Washington Prisons, Congressional Web Sites, Instagram, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, December 12, 2018


I’m not sure how new this is but it’s new-to-me: the Washington Prison History Project. From the front page: “Welcome to the Washington Prison History Project, an online project documenting the history of prisoner activism and policy in our state. The site features a robust collection of prisoner-produced newspapers from the late 20th century; oral histories and testimonials about the Washington state prison system; research on local histories of punishment; and a text-adventure computer game designed inside a maximum security prison.”


Library of Congress: The United States Congressional Web Archive now includes content for the 113th and 114th Congresses.. “The Library of Congress Web Archiving Program is dedicated to providing reliable access to historical web content from the legislative branch. To that end, the Library has just released an update to the United States Congressional Web Archive. The archive, which includes member sites from the House and Senate, as well as House and Senate Committee websites, now includes content for the 113th and 114th Congresses. The archive has also added subject facets for the 105th and 106th Congresses to enhance access to the older content in the archive.”

CNET: Instagram now lets you send voice messages. “Tired of the same old, text-based DMs? Good news, then: Instagram now lets you send voice messages. On Monday, the popular photo-sharing app quietly added a feature that lets you share short audio messages with friends. ”

PR Newswire: Dark Cloud to Offer Replacement for Adult Tumblr (PRESS RELEASE). “Dark Cloud, an alternative media platform, announces it is launching a set of tools allowing Tumblr users to export their existing Tumblr content and rescue all of the data. The service will allow for a seamless transition of content between the old Tumblr site and the new Dark Cloud service. The key component is a direct converter that allows users to plug in their Tumblr URL and Dark Cloud does the rest. The converter will take an existing Tumblr account and import it into a Dark Cloud profile which will have similar functionality to the existing platform.” I had never heard of Dark Cloud, so I went to the home page. And it dropped me straight into plenty of NSFW content. Be warned.


Larry Ferlazzo: All The “Best” Lists Posted In 2018. “This post contains all the ‘Best’ lists I’ve posted this year. You can see all 2,000 of them here – categorized!”


Bloomberg Quint: Google CEO Rebuts Claims of Bias, Data Tracking in Congress. “Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai kicked off his first appearance before Congress Tuesday refuting claims of bias, explaining the company’s privacy approach and stressing its American roots. As the hearing began, the heads of both political parties led with questions about Google’s data collection. Republican Bob Goodlatte asked how much personal information Google absorbs via its Android mobile software.”

Stars and Stripes: CDs, faxes make comeback as military file-sharing service taken offline. “The shuttering of a widely used military file-sharing service last month has left the services without an online option for transferring sensitive unclassified files, so they’re turning to CDs, DVDs, postal mail and even fax machines.” Remember sneakernet?

The Next Web: 5 ways AI can be an ally for human rights over the next decade “I can be a powerful ally for human rights as a tool for empowering people. It can also be humankind’s enemy when wielded by unscrupulous or ignorant people, but we’ll get to that another time. Since it’s a celebration, let’s talk about good stuff. We’ve come a long way in the last 70 years, but until the rights of every human are guaranteed and protected we’re not done. Here’s five ways AI will help in the fight for universal human rights.”


Google employees demand the end of forced arbitration across the tech industry
. “Forced arbitration ensures workplace disputes are settled behind closed doors and without any right to an appeal. These types of agreements effectively prevent employees from suing companies. Following the walkout last month, Google got rid of forced arbitration for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims, offering more transparency around those investigations and more. Airbnb, eBay and Facebook quickly followed suit. However, optional arbitration at Google is only granted for full-time employees, which does not include the thousands of contract workers at the company.”

CNBC: Google is shutting down its Plus social network sooner than expected after discovering a second security bug. “… in a blog post Monday Google wrote that it discovered a second bug that allowed the profile information of 52.5 million users to be viewable by developers, even if the profiles were set to private, using one of Google’s application programming interfaces, or APIs, for six days in November. Once again, the available data included information like users’ names, email addresses, occupations and ages.”


BBC: The key to cracking long-dead languages?. “…since cuneiform was first deciphered by scholars around 150 years ago, the script has only yielded its secrets to a small group of people who can read it. Some 90% of cuneiform texts remain untranslated. That could change thanks to a very modern helper: machine translation.”

Phys .org: Chemists find a new tool for understanding enzymes—Google. “Yale scientists have taken a novel approach to unraveling the complex structure and regulation of enzymes: They Googled it. In a new study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, chemistry professor Victor Batista and his colleagues used the Google algorithm PageRank to identify key amino acids in the regulation of a bacterial enzyme essential for most microorganisms.” Good morning, Internet…

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