Scientific American: New Encryption Technique Better Protects Photographs in the Cloud

Scientific American: New Encryption Technique Better Protects Photographs in the Cloud. “This year researchers expect the world to snap 1.35 trillion photographs, or about 3.7 billion per day. All those pixels take up a lot of room if they are stored on personal computers or phones, which is one reason why many people stash their images in the cloud. But unlike a hard drive, which can be encrypted to protect its data, cloud storage users have to trust that a tech platform will keep their private pictures safe. Now a team of Columbia University computer scientists has developed a tool to encrypt images stored on many popular cloud services while allowing authorized users to browse and display their photographs as usual.”

As Covid Cases Rise, So Do Hospital-Related Infections (Wired)

Wired: As Covid Cases Rise, So Do Hospital-Related Infections. “Stories of patients unable to get into hospitals—stuck in waiting rooms, lingering in ambulances, life-flighted to other states where there might be an open bed—have been an awful constant during this hot-spot summer. Overcrowding is an obvious threat to their health. But it poses a more subtle threat to already admitted patients: It creates conditions, and demands on hospital staff, that allow dangerous infections to spread.”

‘Worst I’ve seen in 20 years’: How the Epik hack reveals every secret the far-right tried to hide (Daily Dot)

This story has been updated. Daily Dot: ‘Worst I’ve seen in 20 years’: How the Epik hack reveals every secret the far-right tried to hide . “The engineer [anonymous, doing an impact assessment] pointed the Daily Dot to what they described as Epik’s ‘entire primary database,’ which contains hosting account usernames and passwords, SSH keys, and even some credit card numbers—all stored in plaintext. The data also includes Auth-Codes, passcodes that are needed to transfer a domain name between registrars. The engineer stated that with all the data in the leak, which also included admin passwords for WordPress logins, any attacker could easily take over the websites of countless Epik customers.”

Slashgear: WHO director blasts rich countries over failure to share vaccine doses

Slashgear: WHO director blasts rich countries over failure to share vaccine doses. “World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus heavily criticized wealthy nations in a recent statement about the pandemic and other health matters impacting the world. Among other things, the director-general said that wealthier nations are failing to uphold their promises to share vaccine doses with the world’s poorest countries.”

KUT 90.5: To Save Lives, Researchers Are Creating An Online Library Of Potential Flood Maps

KUT 90.5: To Save Lives, Researchers Are Creating An Online Library Of Potential Flood Maps . “Imagine it’s 2 in the morning, and you are one of the first responders to the scene of a flood. Your vehicle approaches water on the road. If you try to cross it, you could be washed away. So you stop and watch your headlights cut through the rain. You see there’s water around some nearby houses, but it’s dark and you don’t know how far it reaches or how deep it is. What you decide to do next could save lives — and put your own at risk. This situation is not hypothetical to Harry Evans. He says it could describe many floods he worked during his 30 years with the Austin Fire Department.”

Intelligencer: Peter Thiel’s Origin Story: His ideology dominates Silicon Valley. It began to form when he was an angry young man.

New York Magazine Intelligencer: Peter Thiel’s Origin Story: His ideology dominates Silicon Valley. It began to form when he was an angry young man.. “In 2019, while on a trip to Washington to answer questions from Congress about his digital currency, Thiel joined Zuckerberg, Jared Kushner, Trump, and their spouses at the White House. The specifics of the discussion were secret — but, as I report in my book, Thiel later told a confidant that Zuckerberg came to an understanding with Kushner during the meal. Facebook, he promised, would continue to avoid fact-checking po­litical speech — thus allowing the Trump campaign to claim whatever it wanted. If the company followed through on that promise, the Trump administra­tion would lay off on any heavy-handed regulations. After the dinner, Zuckerberg took a hands-off approach to conservative sites.”

Newswise: As COVID-19 and Online Misinformation Spread, Children and Teens Were Poisoned with Hand Sanitizer and Alcoholic Drinks

Newswise: As COVID-19 and Online Misinformation Spread, Children and Teens Were Poisoned with Hand Sanitizer and Alcoholic Drinks. ” During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as false health information spread on social media, the number of children and teens poisoned with hand sanitizer or alcoholic beverages surged in Iran. These poisonings resulted in hundreds of hospitalizations and 22 deaths. Misinformation circulating on social media included the false suggestion that consuming alcohol (methanol) or hand sanitizer (ethanol or isopropyl alcohol) protected against COVID-19 infection (it does not).”

Conservative Baptist Pastor Sees “No Credible Religious Argument” Against Vaccines (Mother Jones)

Mother Jones: Conservative Baptist Pastor Sees “No Credible Religious Argument” Against Vaccines. “…several large churches have announced that they will not be granting any exemptions, including the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Previously, Catholics, who are anti-abortion, expressed concern that coronavirus vaccine research used fetal cell lines. However, the vaccine itself does not contain any and the Vatican announced that Catholics may receive the vaccine in good conscience. ”

Newswise: Study: No Serious COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects in Breastfeeding Moms, Infants

Newswise: Study: No Serious COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects in Breastfeeding Moms, Infants. “In a recent study, published in the online edition of Breastfeeding Medicine, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that breastfeeding mothers who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination reported the same local or systemic symptoms as what has been previously reported in non-breastfeeding women, with no serious side effects in the breastfed infants.”

Newswise: New study on COVID-19 vaccinations in the largest US cities finds stark inequities

Newswise: New study on COVID-19 vaccinations in the largest US cities finds stark inequities. “In a study of the 9 largest U.S. cities, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found stark racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities in COVID-19 vaccination rates across neighborhoods. The study showed that high vaccination neighborhoods had more white residents, fewer people of color, higher incomes, and lower poverty rates. These high vaccination neighborhoods also had lower historical COVID-19 death rates, showing that lifesaving vaccines have been slow to reach the areas that were hardest-hit by the pandemic.”

MIT Political Science: Data flow’s decisive role on the global stage

MIT Political Science: Data flow’s decisive role on the global stage. “In 2016, Meicen Sun came to a profound realization: ‘The control of digital information will lie at the heart of all the big questions and big contentions in politics.’ A graduate student in her final year specializing in international security and the political economy of technology, Sun vividly recalls the emergence of the internet ‘as a democratizing force, an opener, an equalizer,’ helping giving rise to the Arab Spring. But she was also profoundly struck when nations in the Middle East and elsewhere curbed internet access to throttle citizens’ efforts to speak and mobilize freely.”

Cornell Chronicle: ‘Dislike’ button would improve Spotify’s recommendations

Cornell Chronicle: ‘Dislike’ button would improve Spotify’s recommendations. “Spotify’s whole business model relies on keeping you listening and being able to predict what songs you’ll want to hear next. But Cornell researchers recently asked the question: Why do they still not let you vote down a song? The research team recently developed a recommendation algorithm that shows just how much more effective Spotify would be if it could, in the style of platforms like Pandora, incorporate both likes and dislikes.” I wish they would let you block songs. Surely I’m not the only one who has bad memory songs they never want to hear again?