afternoonbuzz

Civil Rights Investigations, Vermont Transparency, Google Fact-Checking, More: Monday Evening Buzz, January 22, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

Campus Safety Magazine: Dept. of Ed. Publishes Database of Pending Civil Rights Investigations. “On Wednesday, the Department of Education published a searchable database containing all active civil rights investigations that will be updated monthly. The list includes the state, the institution, the institution type, the type of discrimination complaint and the date the investigation was opened. Users are able to search investigations by subcategories, including race and national origin discrimination, sex discrimination, disability discrimination and age discrimination.”

Vermont: New Public Noticing System Puts Information into the Hands of all Vermonters . “Once considered out-of-sight, the state’s environmental permitting system just got a massive makeover that’s turning heads. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently launched the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB). Now, for the first time ever, there is an online hub that gives anyone the ability to easily track permit applications and add public comments. DEC issues more than 9,000 permits annually. Nearly half of these permits will be publicly noticed on ENB in the coming year, making the entire process more straightforward and transparent. ENB gives users the power to add comments directly to the website, request a public meeting, and receive notice of the final permit application decision.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Business Standard: Google suspends flawed fact-check feature. “Google has suspended its fact-check feature in its Search and news results after its algorithm wrongly linked a Washington Post fact check to a Daily Caller article about US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation team, the media reported. Noting that the feature proved to be too faulty for public use, Google attributed the decision to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation after it published a story lambasting the tech giant for wrongly appending a Washington Post Fact Checker debunk to one of its stories.”

USEFUL STUFF

Digital Trends: Best product key finders: How to find that missing software license for free. “Product keys, software licenses, serial numbers — they all seem to disappear completely when you need them most. Perhaps you need to reinstall a program, or worse, an entire operating system, but can’t locate the original case, manual, or that ancient email you deleted more than a year ago. It’s not a far-fetched scenario by any means, and finding the missing info will definitely take up a chunk of your time, typically requiring you to be placed on hold with customer service for longer than you would like. Fortunately, there are scores of product key finders that will scan your system and compile an extensive report of any keys they find.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Michigan State University: MSU To Host World’s Largest Research Hub On China-Africa Engagement. “Michigan State University will host the world’s largest independent, interdisciplinary research network dedicated to China-Africa engagement. After being housed at the Social Science Research Council for the last four years, the China-Africa Knowledge Project Resource Hub will be maintained and further developed by MATRIX, the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at MSU, which is devoted to the application of new technologies for teaching, research and outreach.”

China Daily: New translation database promotes Chinese literature overseas . “President Xi Jinping’s report at the 19th CPC National Congress attached great importance to the construction of China’s soft power and cultural confidence, which required a large number of eminent artistic figures to see literature and art thrive. To support contemporary Chinese literary talents and elevate the global influence of Chinese literature, the Chinese Culture Translation and Studies Support Network (CCTSS) and Selected Stories magazine jointly initiated an international database of Chinese writers and works in Beijing, Jan 17.” I could not find an URL for this and didn’t have much luck Googling – I’m probably searching in the wrong language. Thus I’m not sure if this is a completed resource or an initiative launch.

Telesur: Costa Rica Shows Pre-Columbian Artifacts Returned by Venezuela. “”This repatriation case of a Costa Rican archeological archive represents a legal milestone in the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural assets in Latin America,” says the National Museum. The National Museum of Costa Rica (MNCR) is exhibiting 196 recovered pre-Columbian artifacts after they were decommissioned in Venezuela between 2010 and 2014 and brought back to the Central American country by sea.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Associated Press: Report links hacking campaign to Lebanese security agency. “A major hacking operation tied to one of the most powerful security and intelligence agencies in Lebanon has been exposed after careless spies left hundreds of gigabytes of intercepted data exposed to the open internet, according to a report published Thursday. Mobile security firm Lookout, Inc. and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, said the haul, which includes nearly half a million intercepted text messages, had simply been left online by hackers linked to Lebanon’s General Directorate of General Security.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Wired: Android Users: To Avoid Malware, Ditch Google’s App Store. “Yale Privacy Lab is now collaborating with Exodus Privacy to detect and expose trackers with the help of the F-Droid app store. F-Droid is the best substitute for Google Play, because it only offers FOSS apps without tracking, has a strict auditing process, and may be installed on most Android devices without any hassles or restrictions. Of course, it can be used alongside Google Play, as well. It’s true that Google does screen apps submitted to the Play store to filter out malware, but the process is still mostly automated and very quick— too quick to detect Android malware before it’s published, as we’ve seen.”

MIT Technology Review: China Publishes More Scientific Articles Than the U.S.. “According to the National Science Foundation, China published over 426,000 research papers in 2016. America pumped out almost 409,000. If you consider the number of citations for those papers, a measure of the influence they have in the scientific community, America does better—it placed third internationally, while China comes in fifth (Sweden and Switzerland took the top spots).” Good evening, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

4 replies »

      • Tara:

        I just entered “CCTSS” into Google [without the quote marks], and the LinkedIn hit (and a couple others) came up in the first page of results. I figured the time lag between the original work you did and my try might have led to an update of available hits, as I find Google results always something of a moving target.

        Pam

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