The FBI is creating a new database to track the use of deadly force by law enforcement. “The database is intended to capture how often police officers kill citizens and to correct a record-keeping gap that [FBI Director James] Comey said has resulted in uninformed conversations, based on anecdotes and not facts, about use of force. Demands for more complete records have grown in the past two years amid a series of high-profile deaths at the hands of police officers.”
The Google app for iOS has gotten some updates. “Earlier this year, we announced that your Google app for iOS got faster. Now buckle up, because today, we’re adding three new features that will make your app more private, video-friendly and stable.”
A new “leaks” site is designed for whistleblowers in the EU. “The Greens-European Free Alliance announced the launch of a new website that will allow people working in the EU to anonymously and publicly post evidence of wrongdoing. The EU political party said that this is a move against a ‘the EU tendency toward secrecy.’ ‘Transparency is of the utmost importance,’ said Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts, a Greens/EFA Parliamentarian and one of the founders of EULeaks, at a press conference announcing the launch.”
Chatter is growing that Facebook at Work will launch next month. “Like the consumer version of Facebook, the enterprise offering will have your News Feed, Groups, Events, and a dedicated Messenger app — though it will be company specific. There are said to be audio and video calling to compete with Slack and Skype.”
The country of Ghana has created an online database of forest foods and medicinal plants. “This is not only meant to help to prevent the appropriation of local knowledge for private gain but serve as the ‘first port of call’ for any research activity in that area. It was developed by the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) under a research project to identify, capture, document and digitize indigenous knowledge on forest foods and medicinal plants in the country.” Unfortunately I could not find a link to the database in the article; you can find it at http://csir-forig.org.gh/tikfom/ .
Twitter wants to help you register to vote. “Starting today, when a Twitter user sends a Direct Message to the official @Gov account with their five-digit zip code, they’ll receive an automated response with their state’s voter registration deadline and a personalized link to register.”
Sensible advise from the WSJ: It’s Time to Cancel Your Forgotten Internet Accounts. “No good comes from leaving details of your identity—alternate email addresses, date of birth and, yes, passwords—floating around the backwaters of the internet. Hackers who find their way into one account, dormant or still in use, can exploit details such as PINs or security-question answers to get into other accounts. That’s right, your old AOL Instant Messenger account could compromise your Facebook account.” The article includes a list of also-ran Internet services, but it needs to be longer.
A social site for teenagers is leaking information about its users, including passwords. In plain text. “Operators of i-Dressup didn’t respond to messages sent by Ars informing them that a hacker has already downloaded more than 2.2 million of the improperly stored account credentials. The hacker said it took him about three weeks to obtain the cache and that there’s nothing stopping him or others from downloading the entire database of slightly more than 5.5 million entries. The hacker said he acquired the e-mail addresses and passwords by using a SQL injection attack that exploited vulnerabilities in the i-Dressup website.” It’s 2016 and storing passwords in plain text is absolutely inexcusable.
MakeUseOf: Goodbye, Trello! 5 Alternative Free Kanban Board Tools “Trello’s interface can feel off-putting and old-fashioned. And the features are limited. You can get Trello Gold for free for a limited time, which gives you advanced features, but you’ll eventually have to pay for those. Of course, using Trello means that your data is being stored on yet another server. Safety of data aside, it means you have to connect it to other services that you or your team uses, to access your files and images.”
Facebook has been ordered to stop collecting information on WhatsApp users in Germany. “The city of Hamburg’s data protection commissioner ordered Facebook on Tuesday to stop collecting and storing data on WhatsApp users in Germany, the first time a privacy watchdog has waded into the debate. The regulator also called on the social network to delete all information already forwarded from WhatsApp on roughly 35 million German users.”
Google News now has a “lite” mode. “In the full (normal) mode of Google News, as seen below, we aggregate headlines, images and related content, making it fast and easy for people to find articles they care about. In the new Lite mode things look a little different — we keep the headlines and trim the rest of the components down to their essentials so that the app loads more quickly (and uses less than one-third of the data). When people read an article in Lite mode, they’ll also benefit from Google’s previously announced faster and lighter mobile web pages. By default Lite mode triggers automatically when a slower network is detected (users can also choose to control Lite mode directly).”
The Associated Press has purchased the Movietone film archive. “Most of the archive has been digitized and is available for licensing, but about 15 percent of the library has never been seen by the public. This footage includes material that failed to make it into news bulletins or was barred by censors during World War II. The Associated Press hopes to digitize and release the material over time.”