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Category Archives: Knowledge Management

The Wayback Machine is Deleting Evidence of Malware Sold to Stalkers

Motherboard: This story is part of When Spies Come Home, a Motherboard series about powerful surveillance software ordinary people use to spy on their loved ones. “The Internet Archive’s goal, according to its website, is “universal access to all knowledge.” As part of that mission, the non-profit runs the Wayback Machine, an online tool that anyone can use to digitally preserve a snapshot of a website. It provides an important public service, in that if a company tries to quietly change its policy, or perhaps a government tries to scrub a position from its website, the Wayback Machine can provide robust proof of the switch. But the Internet Archive has been purging its banks of content related to a company which marketed powerful malware for abusive partners to spy on their spouses. The news highlights the broader issue of the fragility of online archives, including those preserving information in the public interest. “Journalists and human rights defenders often rely on archiving services such as the Wayback Machine as tools to preserve evidence that might be key to demand accountability,” Claudio Guarnieri, a technologist at human rights charity Amnesty International, told Motherboard in an online chat. The company in question is FlexiSpy, a Thailand-based firm which offers desktop and mobile malware. The spyware can intercept phone calls, remotely turn on a device’s microphone and camera, steal emails and social media messages, as well as track a target’s GPS location. Previously, pages from FlexiSpy’s website saved to the Wayback Machine showed a customer survey, with over 50 percent of respondents saying they were interested in a spy phone product because they believe their partner may be cheating. That particular graphic was mentioned in a recent New York Times piece on the consumer spyware market…”

Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Computing History

David Brock, Computer History Museum: “The experience of women, and the issues of gender and sexuality, are vitally important to our understanding of the story of computing, and hence our contemporary world, for many reasons. Perhaps most straightforwardly, women have been ubiquitous throughout the history of computing as makers and users of it. As Eileen… Continue Reading

Dept. of Agriculture 2016 Pesticide Data on organic food reported inaccurately

Washington Post/ Tamar Haspel: “The Agriculture Department recently released the latest measurements of pesticide residues in our food, in the form of the 2016 Pesticide Data Program results, so it seems timely to talk pesticides and organics. And bias. I’ve been following these issues for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of evidence… Continue Reading

3 new tools to study and counter online disinformation

Indiana University Bloomington: “Researchers at CNetS, IUNI, and the Indiana University Observatory on Social Media have launched upgrades to two tools playing a major role in countering the spread of misinformation online: Hoaxy and Botometer.  A third tool Fakey — an educational game designed to make people smarter news consumers — also launches with the upgrades. Hoaxy is a search engine that… Continue Reading

Public can now search UK government’s entire digital archive

BusinessCloud: “The British government’s entire online presence comprising billions of web pages has been indexed and digitally archived to the cloud for the first time. Manchester tech firm MirrorWeb has devised an all-new indexing to create an accessible, searchable and user-friendly resource for the public. The National Archives’ gigantic 120TB web archive encompasses billions of… Continue Reading

TV Academy launches new free searchable website of historic interviews

“The Television Academy Foundation has launched its new website for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television, (TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews), featuring never-before-seen interviews with many of television’s most beloved stars, show creators and behind-the-scenes innovators.It is the world’s largest such collection available online. For more than 20 years the Foundation has been recording and preserving the first-person… Continue Reading

Paper – Cutting through the Fog: Government Information, Librarians, and the Forty-Fifth Presidency

Cutting through the Fog: Government Information, Librarians, and the Forty-Fifth Presidency. Kian A. Flynn, Cassandra J. Hartnett. RUSA Vol 57, No 3 (2018) “The presidential election of 2016 and the ensuing forty-fifth presidential administration have been marked by an increasingly polarized electorate, concerns about “fake news,” and a greater use of social media. President Trump… Continue Reading

Study – Google and Internet Archive Are Top Choices for ISIS Propaganda

Fortune: “While the Islamic State has been largely wiped off the physical battlefield, the terrorist group continues to maintain a steady presence on popular websites despite an increased push by tech companies to purge them. On Tuesday, the cybersecurity firm Flashpoint released a new report that lists the most popular sources of ISIS propaganda over… Continue Reading

Study – The academic papers researchers regard as significant are not those that are highly cited

London School of Economics Impact Blog (LSE) – ‘For many years, academia has relied on citation count as the main way to measure the impact or importance of research, informing metrics such as the Impact Factor and the h-index. But how well do these metrics actually align with researchers’ subjective evaluation of impact and significance? Rachel… Continue Reading

Facebook’s fake news algorithm seems to be working

The Outline: “Facebook’s January 12 announcement that it would begin to deprioritize news in users’ News Feed left publishers shaking in their boots. “[B]y making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” admitted Mark Zuckerberg, much to the horror of every major media outlet,… Continue Reading

How to uncover Excel data only revealed by a drop-down menu

Online Journalism Blog: “Sometimes an organisation will publish a spreadsheet where only a part of the full data is shown when you select from a drop-down menu. In order to get all the data, you’d have to manually select each option, and then copy the results into a new spreadsheet. It’s not great. In this… Continue Reading

How to Automate Repetitive Tasks in Google Sheets With Macros

makeusof.com: “Record a task, save that task, and run the task whenever you want. Macros are finally available to Google Sheets users. Macros allow you to automate repetitive tasks in documents and spreadsheets without having to learn to write code. They have been a core productivity tool in Microsoft Office for a long time. Excel… Continue Reading