North Carolina Government, Ransomware Payments, Edwin Edwards, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, July 13, 2021


State Archives of North Carolina: Senate Audio, 1993-2005, Now Available in NCDC, and CLIR Recordings-at-Risk Grant Expanded. “As discussed in our behind-the-scenes post on this grant, to make the audio searchable, we first had to listen to 400+ audio files pulled from 64 Dictaphone Veritrac tapes and match up what we were hearing with the information published in the Senate Journals, available through the State Publications collection on NCDC… Using them, we pinpointed the legislative days covered by each file, providing users with both dates and legislative days that they can use navigate the Senate Audio files for 1993-2005.”

Gizmodo: This Crowdsourced Ransomware Payment Tracker Shows How Much Cybercriminals Have Heisted. “The way it works is Ransomwhere keeps a running tally of ransoms paid out to cybercriminals in the bitcoin cryptocurrency. This is largely made possible because of the transparent nature of bitcoin: All transactions involving the cryptocurrency are recorded on the blockchain, a decentralized database that acts as a public ledger, thus allowing anyone to track any transactions specifically associated with ransomware groups.”

KATC: LPB, La. Digital Media Archives compiles a list of digital assets of Edwin Edwards. “With the passing of former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) and Louisiana Digital Media Archive (LDMA) have compiled a body of archived work highlighting Edwards’ political career. The digital archives include profiles, interviews, and debates and they are all available for the public to freely stream…”

NBC Boston: New Online Trail From Famous Vt. Cheesemaker Connects Consumers to Farms. “One of the best-known brands in grocery stores across New England and beyond has a new tool that aims to drive business to dairy farms that welcome visits. The Vermont-based Cabot Cooperative Creamery, which makes the famous Cabot Cheddar Cheese and other dairy products, is pointing consumers to where they can visit member farms — the ones that are set up for public visits.”


Government Accountability Office: Watchdog Turns 100 but Keeps Barking: Help Us Celebrate Our 100th Birthday—Virtually. “In celebration of our 100th birthday, we will host a virtual event on Wednesday, July 14, starting at 1 p.m. The online ceremony will mark a century of nonpartisan, fact-based work for Congress, which began at GAO on July 1, 1921. Our event will include video tributes from Members of Congress, historical perspectives from the current Comptroller General Gene Dodaro and 2 of his predecessors, as well as remarks from various GAO executives. We are excited to highlight the contributions of our diverse staff to our agency’s mission and future direction.” The event will be livestreamed on YouTube.


Daily Dot: Twitter verified a number of bot accounts—raising questions about security (updated). “In a tweet thread on Sunday, Twitter user Conspirador Norteño, a data scientist focused on disinformation, highlighted six newly-created accounts that had all been verified. While it’s common for malicious actors to hack into already-verified accounts, the six users had all been created just 26 days ago. Not only that, the accounts shared nearly all the same followers and had not made a single tweet.”

AP: Cuba’s internet cutoff: The go-to tactic for global despots. “Cubans facing the country’s worst economic crisis in decades took to the streets over the weekend. In turn, authorities blocked social media sites in an apparent effort to stop the flow of information into, out of and within the beleaguered nation.”


ProPublica: A Banking App Has Been Suddenly Closing Accounts, Sometimes Not Returning Customers’ Money. “Chime, a ‘neobank’ serving millions, is racking up complaints from users who can’t access their cash. The company says it’s cracking down on an “extraordinary surge” in fraudulent deposits. That’s little consolation to customers caught in the fray.”

City A.M.: Rip-off travel ads ‘rife’ on Google as scammers exploit Brexit confusion. “Rip-off copycat adverts for travel documents are ‘running rife’ on search engines such as Google as unscrupulous sellers look to capitalise on confusion over post-Brexit travel arrangements.”


Sydney Morning Herald: Privacy laws must change to protect kids from social media data harvesting. “One estimate suggests more than 72 million data points are collected about children by advertisers alone before they turn the ripe age of 13. So much what they say, think, do is being sneakily tracked and stolen without meaningful consent. But why does consent in this case matter? The perpetrators are some of the most powerful and wealthy companies on the planet.”

Nature: I critiqued my past papers on social media — here’s what I learnt. “On Good Friday this year, traditionally a time of self-reflection in the Christian calendar, I began critiquing my own scientific record — writing down something critical about each of my publications. Much of my career, my writing and now my podcast, ‘The Error Bar’, has been spent criticizing others’ work. In 57 tweets… I recalled the worst things about each of my publications.”

CNET: YouTube recommendations serve up most videos viewers wish they’d never seen, study says. “When YouTube viewers volunteered to report videos they regretted watching, 71% of them were recommended by YouTube’s own algorithms, according to a Mozilla study.” Good morning, Internet…

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