National Risk Index, Twitter, YouTube, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, August 18, 2021


FEMA: FEMA Launches National Risk Index Update. “FEMA announced the full application launch of the National Risk Index, a new online resource that provides a clear, visual guide to natural hazard risks throughout the United States, and information to help communities to understand and reduce those risks, whether they involve flooding, wildfire, extreme heat, or drought.”


TechCrunch: Twitter taps crypto developer to lead ‘bluesky’ decentralized social network effort. “Crypto developer Jay Graber was tapped by Twitter to helm the initiative, which the company hopes will eventually create a decentralized social media protocol that a number of social networks including Twitter will operate on. The separate bluesky organization will operate independently but to date has been funded and managed largely by employees at Twitter.”

Ubergizmo: YouTube Testing Out Instant Translation For Comments. “…according to a report from Android Police, it seems that YouTube is testing out a new instant translation feature for the comments section. Unfortunately, this seems to be a feature that might only be available to YouTube Premium subscribers as the test is only for those who are subscribed to the service.” I was given the opportunity to look at this as a YouTube Premium subscriber. However, the feature was for phone apps only and I was desktopping it.


Digital Inspiration: How to Convert HTML to PDF with Google Script. “With Google Apps Script, you can easily convert any HTML content into a PDF file. The converted PDF file can be either saved to a folder in your Google Drive, you can email the file as an attachment or the use the UrlFetchApp service of Apps Script to post the PDF file to an external service like Amazon S3 or Dropbox.”

PCWorld: The best free backup software and services: Reviews and buying advice for protecting your data. “Finding a good free backup solution is easier than you’d think. A host of companies offer free online backup or free backup software—and perhaps surprisingly, nearly all of them are quite competent.”


BBC: Afghanistan: Facebook continues ban of Taliban-related content. “Facebook has confirmed it will continue to ban Taliban content from its platforms as it considers the group to be a terrorist organisation. The company says it has a dedicated team of Afghan experts to monitor and remove content linked to the group.”

Washington Post: He predicted the dark side of the Internet 30 years ago. Why did no one listen?. “In 1994 — before most Americans had an email address or Internet access or even a personal computer — Philip Agre foresaw that computers would one day facilitate the mass collection of data on everything in society. That process would change and simplify human behavior, wrote the then-UCLA humanities professor. And because that data would be collected not by a single, powerful ‘big brother’ government but by lots of entities for lots of different purposes, he predicted that people would willingly part with massive amounts of information about their most personal fears and desires.”


WRAL: NC Supreme Court: NC Railroad, owned by state, can keep records secret. “The North Carolina Railroad Company, which the state of North Carolina owns, doesn’t have to provide records to the public under the state’s open records law, a divided state Supreme Court ruled Friday. The decision, in Southern Environmental Law Center v. N.C. Railroad, upheld a lower court’s ruling.”

Security Boulevard: Hunting for secrets on GitHub. “We need to educate developers about just how bad of an idea it is to store credentials in their code and how much worse of an idea it is to commit secrets to code repositories (whether they are public or private). When secrets get committed to public repos, attackers can use tools like git-wild-hunt to quickly identify and exploit them.”

Search Engine Journal: WordPress SEOPress Plugin XSS Vulnerability. “Wordfence, a WordPress security software company, published details about a vulnerability in popular WordPress SEO software SEOPress. Before making the announcement, WordFence communicated the details of the vulnerability to the publishers of SEOPress who promptly fixed the issue and published a patch to fix it.”


The Guardian: Swiss researchers calculate pi to new record of 62.8tn figures. “Swiss researchers have calculated the mathematical constant pi to a new world-record level of exactitude, hitting 62.8tn figures using a supercomputer.”

MIT News: Searching for multiplicity, in computer science and daily life . “PhD student Rodrigo Ochigame designs alternative search engines and seeks to disrupt cultural assumptions in their teaching and research.” Mx. Ochigame’s Search Atlas engine is currently in private beta, but I have signed up and hope to get a chance to play with it. Good morning, Internet…

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