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Findabed Australia, Minecraft, Firefox, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 4, 2020

The Leader: Findabed helps Australia’s bushfire evacuees get refuge. “Set up just five days ago, Find A Bed is a service aimed at helping those displaced by the bushfire crisis and already scores have been relocated and the service is receiving new offers of assistance every minute. Erin Riley, from Razorback, NSW, set up the service on New Years Eve when she tweeted out that she had paddocks available for anyone in need of relocating their animals. She was overwhelmed by the number of people who also wanted to volunteer their homes and land.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Ubergizmo: Don’t Believe The Rumors, Minecraft’s Servers Aren’t Shutting Down In 2020. “The problem with everyone being so connected these days is that at a click of a button, news and spread like wildfire, even if it isn’t necessarily true. For Minecraft players who have come across a rumor suggesting that the game’s servers will be shutting down at the end of 2020, it isn’t true.”

CNET: Firefox will let users delete collected data thanks to California’s new privacy law. “In a blog post Tuesday, Mozilla said it’ll give Firefox users the option to delete their data collected by the company in the next version of the browser, which is set to be released Jan. 7. Firefox doesn’t collect data on websites visited or search queries, but Mozilla said it’ll let users choose to delete telemetry data, which covers things like how many tabs are open or how long a session was.”

South Dakota State University: SDSU Extension Releases Dakota and Lakota Traditional Games Resource Guide. “SDSU Extension recently released a resource guide on traditional Dakota and Lakota games. The free, downloadable guide contains six traditional Dakota games and six traditional Lakota games, including photos, instructions on how to play and how to craft the game pieces.” Not the largest resource I’ve ever mentioned, but not the kind of resource I see very often, either…

USEFUL STUFF

The Verge: How to watch the 2020 Golden Globe Awards online. “Awards season is kicking off this Sunday, January 5th, with the 77th Golden Globe Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The Golden Globes, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are seen as an indicator of how the rest of the awards ceremonies, particularly the Oscars, might play out. Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes cover both film and television.”

MakeUseOf: Is “Scam Likely” Calling You? Here’s How to Block Them. “While you’re probably used to your phone’s caller ID letting you know who’s calling, you may have recently seen a strange ‘scam likely’ message in its place instead. Who is ‘scam likely,’ why are you seeing this, and what should you do? Let’s look at the ‘scam likely’ situation so you can understand it fully.” At this writing there are two comments with an additional couple of suggestions.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

SEO Roundtable: Google Video Spam Through Text-To-Speech Technology. “Roger Montti posted on Twitter that he is seeing more and more spammers using a technique to spam Google through videos. In short, the spammers would find the top ranking content, use text-to-speech software to create automated videos of the content, while using the featured image as the background to the video. Then those videos would rank in Google search.”

Washington Post: A top Google exec pushed the company to commit to human rights. Then Google pushed him out, he says.. “For years, Google tasked Ross LaJeunesse with executing its plan to protect human rights in China, after Google announced a decade ago it would stop censoring search results there to safeguard security and free speech. LaJeunesse took the mission to heart: He later devised a human rights program to formalize Google’s principles supporting free expression and privacy. He began lobbying for it internally in 2017 — around the time when the tech giant was exploring a return to China, in a stark reversal of its 2010 move that made its search engine unavailable there. Now, the 50-year-old is alleging that Google pushed him out for it in April.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Techdirt: UL Pushes Security Standards For The Internet Of Broken Things. “f you hadn’t noticed yet, the internet of things is a security and privacy shit show. Millions of poorly-secured internet-connected devices are now being sold annually, introducing massive new attack vectors and vulnerabilities into home and business networks nationwide. Thanks to IOT companies and evangelists that prioritize gee-whizzery and profits over privacy and security, your refrigerator can now leak your gmail credentials, your kids’ Barbie doll can now be used as a surveillance tool, and your ‘smart’ tea kettle can now open your wireless network to attack.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Ars Technica: Superior pinpoints racism in science: Naive scientists plus strategic racists. “Science has had issues with racism from its very beginning. At best, many of the early scientists had ideas that typified the racist societies of their times. At worst, they actively participated in providing justification for that racism, a habit that reached its peak in the eugenics movement of the first half of last century. But World War II made the end point of eugenics painfully obvious, causing mainstream science to re-evaluate and reject many of its racist ideas. But as racists have become increasingly public in the early years of this century, they’ve once again turned to science for support—and found some scientists ready to provide it. How in the world did this happen?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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