Australia Universities, North Carolina Air Quality, Incognito Mode, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 17, 2021


Student Job Board: New social media index ranks Australia’s top-performing universities. “A new University Social Media Index has launched today, shining a light on Australian universities and their visibility online via social media and digital channels. Created by the Student Job Board, the index compares Australian universities on their use of major social media platforms, and ranks them based on audience numbers and engagement.”

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality: New air quality tool officially launches in partnership with State Climate Office. “The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has partnered with the North Carolina State Climate Office to develop a new air quality tool, the Ambient Information Reporter (AIR). The new tool contains statewide weather and air quality observations about past, current, and forecasted air quality events.”


9to5 Google: Google Chrome is redesigning the Incognito tab, possibly in response to $5 billion lawsuit. “Live now in the Canary version of Chrome on Android, a new Incognito tab design is being implemented by Google. As the folks over at TechDows found, this appeared just this week. The ‘Revamped Incognito New Tab Page’ is disabled by default, but eventually may replace the current incognito UI on Android, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, and Mac versions of the world’s most popular browser.”


Make Tech Easier: How to Measure Altitude Using Your Phone. “Measuring your altitude on your phone can reveal much about the weather and living conditions of your location. While you may often use your phone’s location for 2D street-level navigation, those same satellites can also help you find your distance above sea level. This tutorial shows how when paired with a barometric pressure sensor and a data connection (if there’s one available), your phone can measure your altitude with surprising accuracy.”


Vice: Team Trump’s ‘Free Speech’ Platform Has a Child Abuse Problem. “Gettr, the pro-Trump Twitter alternative launched last month by close Trump adviser Jason Miller, is allowing users to share child exploitation images. New research from the Stanford Internet Observatory’s Cyber Policy Center has laid bare the dangers of the platform’s almost complete lack of moderation and identified more than a dozen child abuse images being shared by Gettr users.”

Women Love Tech: The Power of TikTok Skinfluencers. “While these beauty influencers appear on all social platforms, TikTok is the platform of choice because it allows them to produce short, unfiltered videos which can go viral quickly that talk about skincare routines and what products they recommend. Traackr data revealed that TikTok influencer posts about skincare have increased by 16% when comparing the first half of 2020 to the first half of 2021.”


TechCrunch: Pearson to pay $1M fine for misleading investors about 2018 data breach. “Pearson, a London-based publishing and education giant that provides software to schools and universities has agreed to pay $1 million to settle charges that it misled investors about a 2018 data breach resulting in the theft of millions of student records.”

Bleeping Computer: Ford bug exposed customer and employee records from internal systems. “A bug on Ford Motor Company’s website allowed for accessing sensitive systems and obtaining proprietary data, such as customer databases, employee records, internal tickets, etc. The data exposure stemmed from a misconfigured instance of Pega Infinity customer engagement system running on Ford’s servers.”


The Conversation: The Internet Archive has been fighting for 25 years to keep what’s on the web from disappearing – and you can help. “You may not realize portions of the internet are constantly disappearing. As librarians and archivists, we strengthen collective memory by preserving materials that document the cultural heritage of society, including on the web. You can help us save the internet, too, as a citizen archivist.”

Wired: Deepfakes Are Now Making Business Pitches. “Some partners at EY, the accounting giant formerly known as Ernst & Young, are now testing a new workplace gimmick for the era of artificial intelligence. They spice up client presentations or routine emails with synthetic talking-head-style video clips starring virtual body doubles of themselves made with AI software—a corporate spin on a technology commonly known as deepfakes.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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