LibreOffice 5.0 Released

LibreOffice 5.0 has been released. “LibreOffice 5.0 sports a significantly improved user interface, with a better management of the screen space and a cleaner look. In addition, it offers better interoperability with office suites such as Microsoft Office and Apple iWork, thanks to new and improved filters to handle non standard formats. Other improvements have been added to every module of the suite, and Windows 64bit builds (Vista and later) have been added.”

Nasty Firefox Exploit Found In the Wild

A nasty Firefox exploit has been found. Update! “Yesterday morning, August 5, a Firefox user informed us that an advertisement on a news site in Russia was serving a Firefox exploit that searched for sensitive files and uploaded them to a server that appears to be in Ukraine. This morning Mozilla released security updates that fix the vulnerability. All Firefox users are urged to update to Firefox 39.0.3. The fix has also been shipped in Firefox ESR 38.1.1.”

Google, Samsung to do Monthly Android Security Updates

Samsung and Google will release Android security patches every month. “Alongside the new frequent security updates, Google has finally released a patch for Stagefright for its own Nexus line of phones, which it sells directly to customers. The company argues that the majority of users weren’t at risk, however, with application sandboxing limiting the amount of damage an attacker could do.”

San Francisco PD Has An “Instagram Officer”

The San Francisco Police Department has an Instagram officer. And it’s apparently useful. “The Instagram photos showed the minor, who was already on probation and prohibited from possessing any type of firearm, with a gun tucked into the waistband of his pants. Based on the Instagram photographs that showed the two suspects brandishing firearms, the officers decided to perform a probation search, where the suspects were detained — still wearing the same clothes they had been wearing in the Instagram photographs that Ochoa had seen earlier that evening.”

Instagram and the Art World

Instagram is getting important to the art market. “Anyone in the art market who was not already paying attention to the social media platform Instagram had to sit up and take notice in late April after the actor Pierce Brosnan visited the showroom of Phillips auction house in London. Mr. Brosnan snapped a selfie in front of a work he admired: the ‘Lockheed Lounge’ a space-age aluminum chaise longue by the industrial designer Marc Newson. Then he added the words ‘let the bidding commence,’ and posted it to the 164,000 followers of his Instagram feed. And commence it did. Later that week, Phillips broke the world auction record for a design object, selling ‘Lockheed Lounge’ for £2.4 million, or about $3.7 million.”

When Lycos Roamed the Earth

Nostalgia from Gizmodo: How Lycos Almost Won the Search Engine Wars. It’s a book excerpt, and the take-home is that text ads ate the lunch of the banner ads. Thing is, if you had two eyes, were actually trying to use the Internet, and saw how horribly greedy search engines became about stuffing banner ads everywhere (AltaVista was the absolute worst) this became self evident. I wrote an article about it in 2002.

Bing Will Start Warning Users About Fake Online Pharmacies

Bing is going to start proactively warning users about fake online pharmacies. “…we are rolling out a new set of warnings on to give our customers more information about the dangers of visiting unsafe online pharmacies. This warning will appear if a Bing user clicks on a pharmaceutical site that has been cited by the FDA as a fake online pharmacy engaged in illegal activity, such as offering potentially dangerous, unapproved and misbranded prescription drugs to U.S. consumers. We will be using the FDA’s public list of these sites, which is updated on an ongoing basis.”

Cornell University Has Completely Digitized its Natural Sounds Archive

Cornell University has fully-digitized its natural sounds archive. “It took archivists a dozen years to complete the monumental task. The collection contains nearly 150,000 digital audio recordings equaling more than 10 terabytes of data with a total run time of 7,513 hours. About 9,000 species are represented. There’s an emphasis on birds, but the collection also includes sounds of whales, elephants, frogs, primates and more.”

Twitter Bot Will Make Glitch Art Por Voo

Like Google’s Deep Dream, the AI that turns photos and videos into trippy, dogfaced art? Check out this Twitter bot for making glitch art. “After mentioning PixelSorter in a tweet with an uploaded image, it will then download the image, and begin segmenting an image into rows or columns according to their hue, brightness, luminance, etc. A few moments later, PixelSorter will @reply you with its own glitched-out version of the image you just uploaded.”

Trinidad and Tobago Gets Digital Law Library

Trinidad and Tobago has gotten a digital law library. “A MASSIVE undertaking — conducted over four years and involving the scanning of more than 500,000 pages of Parliament acts, ordinances and legal notices dating as far back as 1838 – culminates today with the planned activation of a new digital legislative library.”

New Privacy-Focused Search Engine Launches

There’s a new privacy-focused search engine out there (PRESS RELEASE). “Hulbee maintains unprecedented levels of security not offered by any other privacy-based search company because it has its own data center in Switzerland, so all of its information is safely stored away from the National Security Agency in the U.S. and the European Union. … Unlike other search engines, which deliver results based of what’s most often searched, Hulbee is based on semantic search, which focuses on the meaning of the word and on various themes associated with it. After sifting through data in 33 languages, the Hulbee search engine presents a collection of words presented in colorful thematic tiles on the screen, giving users a broad range of choices rather than just the most popular selections.”