Walters Art Museum, US Elections, Corporate Crime, More: Tuesday Buzz, September 27, 2016


The Walters Art Museum has launched a new Web site for its manuscripts. “Featuring a user-friendly design, the site provides visitors with intuitive search options, including the ability to refine their search by date, geography, subject, culture, and more. It also gives users a chance to coordinate their own online collections by gathering, saving and sharing their favorite masterpieces. Over the past decade, cataloguers, conservators, curators and digitization specialists have been poring over the museum’s collection of more than 900 manuscripts dating from the 8th to the 20th century.”

Talkwalker has launched a new dashboard to monitor the Clinton v. Trump social media conversation (PRESS RELEASE). I suspect there will be many of these and I’ll try not to get tiresome with them. “The dashboard looks at which candidates are getting the most positive and negative attention online, the key election issues linked to each candidate, how the candidates perform in swing states and more. Want to know what the breakdown is between the candidates in terms of overall share of online buzz, share of topics, hashtags being used, overall positive and negative posts about each candidate or emerging people and topic themes, this real-time social media dashboard does all that and more.”


A corporate crime and misconduct database has been expanded (PRESS RELEASE). ” Since the beginning of 2010, drug manufacturers, hospital systems, insurers and other healthcare companies have paid nearly $7 billion in fines and settlements to resolve cases in which they were accused of defrauding the federal government. Banks, led by Wells Fargo, account for the second largest portion of False Claims Act penalties, with more than $3 billion in payments…. With the addition of more than 750 cases relating to the 150-year-old False Claims Act and similar laws, Violation Tracker now contains a total of 112,000 entries from 30 federal regulatory agencies and all divisions of the Justice Department.”


Quick roundup from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 8 Useful Educational Web Tools for Research Students (thanks to Jennifer W for the heads-up.) “There are a wide variety of web tools and mobile applications that facilitate researchers work and help them communicate and collaborate with the research community and easily share and disseminate research findings. Besides the numerous resources we reviewed here over the last few years, today we are sharing with you this interesting collection of web tools that student researchers can use to manage their references, compile bibliographies, generate citations, access journal articles and many more.”


TechCrunch: Is Facebook having a crisis of confidence over all the bad news its algorithms are making? “I ask because Facebook is surveying users to ask whether they think it cares about them. Yes, it is literally using the word ‘cares’. The survey, which Facebook says is being pushed to ‘a small group of people’, includes questions probing for users’ strength of feeling about Facebook (positive or negative), before asking them to elaborate on why they feel that way.” Good roundup article.

Rumors are flying about an Android/Chrome hybrid. “We’ve learned from multiple sources that Google plans to launch its forthcoming Andromeda Android/Chrome OS hybrid OS on two devices: a Huawei Nexus tablet and a ‘convertible laptop’. The latter device was just reported on by Android Police, and we can independently confirm that this device is planned. Our sources say, however, that a Huawei Nexus — yes, a Nexus — is also planned…”

Google is celebrating its birthday even though it apparently can’t settle on a date. (Fun fact: ResearchBuzz is older than Google.)


Senator Mark Warner is calling for an SEC investigation into the Yahoo hack. “Although the SEC has longstanding guidance on when publicly traded companies should report hacking incidents, companies that have experienced known breaches often omit those details in regulatory filings, according to a 2012 Reuters investigation…. In a Sept. 9 regulatory filing with the SEC, Yahoo stated it did not have knowledge of ‘any incidents of, or third party claims alleging … unauthorized access’ of personal data of its customers that could have a material adverse effect on Verizon’s acquisition.”

Twitter has refused to block the account of a Turkish journalist. “A Turkish court ordered Twitter to block the account of a noted journalist last week, accusing him of “instigating terrorism.” But despite receiving the court order, Twitter has decided not to comply, Motherboard has learned. The company got a court order requesting the censorship of 17 accounts, including that of Mahir Zeynalov, a well known DC-based writer. But as of Monday morning, the account was still up all over the world, including within Turkey.” As of this writing — 9/26 at 1954 — it’s still up.

Meanwhile, Facebook is being accused of censoring Palestinian journalists. “Facebook has apologized for disabling the personal accounts of several editors and executives at two major Palestinian news publications, according to a report from The Electronic Intifada. Facebook says the accounts were mistakenly suspended after being reported for violating the site’s community standards, but the publications believe the incident is related to Israel’s recent push to combat online incitement to violence.”


From MIT Technology Review: The Internet Is No Place for Public Elections. “Despite what your local election officials may tell you, you can’t trust the Internet with your vote. This election year we’ve seen foreign hackers infiltrate the Democratic National Committee’s e-mail system as well as voter databases in Arizona and Illinois. These attacks have reinforced what political scientists and technical experts alike have been saying for more than a decade: public elections should stay offline. It’s not yet feasible to build a secure and truly democratic Internet-connected voting system.”

Recode: Why Disney Won’t Buy Twitter. “Forget, for a moment, whether Disney could fix Twitter’s fundamental product problems, which have capped the company’s growth. Or whether Disney is ready to associate its pristine brand with a platform that’s become a playground for the worst people on the internet. Or whether [Bob] Iger, who made three of the best acquisitions in history, period — Marvel + Lucasfilm + Pixar, for a mere $15 billion (!) — wants to gamble his legacy on this.” Also, Disney tried the online space once. It ended very badly. There is no indication that Disney has the infrastructure to support developing something like Twitter. Good morning, Internet…

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