Armenia Photojournalism, Gun Laws, US Court System, More: Wednesday Buzz, May 24, 2017


Armenia news agency ARMENPRESS is getting a digital archive for its photos. “ARMENPRESS news agency, Beeline Armenia and the Technological Development Center Fund are announcing the launch of the ARMENPRESS: History project. The purpose of the project is to digitize the news agency’s unique photo archive: nearly 10,000 photos from the archive, and create the ARMENPRESS: History website.”

The Conversation: New public database reveals striking differences in how guns are regulated from state to state. “We have just released a new public database that tracks a wide range of firearm laws across all 50 states for the past 27 years. For the first time, long-term trends in the enactment of gun safety laws can be compared between states. We found striking disparities between states in both the number of firearm laws and the rate of adoption of these laws over time.”

Wired: Zuckerberg-Backed Data Trove Exposes the Injustices of Criminal Justice. “Measures for Justice compiles granular data for 32 different metrics that indicate how equitable a given county’s justice system might be. The portal shows, for instance, how many people within a county plead guilty without a lawyer present, how many non-violent misdemeanor offenders the courts sentence to jail time, and how many people are in jail because they failed to pay bail of less than $500. It offers insight into re-conviction rates and never-prosecuted cases. Users can compare counties or filter information based on how certain measures impact people of different races or income levels. And the site organizes all of it into easily digestible data visualizations.”


WordPress 4.8 Beta 2 is now available.

Oooh, very nice, Bing. From Search Engine Land: Bing launches bots for local businesses. “In April, Matt McGee spotted the appearance of chat functionality for selected Seattle-area restaurants. That is now rolling out officially (still only to restaurants) through Bing Places and the newly launched Business Bot program. Microsoft will automatically create a bot from the data in Bing Places.”

Los Angeles Times: Snapchat introduces group Stories so friends can have self-destructing photo albums. “Any user may now create an album to which multiple people can upload, a feature previously available to only Snap Inc. employees, contractors and automated software. The change means attendees of a graduation party or a family on vacation together could have single hub for exchanging memories. The album gets automatically deleted — unless saved by the user — after a day goes by without a new upload.”

Search Engine Roundtable: Google Has Fixed The Reverse Image Search Bug. “For the past several days, Google’s reverse image search feature has not properly worked for many searchers. Google has finally tracked down the issue and pushed out a fix just several hours ago.”

TechCrunch: Instagram deters deletion with reversible “archive” option. Love the snark: “When Instagrammers don’t get enough likes or think their posts look boring, they sometimes impetously delete them. But they can later regret this common emergent behavior which also deprives Instagram of monetizable content and your history in images that could keep you locked into the service.”


The Next Web: Google’s AlphaGo AI takes the scalp of the world’s number one Go player. “Google confidently continues its march into the field of artificial intelligence as yesterday its DeepMind-based AlphaGo defeated the world’s number one ranked Go player, Ke Jie.”


Ars Technica: “Yahoobleed” flaw leaked private e-mail attachments and credentials. “For years, Yahoo Mail has exposed a wealth of private user data because it failed to update widely used image-processing software that contained critical vulnerabilities. That’s according to a security researcher who warned that other popular services are also likely to be leaking sensitive subscriber secrets.”


DigitalGov: How Facebook Live Increased Reach and Engagement of Scientific Lectures at NIH. “An important part of our work focuses on the U.S. military, who have both chronic pain rates and opioid use rates that are much higher than those of the general population. In fact, NCCIH is partnering on pain research initiatives with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and several agencies at NIH. This blog post looks at how NCCIH used Facebook Live to communicate the importance of this research focus to the public, engage with concerned citizens about the future of pain management treatments, and increase the reach and visibility of this topic.” Study suggests people less likely to fact check news when in company of other people. “In practice, it should be easy to avoid falling prey to fake news—upon reading something that may not sound right, all a person has to do is type a few words and run a Google search. But people do not always behave in logical ways. In this new effort, the research trio sought to better understand fact checking by conducting eight experiments designed to determine under which circumstances people are more or less likely to fact check a news article they have just read. The researchers enlisted the assistance of 200 people, all near 36 years old. In the experiments, the volunteers were asked to read a news article and then to perform some tasks related to their feelings regarding the accuracy of the article.” Good morning, Internet…

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