Myanmar Census, Facebook, Virginia Court Records, More: Saturday Buzz, August 25, 2018


Eleven Myanmar: Population Department launches new website with complete census data. “The Department of Population launched a website with redatam database and micro census data at M Gallery Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. The website offers details of census together with maps and images. Those latest data on the website are different in design and format from those previously created by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population. Website browsers will be able to ask questions and make tables and pictures.”


CNET: Facebook tests ‘things in common’ label to try to connect non-friends. “Facebook wants more people to discover things they have in common with the other 2 billion people on its social network. The company on Friday said it’s testing out a new label, called ‘things in common,’ that people will see in some comments.”

Virginia Memory: Virginia’s Circuit Court Records Preserved: Eighty-Seven Grants Awarded. “The Circuit Court Records Preservation Program (CCRP) Grant Review Board met on 24 July 2018 at the Library of Virginia to consider records preservation grant requests from circuit courts across the commonwealth. Five voting members comprise the board: three circuit court clerks, appointed annually by the president of the Virginia Court Clerks’ Association; and two staff members from the Library of Virginia, currently the state archivist and the deputy of collections and programs. Board members meet once a year to evaluate applications. Clerks of the circuit courts are eligible to apply for funds to conserve, secure, and increase access to circuit court records. In all, 87 localities submitted 89 applications requesting a total of $1,290,790.35.”

Free Law Project: Announcing PACER Docket Alerts for Journalists, Lawyers, Researchers, and the Public. “Today we are thrilled to announce the general availability of PACER Docket Alerts on Once enabled, a docket alert will send you an email whenever there is a new filing in a case in PACER.”


Coin World: Josiah K. Lilly Jr. gold coin collection undergoing digitization. “In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the congressionally approved donation of the Josiah K. Lilly Jr. Collection to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, the 6,125 numismatic items that comprise the collection are being digitally imaged for online access.”

New York Times: Alphabet’s Plans for a China Comeback Go Beyond Google Search. “Google has faced sharp criticism, including from its own employees, for its efforts to rebuild an internet search presence in China after quitting the country eight years ago over censorship issues. But for Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet, the opportunities in the world’s largest internet market may be too good to resist. And the full scope of the company’s interest in China now appears to be broader than just internet search.”

Washington Post: Memphis police used fake Facebook account to monitor Black Lives Matter, trial reveals. “Bob Smith said he lived in Oxford, Miss. On Facebook, he “liked” pages for Black Lives Matter, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Memphis Voices For Palestine, Mid-South Peace and Justice, and comedian Rickey Smiley, according to images obtained by The Appeal. ‘I’m not a cop,’ he wrote in a private Facebook message to one activist, adding that he would be interested in attending protests in the Memphis area, but it was a bit of a drive. In lieu of a profile picture, he uploaded an illustration of a Guy Fawkes mask. That’s because ‘Bob Smith’ wasn’t a person of color, as he had claimed online.”


Ars Technica: Facebook violates Apple’s data-gathering rules, pulls VPN from App Store. “Facebook is the latest company to violate Apple’s new app guidelines surrounding data collection. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook pulled Onavo Protect, a VPN app, from Apple’s App Store after the iPhone maker determined that Onavo violated its data-collection rules.”

ZDNet: Spyware firm SpyFone leaves customer data, recordings exposed online. “No matter the user, you would think that the companies responsible for developing spyware would do their utmost to protect the information collected on behalf of their customers. However, it appears that an oversight by spyware developer SpyFone has led to the online leak of terabytes of data belonging not just to customers but also their targets.”


Nieman Journalism Lab: Is there really data that heavy Facebook use caused…erm, is correlated with…erm, is linked to real-life hate crimes?. “It’s a narrative that feels right — there’s a lot of hateful shit posted on Facebook, and that avalanche of content eventually whips up very engaged users into a hateful frenzy that pushes them over the edge in real life. The Times story has real anecdotes of people going through this transformation, and others witnessing these transformations in their communities. But it leans on this working paper to neaten the narrative, and reality is anything but neat.”

A majority of U.S. teens are taking steps to limit smartphone and social media use
. “It’s not just parents who are worrying about their children’s device usage. According to a new study released by Pew Research Center this week, U.S. teens are now taking steps to limit themselves from overuse of their phone and its addictive apps, like social media. A majority, 54% of teens, said they spend too much time on their phone, and nearly that many – 52% – said they are trying to limit their phone use in various ways.”

Phys .org: Social media provides critical information missed by FEMA. “Social media sites can be a valuable tool for assessing the impact of natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, but a new report indicates much of the critical information conveyed by those sites is overlooked by federal authorities. Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research reports that almost half of Hurricane Harvey damage reports provided by social media users were not captured by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates.” Good morning, Internet…

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