to his primary communications platform. Perhaps people are weary of the ceaseless controversies around social media. Regardless, the seriousness of what’s happening and the threat it represents to one of our country’s most basic principles must be confronted.” Good morning, Internet…

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