Ars Technica: Verizon reportedly blocks archivists from Yahoo Groups days before deletion. “An ad-hoc group scrambling to archive as much content as possible from Yahoo Groups ahead of the site’s final demise next week is running into trouble as more than a hundred volunteer archivists say Yahoo’s parent company, Verizon, has banned their accounts.” This is a big steaming pile of you know.
California Ancestors Blog: Speak Out Against Exorbitant Fees: Deadline is December 16. “The genealogy world is abuzz with news that U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed a sharp increase in fees for searches and copies of genealogical and historical records, beginning in 2020…. The records include naturalization certificates, alien registration forms, visa and registry files, and alien files (A-Files), all invaluable resources for researchers. The bureau already charges a nonrefundable $65 fee per search. It proposes to raise that search fee to an exorbitant $240—an increase of 269 percent.”
Techdirt: Universal Music Claims Copyright Over Newly Public Domain ‘Yes! We Have No Bananas’. “One of the signature works of the public domain class of 1923 was the song Yes! We Have No Bananas by composers Irving Cohn and Frank Silver. As of January 1st, anyone was free to make use of that song. Indeed, in our own Public Domain Game Jam competition, we actually had not one, but two separate game entries based on ‘Yes! We Have No Bananas.’ But, of course, even if Hollywood wasn’t going to push for term extension, that doesn’t mean it won’t do what it always does, and pull other levers.”
Out: Facebook Won’t Ban Fake News, But They Will Ban PrEP Ads. “Facebook rejected ads to raise awareness of PrEP, telling the New York medical provider Apicha Community Health Center that they weren’t ‘authorized to run ads about social issues, elections or politics.’ Apicha provides health services to communities in particular need, including Asians and Pacific Islanders (API), LGBTQ+ people, and people affected by HIV/AIDS.”
Ars Technica: Rent-a-troll: Researchers pit disinformation farmers against each other. “The same sorts of organizations that once made their money performing ‘black SEO’—using fraudulent means to raise paying customers’ search engine ranks, often for illicit reasons—are now diving into a whole new sort of online manipulation. Researchers at security threat tracking company Recorded Future have found companies selling disinformation campaign capabilities similar to the ones used by Russian ‘troll factories’ during the 2016 US presidential campaign and other state-sponsored information operations.”
Ars Technica, with a side of eyeroll: Equifax claims administrator says victims must provide more info to claim cash. “If you’re one of the millions of Americans who received an email this weekend from the Equifax breach settlement administrator, you’re not alone. Nor are you alone if you were surprised or confused by the message, as more than a half-dozen Ars readers who forwarded theirs were. The message, however, is entirely legitimate, and the information it seeks is part of the claims process.”