Medieval London Crime, Southeast Asian Communities, Oakland University Newspapers, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, December 2, 2018


Phys. org: ‘Murder map’ reveals medieval London’s meanest streets. “Stabbed by a lover with a fish-gutting knife. Beaten to death for littering with eel skins. Shot with an arrow during a student street brawl. Shanked by a sore loser after late-night backgammon. These were just some of the ways to die violently in the city of London during the 14th century, as catalogued in the ‘Coroners’ Rolls’: the records of the medieval official tasked with documenting sudden and unnatural death – whether accident, suicide or homicide. Now, University of Cambridge criminologist Professor Manuel Eisner has plotted all cases of murder from the surviving rolls – covering the years 1300 to 1340 – onto a digital map of the old city to show for the first time the ‘hot spots’ of lethal violence in medieval London.”

University of Massachusetts Lowell: Event Unveils Digital Archive Celebrating Lowell’s Southeast Asian Communities. “The archive is designed to be used by the public, students, teachers, researchers and scholars. In it, users will find documents and oral histories from the Indochinese Refugee Foundation (IRF), a Lowell-based organization active from 1977 through 1985 that helped Southeast Asian immigrants settle in the region in the wake of the Vietnam War and to escape Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime. The organization was founded by Hai and Lan Pho, former UMass Lowell faculty, and UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney served as the IRF’s executive director before joining the university. The archive also includes works by photographer James Higgins, who documented the Southeast Asian-American experience and life in Lowell in a series of photo books from 1983 to 1997; the books, now out of print, are available on the new digital platform. Other items in the archive include materials from Lowell’s Angkor Dance Troupe and Burmese community.”

Oakland University News: Gold mine: Student newspaper archive goes online. “If you want to experience Oakland University’s history through the eyes of hundreds of student journalists, you no longer have to visit University Archives to do so. Thanks to a generous gift from the family of a former OU library professor – and collective efforts of dedicated library employees – you can access digital issues of the university’s student newspaper dating back to its inaugural issue, published on October 23, 1959. ”


Nieman Lab: CrossCheck launches in Nigeria, with 16 newsrooms working together to fight misinformation. “Facebook is used by 24 million Nigerians every month, but the platform has only four people, from third-party fact-checking organizations, working to combat misinformation there, BBC Africa Eye reported earlier this year in an investigation into how fake news in the country has led to violence and murder.”

Ars Technica: Facebook pondered, for a time, selling access to user data. “A failure to adequately redact a public court document from February 2017 shows that, back in 2012, Facebook considered charging companies at least $250,000 for access to one of its primary troves of user data, the Graph API. In April 2014, Facebook changed the way the previously permissive Graph API works. The social media giant restricted some data access and eliminated all access to the earlier version by June 2015.”

MakeUseOf: Instagram Can Now Describe Photos to Visually Impaired Users. “Instagram has added two new features designed to make it easier for visually impaired people to use Instagram. These features mean screen readers will be able to accurately describe what’s in photos uploaded to Instagram.”

Google Blog: A new look for Google Translate on the web. “It’s been twelve years since the launch of Google Translate, and since then Translate has evolved to keep up with the ways people use it. Initially translating between English and Arabic only, we now translate 30 trillion sentences per year across 103 languages. Google Translate has become an essential tool for communicating across languages, and we recently redesigned the Translate website to make it easier to use.”


Reuters: Does Google harm local search rivals? EU antitrust regulators ask. “EU antitrust regulators have asked Google’s rivals if the internet search giant unfairly demotes local search competitors, according to a questionnaire seen by Reuters, a move which could lead to a fourth case against the Alphabet (GOOGL.O) unit.”

The Intercept: Google Shut Out Privacy And Security Teams From Secret China Project. “Google’s leadership considered Dragonfly so sensitive that they would often communicate only verbally about it and would not take written notes during high-level meetings to reduce the paper trail, two sources said. Only a few hundred of Google’s 88,000 workforce were briefed about the censorship plan. Some engineers and other staff who were informed about the project were told that they risked losing their jobs if they dared to discuss it with colleagues who were themselves not working on Dragonfly.”

WXYZ: IRS creates Instagram account ‘to reach more taxpayers’. “The Internal Revenue Service has launched an Instagram account ‘as part of a larger mission of helping all taxpayers understand and meet their tax responsibilities.'”


Gizmodo: Entire Source Code For eBay Japan Leaked, Including Database Passwords. “While the source code for any website is available to anyone who can right-click, this only covers client-side stuff. To view the actual server code where the magic happens, you’d need secure access to the website’s hardware. But why make it so hard for hackers and other ne’er-do-wells, when you could just publish this code to your front-facing production site… like eBay Japan did.”


Medium: Six Years With a Distraction-Free iPhone. “Over the years, as new apps came out — Facebook, Instagram, news, games, etc — I installed them. They were shiny, they were free, and they helped me ‘get my money’s worth’ out of my phone. Every app created new responsibilities. More inboxes to check and more feeds to read. Every app latched onto my brain, tethering my phone to my skull with invisible string.” Good morning, Internet…

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