Climate Change in Diplomacy, Fatal Force Database, Vivaldi Browser, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 8, 2022


US Government Accountability Office: Climate Hazards Could Disrupt U.S. State Department Operations Overseas (interactive map). “The increasing frequency and severity of natural hazards—including those linked to climate change— has heightened the risk of disruption to the Department of State’s operations overseas. This includes embassies and consulates, office buildings and support facilities that serve diplomatic efforts, as well as staff residences housing U.S. employees. Department of State’s (State’s) overseas assets include more than 90,000 personnel and properties valued at approximately $70 billion in over 290 locations…. Our new interactive map, … shows the total risk each post faces from all natural hazards, as well as which posts are at high risk for individual hazards.”


Washington Post: Pulitzer Prize-winning Fatal Force Database updated with federal IDs of police departments involved in fatal shootings. “The Washington Post’s Fatal Force Database, which has logged every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since 2015, has been updated to include federal IDs (formally called Originating Agency Identifiers, or ORIs) of police departments involved in fatal shootings. This update allows users to more easily combine Washington Post data with external sources of policing data, which typically include federal IDs as a standard identifier for departments.”

Bleeping Computer: New Vivaldi version integrates Mastodon into the browser sidebar. “Vivaldi 5.6 was released today with a Mastodon client integrated directly into the browser’s sidebar, seamlessly incorporating the rising social media platform in the browser’s interface. Vivaldi is a cross-platform web browser created by the former co-founder and CEO of Opera Software, Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner.”

Second Life Blog: Second Life on GitHub. “Linden Lab open-sourced Second Life’s client on January 8th, 2007. In the 15 years since, open source contributions have led to countless new features and bug fixes that have markedly improved the life of our virtual world. Without open source, SL would not be as vibrant, enduring and successful as it is today. As part of an effort to improve and modernize our tooling and better support the open source community, I’m happy to announce that Second Life’s source code is moving to GitHub, the world’s most popular version control hosting platform.”


Drive: Fight for Ford Australia historical archives goes international. “The entire collection of almost 100 years of Ford Australia’s historical documents – including brochures, photographs, car designs and engineering information – could perish in boxes in a Melbourne warehouse unless permission is granted to ship the material to an air-conditioned time capsule in Detroit.”

Elle: Welcome To The Cult Of The Beauty ‘Anti-Fan’. “Post-pandemic, social media audiences are craving access to every aspect of creators’ lives — the good, the bad and, most enticingly, the ugly. Goodbye glossy highlight reels and flawless flatlays, authenticity and brutal honesty are now king.”


The Register: Twenty years on, command-line virus scanner ClamAV puts out version 1 . “Original developer Tomasz Kojm released the first version, 0.10, on May 8, 2002. As it’s open source, since then, it’s been ported to almost anything you’re likely to find connected to the internet. It’s included in the repos of most Linux distros, as well as FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD. It’s also part of Apple’s optional extra macOS Server package. Indeed it runs on most things, from OpenVMS to OS/2.” It’s also got a portable version for Windows, which served me well in a past life as a tech support wonk.

InfoSecurity: Hackers Use Archive Files and HTML Smuggling to Bypass Detection Tools. “Attackers have been increasingly encrypting malware in archives before releasing it in the wild. According to HP Wolf Security’s latest Threat Insights Report Q3 2022, 44% of malware was delivered via archive files in the third quarter of 2022, an 11% increase from the previous quarter and substantially more than the 32% delivered through Office files.”


University of Michigan: U-M researchers to develop open-access molecular reaction data to speed discovery of drugs . “Researchers can invent and test millions of molecules quickly, but to develop successful new drugs, agrochemicals and other futuristic materials, they must first synthesize the molecules—and outcomes are a gamble. To solve this problem, Timothy Cernak’s laboratory at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy was awarded $3 million by Schmidt Futures recently to develop molecular reaction data using high-throughput experimentation, and the software to process it. The data will be available to all and the software will be free to academia.”

Bloomberg: NFT Sales Drop to 16-Month Low in FTX Collapse Aftermath. “Almost a year after the nonfungible token (NFT) frenzy crested, demand for the digital certificates of ownership has evaporated.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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