Crime Databases, Cameo, Linux, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 19, 2022


News@Northeastern: Northeastern Professor’s Mass Killings Database Goes Public. “It references every mass killing, by all weapons and means, in which four or more people (excluding the offender) were killed within a window of 24 hours. [Professor James Alan] Fox’s database provides a different perspective than other firearm-related sites, including the Gun Violence Archive, which includes shootings with four or more victims, most of whom survive their injuries. Less than 5% of mass shootings in the Gun Violence Archive are mass killings.”


Gizmodo: Cameo Now Lets You Have 10-Minute Calls With Celebs. “Cameo, the app that already lets you pay celebrities (often D-list), corrupt politicians, athletes, and others(?) to record personalized video messages, is expanding to 10-minute, live video calls. Users won’t just get a pre-recorded message. Instead, they’ll be able to interact with their chosen victim in real-time.”


Make Tech Easier: 12 of the Best Linux Distros in 2022. “If you’re new to Linux or are looking for a change, these distributions are easily among the best options in 2022. This list was designed to cover different experience levels and use cases. Whether you’re a system admin, developer, or desktop user, you’ll find something to interest you.”

MakeUseOf: How to Manage Your Side Search Panel in Google Chrome. “Google Chrome is constantly finding ways to improve its user experience. When you’re on a web page, and you want to perform a quick Google search, you can do that without opening a new tab. Enabling your Side Search panel allows you to easily browse through Google search results. In this article, you’ll learn how to manage your Side Search panel in Google Chrome.”


Search Engine Roundtable: Google Can & Does Drop URLs From Its Index Over Time. “Most SEOs that have been doing the search engine optimization thing for any amount of time know that Google can and likely will drop out URLs from the Google index. John Mueller from Google confirmed that this happens with Google Search on Twitter the other day.”

Artsy: This Millennial Built a Serious Art Collection through Social Media. “The Abruscatos have also made the most of their millennial internet fluency. As they prepared to make their first acquisitions, the pair embraced online buying and social media. Dylan was a fan of painter Jordan Kerwick’s fine brushwork and depictions of quiet domestic scenes, and in 2017 he decided to cold message the artist, requesting a work. ‘Buying a piece from him was as easy as texting a friend,’ Dylan said. Through such intimate channels, the couple pierced through what had previously seemed an impregnable space of art collecting.”


Ars Technica: Musk wins one, loses 21 others as judge denies access to many Twitter records. “The judge overseeing the Twitter/Elon Musk case is giving Musk access to evidence from one former Twitter executive but rejected his request for documents from 21 other potential witnesses. As previously reported, Musk was seeking evidence from employees responsible for calculating spam-account estimates and reportedly claimed Twitter was hiding key witnesses.”

Motherboard: How a Third-Party SMS Service Was Used to Take Over Signal Accounts. “Last week, hackers broke into the systems of Twilio, a cloud communications company that provides infrastructure to other companies to automate sending text messages to their users. By breaking into Twilio systems, hackers could have sent text messages to victims, and read their text messages as well. This potentially gave the hackers a chance to take over any victim’s accounts that were tied to their phone number on services that use Twilio. Crucially, Twilio provides text verification services for the encrypted messaging app Signal.”


Variety: U.S. Streaming Tops Cable TV Viewing for First Time, Nielsen Says. “For the month of July, streaming among American TV households represented a record 34.8% share of total consumption, while cable and broadcast came in at 34.4% and 21.6%, respectively. Streaming usage has surpassed that of broadcast before, but this is the first time it has also exceeded cable viewing.”

WIRED: How to Stop Robots From Becoming Racist. “The doll test was invented to better understand the evil consequences of separate and unequal treatment on the self-esteem of Black children in the United States. Lawyers from the NAACP used the results to successfully argue in favor of the desegregation of US schools. Now AI researchers say robots may need to undergo similar tests to ensure they treat all people fairly.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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