Vermont Newspapers, Facebook, Georgia State University, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, July 4, 2018


VPR: Surprising History From Vermont’s Online Newspaper Archive: Bicycles, Women’s Suffrage & ‘Scorchers’. “Vermonters can now access more than 200 years of newspapers online after the Vermont secretary of state’s office worked with to make millions of pages of old papers from the 1700s up to 1922 available for free.”


TechCrunch: Facebook rolls out more API restrictions and shutdowns. “Following the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal and the more recent discovery of a Facebook app that had been leaking data on 120 million users, Facebook is today announcing a number of API changes aimed at better protecting user information. The changes will impact multiple developer-facing APIs, including those used to create social experiences on the site, as well as those for media partners, and more.”


Bloomberg: Facebook’s Political Rule Blocks Ads for Bush’s Beans, Singers Named Clinton. Roll that beautiful bean footage! “Blaine Simons last month paid Facebook to run an ad for his lawn-mowing company, Al Mowit, in Rapid City, South Dakota. ‘If you can’t mow it… AL MOWIT!’ the ad said, promising professional lawn mowing and bush trimming. It ran from June 15 until June 25. On that day, Facebook’s systems concluded that it was political content and took it down.”

Georgia State University is crowdfunding to preserve its photographic collections. “Our photographic collections are the most heavily used collections by individuals, corporations, organizations, journalists, publishers, and designers. We receive approximately 300 photograph requests annually. By creating an exhibit, we can further promote our extensive collections and share them with the community both in physical and digital form. Fabricating, mounting, promoting, and preservation of photographs for this exhibit will cost us approximately $5,500. Without any foundation funding, corporate, or individual support at a higher level we would not be able to create a compelling exhibit. Help us preserve our collections while sharing them with the public by supporting this campaign.”

Vanity Fair: “I Was Devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, The Man Who Created The World Wide Web, Has Some Regrets. “Berners-Lee, who never directly profited off his invention, has also spent most of his life trying to guard it. While Silicon Valley started ride-share apps and social-media networks without profoundly considering the consequences, Berners-Lee has spent the past three decades thinking about little else. From the beginning, in fact, Berners-Lee understood how the epic power of the Web would radically transform governments, businesses, societies. He also envisioned that his invention could, in the wrong hands, become a destroyer of worlds, as Robert Oppenheimer once infamously observed of his own creation.”


Techdirt: Researchers Reveal Details Of Printer Tracking Dots, Develop Free Software To Defeat It. “As Techdirt has reported previously in the case of Reality Leigh Winner, most modern color laser printers place tiny yellow tracking dots on every page printed — what Wikipedia calls ‘printer steganography’. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) first started warning about this sneaky form of surveillance back in 2005. It published a list of printers and whether it was known that they used tracking dots.”

Channel News Asia: Ugandan groups file court challenge against social media tax. “Uganda’s new tax on social media access limits basic rights and harms business, according to a petition filed by activists to the constitutional court against a levy that civic groups and opposition parties say is onerous.”

PetaPixel: Court Rules Copying Photos Found on Internet is Fair Use. “A Virginia federal court has made a decision that photographers won’t be happy to hear: the court ruled that finding a photo on the Internet and then using it without permission on a commercial website can be considered fair use.” I am so confused.


Fashion Journal: Study finds millennials care more about social media than money. “If you were given the choice between $200 or 1000 likes on a social media post, which would you pick? In a recent study commissioned by UBank, it was revealed that one in 10 millennials said they would take the likes. It turns out some young people care more about their social media following than how much they’ve got in the bank, and it’s evident in the way they’re sharing their spending online.”

The Regulatory Review: Improving Federal Regulation of Medical Algorithms. “In emergency situations, doctors have little time to save the lives of trauma patients. Gunshot wounds, car crashes, and other life-threatening harms often cause severe blood loss, which is the leading cause of preventable death when trauma puts patients’ lives on the line. To manage the demands of these emergency cases, physicians today complement their medical skill-set with a new tool: algorithms. But in a recent paper, a legal scholar argues that federal regulatory reforms must occur to unleash the full lifesaving potential of algorithms in health care. Nicholson Price, a professor at University of Michigan Law School, claims that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lacks the necessary expertise in computer science to apply its current regulations to medical algorithms and, as a result, could discourage much-needed innovation.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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