Glow Pregnancy/Fertility App Has/Had Some Pretty Severe Privacy Problems

The Glow fertility/pregnancy app apparently has some pretty severe privacy problems. “Recently, Consumer Reports tested Glow for security and privacy features as part of a broader project, and found surprising vulnerabilities. One security flaw might have let someone with no hacking skills at all access a woman’s personal data. Other vulnerabilities would have allowed an attacker with rudimentary software tools to collect email addresses, change passwords, and access personal information from participants in Glow’s community forums, where people discuss their sex lives and health concerns.” Eek. Apparently a new version of the app fixes the problem.

USDA Launches New Online Exhibit on Food Canning

The USDA has launched a new online exhibit on food canning. “‘How Did We Can?’ highlights changes in home canning guidelines based on a growing understanding of bacteriology. Around the turn of the 20th century, the four most prominent canning techniques were oven, open-kettle, water bath, and pressure canning. By the end of World War II, the USDA recommended only two techniques: water bath for high-acid foods and pressure canning for low-acid foods. Those recommendations remain the same under the current USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning.”

Wolfram|Alpha Has Google Drive Add-In

Oooh! Wolfram|Alpha has now has an add-in for Google Drive. “Wolfram|Alpha answers a ton of computational and factual questions every day—through our website, mobile apps, APIs, and from within the Wolfram Language itself. Now we would like to introduce a new way to harness the power of computation with the Wolfram|Alpha Add-ons for Google Drive. These free add-ons for Google Docs and Google Sheets enable you to bring up a Wolfram|Alpha sidebar next to your file or get Wolfram|Alpha results instantly, all without interrupting your workflow.”

Disney’s Playdom Has Forums Breach (PRESS RELEASE)

Disney company Playdom has had a forum breach (PRESS RELEASE). “On July 12, 2016, unauthorized activity was detected on the website, resulting in an immediate forensic investigation of the incident by Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI). The investigation found that an unauthorized party obtained usernames, passwords and email addresses for approximately 391,000 accounts. The unauthorized party also obtained the Internet Protocol (IP) address collected during user registration on The Playdom Forum website does not collect credit card numbers or other sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers.”

Google And Another Knowledge Graph Gaffe

Google, which made something over $4 billion in profit last quarter if I recall correctly, apparently is not keeping a close-enough eye on its Knowledge Graph scraping operations, or it doesn’t mind repeating that stupid thing about Sarah Jessica Parker looking like a horse. “Google, it seems, had an algorithm hiccup and managed to connect the joke to Parker — which is good — while also insulting her on the Knowledge Graph result for her name — not so good — by adding the link to the infamous blog that started the long-running joke.”

Vatican Refuses to Open Holocaust-Era Archives

The Vatican is refusing to open its Holocaust-era archives. “The debate over the church’s secret wartime files is not new. The Vatican is the only country in Europe that refuses to open all of its World War II archives to independent historians and researchers. The issue is more than simply an academic debate over the appropriate rules for public disclosure of historically significant documents. The church’s files are thought to contain important information about the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe.”

Dischord Records Has Uploaded Its Archive to Bandcamp

Dischord Records (home of punk stalwarts like Minor Threat, Fugazi, etc) has uploaded its entire archive to Bandcamp. “Yes, every artist on the Dischord roster is now represented on its Bandcamp page, meaning that listeners can dive into the historic D.C. punk scene without needing an Apple Music or Spotify subscription…”

“Learning Tools for OneNote” Now Generally Available

Microsoft has made the “Learning Tools for OneNote” addon available to everybody. “Learning Tools for OneNote is compatible with both OneNote 2013 and OneNote 2016 with the add-in available here. Otherwise, those who already have the preview of Learning Tools for OneNote installed can simply click the update button in the Learning Tools tab from within OneNote.”

Yahoo Researchers Develop Abuse-Detecting Algorithm

Researchers at Yahoo have developed an abuse-detecting algorithms. “The Yahoo team used a number of conventional techniques, including looking for abusive keywords, punctuation that often seemed to accompany abusive messages, and syntactic clues as to the meaning of a sentence. But the researchers also applied a more advanced approach to automated language understanding, using a way of representing the meaning of words as vectors with many dimensions.” The technique has a success rate of about 90%, which is wow.

SwiftKey Has a Bit of a Data Leak

Ooops! SwiftKey had a bit of a data leak. “According to the reports, some users have discovered that when they surfed to websites with login pages that they were offered email addresses that weren’t familiar to them. Some users even reported that they have received calls from complete strangers who found their number through SwiftKey’s predictive text. As it turns out, this was a bug and an issue with SwiftKey’s sync services.”