KHQ: WA State launches new app for viewing Public Lands

KHQ: WA State launches new app for viewing Public Lands. “Recreation and conservation lands managed by local, state and federal governments now can be viewed easily online in a new mapping application, the Recreation and Conservation Office announced today. The Public Lands Inventory Web app displays more than 18.8 million acres of public lands used for recreation or wildlife habitat in Washington. Information also is displayed about the type of use, owner, legislative district, year of acquisition, purchase price and acreage.”

WHNT: Alabama’s contact tracing app expands capabilities, still very few have downloaded it

WHNT: Alabama’s contact tracing app expands capabilities, still very few have downloaded it. “If you leave Alabama for the holidays and you are one of the few with the free Guidesafe app, you could be notified of a COVID-19 exposure via a collective database that links other contact tracing apps together. Some states have apps like Guidesafe and some do not. Medical professionals say the expanded capabilities of Guidesafe could be a game changer. However, just under 150,000 people have the app compared to more than 5 million people that call Alabama home.”

Android Police: The best Google Play Store alternatives for buying music, books, movies, and TV shows

Android Police: The best Google Play Store alternatives for buying music, books, movies, and TV shows . “When Google discontinued Play Music, it also decided to pull the plug for the Play Store music section. That means you can no longer purchase songs from Google. A YouTube Music or Premium subscription is the only option going forward if you want to access songs through the company. That’s a bummer because the Play Store is no longer a one-stop solution for all of your media needs, and there aren’t a whole lot of full-fledged alternatives. But if you’re looking to decouple parts of your digital life from Google, there are a few things you can do.”

Coronavirus: Banking apps more popular than social media during pandemic (Yahoo Finance)

Yahoo Finance: Coronavirus: Banking apps more popular than social media during pandemic. “Mobile banking apps have now become more popular than social media as a result of COVID-19, research suggests. Older generations have flocked to online and mobile banking to ensure they stay on top of their money and bills while remaining safe during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, people in the UK are now more likely to have a banking app than a social media app on their mobile phone.”

Greek Reporter: Tour Ancient Olympia from Home Via New Digital Platform

Greek Reporter: Tour Ancient Olympia from Home Via New Digital Platform. “Created at no cost for the Greek state, the app was developed as part of Microsoft’s ‘AI for Good’ Corporate Social Responsibility program. Not only can users explore ancient Olympia, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the fifth-most visited area in Greece in pre-Covid times, they can also contribute to the platform by adding their own personal content, communicate with other virtual visitors, and even network with others from all around the world.”

KING5: Former Amazon engineer creates app that reportedly translates your cat’s meows

KING5: Former Amazon engineer creates app that reportedly translates your cat’s meows. “A former Amazon engineer who worked on Alexa has unveiled his latest pet project: an app that translates your cat’s meow. Javier Sanchez is now a project manager with Bellevue-based tech company Akvelon and has developed MeowTalk — an app that reportedly translates what your cat is vocalizing.” I dreamed several years ago that I got a potion from a wizard that let me understand what my cat was saying. After I drank it, my cat followed me around for the rest of the dream asking if I had Prince Albert in a can.

Wired: The iOS Covid App Ecosystem Has Become a Privacy Minefield

Wired: The iOS Covid App Ecosystem Has Become a Privacy Minefield. “Late last month Jonathan Albright, director of the Digital Forensics Initiative at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, released the results of his analysis of 493 Covid-related iOS apps across dozens of countries. His study of those apps, which tackle everything from symptom-tracking to telehealth consultations to contact tracing, catalogs the data permissions each one requests. At WIRED’s request, Albright then broke down the data set further to focus specifically on the 359 apps that handle contact tracing, exposure notification, screening, reporting, workplace monitoring, and Covid information from public health authorities around the globe.”

Coronavirus: London, Ont., team creates tool to measure effectiveness, privacy of COVID-19 apps (Global News)

Global News: Coronavirus: London, Ont., team creates tool to measure effectiveness, privacy of COVID-19 apps. “A duo out of Western University in London, Ont., has created a new tool that they say will help provincial and national policymakers make decisions on which of the ‘near-endless stream’ of contact-tracing apps to utilize.”

ABC 12 News: Michigan takes COVID-19 contract tracing app statewide

ABC 12 News: Michigan takes COVID-19 contract tracing app statewide. “Michigan has a new tool being used in the fight against COVID-19 — and it’s only a tap away. The state launched a mobile device app that tracks potential exposure to the illness and alerts those who may have had contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus.”

The Verge: TikTok says the Trump administration has forgotten about trying to ban it, would like to know what’s up

The Verge: TikTok says the Trump administration has forgotten about trying to ban it, would like to know what’s up. “TikTok has filed a petition in a US Court of Appeals calling for a review of actions by the Trump administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The reason, according to the company, is that it hasn’t heard from the committee in weeks about an imminent deadline for parent company ByteDance to sell off US assets over national security concerns.”

University of East Anglia: New App Allows Users To Explore How Global Warming Changes Their Cities’ Climate

University of East Anglia: New App Allows Users To Explore How Global Warming Changes Their Cities’ Climate . “A new mobile app allows people to explore how global warming will affect the future climate of their towns and cities. Developed by EarthSystemData Ltd with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA), the free to download ‘ESD Research’ app enables anyone anywhere to access the latest temperature and rainfall projections from the world’s top six most scientifically respected climate models.”

Columbia University: New Tool Detects Unsafe Security Practices in Android Apps

Columbia University: New Tool Detects Unsafe Security Practices in Android Apps. “Computer scientists at Columbia Engineering have shown for the first time that it is possible to analyze how thousands of Android apps use cryptography without needing to have the apps’ actual codes. The team’s new tool, CRYLOGGER, can tell when an Android app uses cryptography incorrectly—it detects the so-called ‘cryptographic misuses’ in Android apps. When given a list of rules that should be followed for secure cryptography—guidelines developed by expert cryptographers and organizations such as NIST and IETF that define security standards to protect sensitive data—CRYLOGGER detects violations of these rules.”

Aspen Times: A half-million Coloradans have already signed up for the state’s new coronavirus-tracking notification tool

Aspen Times: A half-million Coloradans have already signed up for the state’s new coronavirus-tracking notification tool. “The tool, called Exposure Notifications, runs in the background on smartphones to exchange non-personally identifying information with other phones it comes near that also are running the app. If a person later tests positive for coronavirus, they will have the option of sending a notification to all the people who also use the app that the person had potentially exposed.”

Good Housekeeping: Can’t Stop Doomscrolling? These Apps Actually Get You to Unplug Before Bedtime

Good Housekeeping: Can’t Stop Doomscrolling? These Apps Actually Get You to Unplug Before Bedtime. “These free apps can be installed on your phone (and in some cases, as a web extension) to either forcefully block access to social media sites, or provide un-ignorable notifications that it’s time to put the phone down. If you’re finding yourself ‘doomscrolling’ on a frequent basis, these apps can help break the habit before the new year arrives.”