Business Cybersecurity, California Water Management, Biodiversity Information, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, February 22, 2022


The Register: CISA publishes list of free security tools for business protection. “The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) has published a web catalog of free cybersecurity resources in the hope that those overseeing critical infrastructure can use the tools to better secure their systems.”

California Department of Water Resources: DWR Launches New Website to Improve Tracking of Local and Statewide Water Conditions Amid Extreme Dry Conditions. “The website brings together data from DWR and other sources to provide dynamic real-time information on precipitation, temperature, reservoirs, snowpack, groundwater, streamflow, soil moisture, and vegetation conditions. Users can enter an address to see local conditions, including daily precipitation and temperature statistics, for their area and links to water supplier information. The website also allows users to compare data on local conditions by year and by region.”

National Academies: Biodiversity at Risk — New Booklet. “The booklet, written by an international committee of experts and intended for policymakers and the public, examines the causes of biodiversity loss and presents actions that can be taken at all levels to stop this decline. Halting and reversing the biodiversity crisis will require systemic changes to the ways we build, farm, and live, the booklet says. Individual actions also have an important role to play, and the booklet outlines how individuals can change their habits to benefit biodiversity.” The booklet is free to download or read online.


Search Engine Journal: YouTube Rolls Out New Metadata For Educational Videos. “This update was announced during YouTube’s weekly news roundup that includes a number of smaller changes for creators that are worth knowing about. Here’s a recap of the latest news for YouTube creators, starting with the metadata update.”


MakeUseOf: 4 Free Ways to Add a Watermark to PDFs Online. “The Portable Document Format (PDF) was released in 1993 by Adobe Inc and has grown to become one of the most popular document formats available. PDF files are generally considered to be safer, but did you know that you can further secure your PDF file by adding a watermark? In this article, you’ll learn how to add a watermark to a PDF file for free.”


Mashable: Remembering Tumblr’s strangest, most formative communities. “In the rearview, a singular Tumblr era has taken hold of the cultural consciousness. Known as the 2014 Tumblr Girl aesthetic, the overall vibe involves a devotion to American Apparel, subversive teen series Skins, the black-and-white filter, Lorde, and Matty Healy of The 1975. But there’s so much more to Tumblr, the blogging platform that raised an entire generation of fangirls and artists, than one aesthetic. What about the often forgotten communities on Tumblr that made it such a meaningful platform to so many different people? They might have been written out of public consciousness, but they’ll always be a formative part of our adolescence.”

Poynter: How news organizations are using timestamp disclaimers to reduce misinformation. “These warnings have become more popular in the past few years, and news organizations are applying them to both social media posts and articles themselves. Some simply tell the reader how old the article is. Others are more prominent, using colored banners and additional language warning readers that information contained in the story may no longer be current.”


Pew/Stateline: Think Twice Before Scanning That QR Code. “Scanning a Quick Response, or QR code, is convenient and easy. And it is contactless, which can make people feel safer in public places such as restaurants, many of which substituted the codes for paper menus. But cybersecurity experts say QR codes also created new opportunities for fraudsters, who can tamper with them and direct victims to malicious websites to steal their personal and financial information.”

Search Engine Land: Google vs. Edible Arrangements: Court rejects ‘theft’ claim. “Edible IP, which owns the trademarks and intellectual property of Edible Arrangements, claimed that Google selling the keyword ‘Edible Arrangements’ to competitors violates Georgia law. Edible said Google began auctioning the ‘Edible Arrangements’ keyword to advertisers in ‘approximately 2011.'”


Global Network on Extremism & Technology: Offline Versus Online Radicalisation: Which is the Bigger Threat?. “Governments, social media companies and the general public are becoming increasingly concerned about the threat of those who are radicalised online and turn to violent extremism. However, the evidence base for this concern is not fully formed. For instance, it is not yet clear if those who are being radicalised offline are still the greater threat. It is particularly important to explore this issue empirically, as large amounts of material resources from both the public and the private sectors may be redirected from offline to online initiatives. This report seeks to explore the differences in outcomes for those who have been primarily radicalised offline versus those radicalised online.”

New York Times: Who Is Behind QAnon? Linguistic Detectives Find Fingerprints. “Sleuths hunting for the writer behind Q have increasingly overlooked Mr. [Paul] Furber and focused their speculation on another QAnon booster: Ron Watkins, who operated a website where the Q messages began appearing in 2018 and is now running for Congress in Arizona. And the scientists say they found evidence to back up those suspicions as well. Mr. Watkins appears to have taken over from Mr. Furber at the beginning of 2018. Both deny writing as Q.”

PsyPost: Study explores the psychological predictors of cyberchondria, a pattern of excessive searching for health information online. “A new study has identified psychological constructs that best predict the tendency to excessively search for health-related information online while experiencing spiraling anxiety. The findings, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, revealed that health anxiety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms are among the top predictors of this behavior.” Good morning, Internet…

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