New-to-me, from The Irresistible Fleet of Bicycles (really): new resource: national sustainable agriculture oral history archive. “The National Sustainable Agriculture Oral History Archive is a collection of interviews with people who have been instrumental in the development and implementation of public policies to advance sustainable agriculture in the United States. It was started in 2015 and has been growing ever since. Several of the interviews are with key members of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and their interviews document the process of formation and evolution that has led to the NSAC that we know today.”
FEMA: FEMA Launches Hurricane Recovery Facebook Page for U.S. Virgin Islands. “The Federal Emergency Management Agency has launched the ‘FEMA U.S. Virgin Islands’ Facebook page to provide factual information and resources to hurricane survivors, their families and the general public on and off the islands. Virgin Islanders can visit http://www.facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands to find information on federal response and recovery activities, location-specific updates, helpful links, and photographs and videos of the united effort to help the islands recover from hurricanes Irma and Maria.” You might be wondering why I’m denoting this as a new resource when Hurricane Irma hit the Virgin Islands in early September. FEMA did not announce this resource until Saturday, October 14. It looks like the profile picture was updated on this page on October 3, while actual posts began October 9.
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
Libraries and Archives Canada: Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files – Update of October 2017. “As of today, 502,740of 640,000 files are available online in our Personnel Records of the First Wrld War database. Please visit the Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files page for more details on the digitization project.”
BBC: YouTube lifts Swazi bare-breasted dancer restrictions. “A spokesperson for the video-sharing platform told the BBC that YouTube allows nudity when ‘culturally relevant or properly contextualised’. Users who had uploaded reed dance videos were angered when it was classified as age-restricted content. YouTube has denied accusations of racism, saying it was keen to be culturally sensitive.
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
New York Times: A Bot That Makes Trump’s Tweets Presidential. “With a single burst of tweets, President Trump can fire and hire a chief of staff, bar transgender soldiers from the military and undercut negotiations with foreign nations. It’s ‘diplomacy by tweeting,’ said Russel Neiss, a software engineer for an educational technology nonprofit.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
TechCrunch: Mobile phone companies appear to be providing your number and location to anyone who pays. “You may remember that last year, Verizon (which owns Oath, which owns TechCrunch) was punished by the FCC for injecting information into its subscribers’ traffic that allowed them to be tracked without their consent. That practice appears to be alive and well despite being disallowed in a ruling last March: companies appear to be able to request your number, location, and other details from your mobile provider quite easily.”
Daily Collegian: Trump’s lawyers: Courts have no say over his Twitter feed. “President Donald Trump can block his critics from following him on Twitter without violating the First Amendment despite a lawsuit’s claims that it violates the Constitution to do so, government lawyers say. Trial attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington submitted papers late Friday to a New York federal judge, saying a lawsuit challenging Trump over the issue should be thrown out.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
University of Washington: Using Facebook data as a real-time census. “Determining how many people live in Seattle, perhaps of a certain age, perhaps from a specific country, is the sort of question that finds its answer in the census, a massive data dump for places across the country. But just how fresh is that data? After all, the census is updated once a decade, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s smaller but more detailed American Community Survey, annually. There’s also a delay between when data are collected and when they are published. (The release of data for 2016 started gradually in September 2017.) Enter Facebook, which, with some caveats, can serve as an even more current source of information, especially about migrants. ”
New York Magazine: Twitter Should Stop Pretending. “Twitter has a bad habit of losing itself deep inside the rabbit hole of its own rules, and its attempts at unthinking, both-sides consistency tend to make them seem all the more weak and arbitrary. The platform is rife with stories from people who’ve been harassed or threatened in ways that would seem to specifically violate the terms of service, but whose reports fell on deaf ears.”
Business Insider: This winning team of university students have a plan to combat fake news – and it’s a 3-pronged attack. “The growing prominence of fake news since the US presidential election last year has made it the talk of the town – with major companies like Facebook actively trying to curb the spread of erroneous news circulating online. So when 140 students were tasked to come up with tech solutions to combat fake news at a hackathon over the weekend, one group in particular stood out in the eyes of the judges with its ‘“three-pronged’ approach.” Good afternoon, Internet…
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