Natural Disaster Preparation, Ireland Media Ownership, The Henry Ford, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, November 13, 2020


New-to-me, from Texas Advanced Computing Center: Disaster Database Is Go-To Hub For Natural Hazard Information. “The Seattle mega-quake scenario is one of hundreds of data sets published on DesignSafe, a database for natural disaster information created by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin that has changed how planners, builders, policymakers and engineers prepare for and respond to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and more. The data repository gives researchers the ability to formally publish data sets related to natural disaster studies in the same way research papers are published in journals, giving them an accessible digital home.”

Irish Times: Broadcasting regulator launches Irish media ownership database. “The site… was commissioned by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) from the Dublin City University (DCU) School of Communications. It allows the public to check the ownership of a database of media businesses that serve Irish audiences at either national, regional or local level, including international companies that have a presence here.”


PRWeb: The Henry Ford Reaches Milestone with 100,000 Artifacts Digitized (PRESS RELEASE). “For nearly a decade, The Henry Ford has worked to digitize its unparalleled collection of artifacts that tell the story of America’s traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation in order to make them more accessible, to educate and inspire those around the world. Today, the organization is proud to announce that it has reached the important milestone of digitizing its 100,000th artifact, a photograph of the 100,000th Fordson Tractor.”

Mashable: Google’s Australian addition to its mobile AR puts koalas in your house . “Google has added eight Australian animals to its collection of mobile AR creatures, allowing users to size up animated 3D renditions of the country’s native fauna. It’s an entertaining little update, and a good tool to help you determine which ones you could take in a fight.” Well, um, that escalated quickly.

Voice of America: Facebook Extends Ban on US Political Ads for Another Month. “As election misinformation raged online, Facebook Inc. said on Wednesday its post-election ban on political ads would likely last another month, raising concerns from campaigns and groups eager to reach voters for key Georgia Senate races in January. The ban, one of Facebook’s measures to combat misinformation and other abuses on its site, was supposed to last about a week but could be extended. Alphabet Inc.’s Google also appeared to be sticking with its post-election political ad ban.”


CNN: Ring recalls 350,000 smart doorbells after some of them caught fire. “The potential fire hazard impacts around 350,000 2nd generation Ring doorbells sold in the United States and roughly 8,700 more sold in Canada, according to a notice posted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Tuesday. The $100 doorbells were sold on Ring’s website and on Amazon (AMZN) between June 2020 and October 2020, according to the CPSC.”

BBC: China to clamp down on internet giants. “China has proposed new regulations aimed at curbing the power of its biggest internet companies. The regulations suggest increasing unease in Beijing with the growing influence of digital platforms. The new rules could affect homegrown tech giants like Alibaba, Ant Group and Tencent, as well as food delivery platform Meituan.”


Bleeping Computer: New tool lets attackers easily create reply-chain phishing emails. “A new email tool advertised on a cybercriminal forum provides a stealthier method for carrying out fraud or malware attacks by allowing messages to be injected directly into the victim’s inbox. By slipping content in the normal email flow, the utility can help bypass protections that verify messages traveling to their destination mail server.”

BetaNews: DDoS attacks become smarter and easier to carry out. “Although ransomware has dominated 2020’s cyber threat landscape, DDoS attacks haven’t gone away. In fact the year has seen the largest DDoS attack ever recorded, peaking at 2.3 Terabytes per second. The attack was carried out by deploying hijacked CLDAP (Connection-less Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) web servers and caused three days of downtime for the unnamed targeted business. This is one of the things highlighted in new analysis from Digital Shadows.”

Reuters: Exclusive: Group of 165 Google critics calls for swift EU antitrust action – letter. “A group of 165 companies and industry bodies have called on EU antitrust enforcers to take a tougher line against Google, saying the U.S. tech giant unfairly favours its own services on its web searches.”


NBC News: Misinformation by a thousand cuts: Varied rigged election claims circulate. “An analysis of post-election conversations in social media, broadcast, traditional and online media by the intelligence platform Zignal Labs reported more than 4.6 million mentions of voter fraud in the week after Election Day. The conversation centers on more than 20 distinct narratives making up an election fraud disinformation campaign, according to an analysis provided to NBC News by the Election Integrity Partnership, a coalition of researchers studying misinformation and the vote.”

The Conversation: The Matrix is already here: Social media promised to connect us, but left us isolated, scared and tribal. “I’m a psychiatrist who studies anxiety and stress, and I often write about how our politics and culture are mired in fear and tribalism. My co-author is a digital marketing expert who brings expertise to the technological-psychological aspect of this discussion. With the nation on edge, we believe it’s critical to look at how easily our society is being manipulated into tribalism in the age of social media. Even after the exhausting election cycle is over, the division persists, if not widening, and conspiracy theories continue to emerge, grow and divide on the social media.” Good morning, Internet…

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