War Crime Documents, Switzerland Salaries, Punjab Laws, More: Friday Buzz, August 31, 2018

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Stanford Libraries: Stanford launches digital library to preserve and broaden access to war crime documents. “A new online Virtual Tribunals resource developed by Stanford Libraries in collaboration with the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice has launched, making records from 105 cases investigated by the Special Panel for Serious Crimes (SPSC) in East Timor widely accessible. The SPSC East Timor collection includes final judgments from 55 cases that reached verdict on charges such as murder, rape, and crimes against humanity, all of which have been rendered searchable and assigned a persistent URL in order to remain always accessible despite an ever-changing Web environment.”

Euronews: Selfies and salaries: Swiss share salary information on new site aiming to end pay discrimination. “We’ve all wondered how much our bosses or coworkers make. Now, in Switzerland, there may be a way to find out. Swiss trade union Unia has spearheaded the creation of a new website where anyone in the country can post their salaries. The website… Zeig Deinen Lohn (Show Your Salary), went live last week and already has about 500 people posting their details. The website crashed throughout Wednesday due to the heavy online traffic it’s been receiving.”

Pakistan Today: Punjab govt launches first online database of laws in Pakistan. “In a commendable move, the Punjab government has launched the first online database of laws in Pakistan which is accessible to all the internet users. The database, which is available on the official website of the Punjab Assembly, features all the laws of Punjab. In total, the online database features a total of 570 laws passed by the Punjab government since 1860, the details of which are also accessible to the users.”

New-to-me, from Hometown News Brevard: Surfing chronicler leaves legacy of videos. “It all started when Will Lucas was sitting on his surfboard in the ocean, waiting for a wave, when he began to wonder who had surfed there before him. That thought led Mr. Lucas to develop a decades-long passion of collecting and preserving home movies of surfers, noted his wife, Karen Lucas – however, the documentarist’s work ended on Aug. 20 after he lost a five-year battle with cancer.”


Gizmodo: Google Calls BS on Trump’s Claim It Blacklisted His 2017 and 2018 ‘State of the Union’ Speeches. “On Wednesday, Donald Trump escalated his war with major U.S. tech companies he and other prominent conservatives have been baselessly accusing of censoring right-wingers. In a video with an ominous soundtrack posted to his Twitter account, the president’s team accused search giant Google of featuring links to live streams of former President Barack Obama’s State of the Union addresses but not his.”


Business Insider: We compared Google Flights and Kayak to find out which one is better for booking travel, and there’s an obvious winner. “Before booking any kind of travel, I always start in the exact same place: Kayak. The travel site has been my go-to for years, helping me book everything from business trips to vacations to quick weekend getaways. But as time goes on, I’ve started wondering: Am I finding the best flights? Is there an easier-to-use site out there?”


The New Yorker: How to Conduct an Open-Source Investigation, According to the Founder of Bellingcat. “On a recent afternoon in central London, twelve people sat in a hotel conference room trying to figure out the exact latitude and longitude at which the actress Sharon Stone once posed for a photo in front of the Taj Mahal. Among them were two reporters, a human-rights lawyer, and researchers and analysts in the fields of international conflict, forensic science, online extremism, and computer security. They had each paid around twenty-four hundred dollars to join a five-day workshop led by Eliot Higgins, the founder of the open-source investigation Web site Bellingcat. Higgins had chosen this Sharon Stone photo because the photographer was standing on a raised terrace, which makes the angles confusing, and used a lens that makes Stone appear closer to the Taj than she actually was. The participants, working on laptops, compared the trees and paths visible in the photo to their correlates on Google Earth.”


Reuters: Republican U.S. senator asks FTC to examine Google ads. “U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch on Thursday added to the growing push in Washington to have the Federal Trade Commission rekindle an antitrust investigation of Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google.”

Ars Technica: Researchers show Alexa “skill squatting” could hijack voice commands. “The success of Internet of Things devices such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home have created an opportunity for developers to build voice-activated applications that connect ever deeper—into customers’ homes and personal lives. And—according to research by a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)—the potential to exploit some of the idiosyncrasies of voice-recognition machine-learning systems for malicious purposes has grown as well.”

CNET: Google reportedly had deal with Mastercard to track retail sales. “Google and Mastercard formed a secret partnership to track whether online ads led to a sale at a physical store, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Neither company has publicly announced the business partnership, which gave Google an invaluable tool for measuring retail spending, Bloomberg reported. Google paid Mastercard millions of dollars for the data, the news outlet reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the deal.”


The Scholarly Kitchen: Mapping Open Science Tools. “Using a generic view of the scientific workflow, I evaluated all open end-user tools or programs — as well as open information standards or other services — that facilitate the delivery of scientific knowledge. This meant looking at largely web-based applications, with or without download requirements. I took up a broad definition of “tools” to encompass both discipline-agnostic services as well as those that were discipline-specific, especially those with a focus on hard-science fields (see more in the Footnote below). I kept educational or advocacy initiatives as well as generic tools aside for purposes of this project, to enable a targeted focus on digital product development opportunities for science-driven software and services.”

EurekAlert: UK MP Twitter abuse increased between 2015 and 2017 general elections . “Abuse of politicians online increased substantially in the snap 2017 general election compared to the 2015 general election, according to new research by the University of Sheffield. The study shows for the first time that both the proportion and volume of Twitter abuse increased between 2015 and 2017. In most cases, this was regardless of the party or gender of the candidate for Member of Parliament.” Good morning, Internet…

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