Kids Killed by Guns, Real-Time Translation, Reddit, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, February 15, 2019


Washington Post: ‘Since Parkland’: A remarkable project by teen journalists about kids killed by guns in America. “…as the project’s new website explains, more than 200 teen journalists across the country last summer began researching and writing the life stories of young Americans — from newborns to 18-year-olds — who were killed during a year in this country. Their stories start on Feb. 14, 2018, the day a gunman walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and killed 17 people, 14 of them students. Those young people were not the only ones to die in America from guns that day.”


Google Blog: Lost in translation? Try interpreter mode with the Google Assistant. “It’s easier than ever to meet new people and explore new places—but language barriers that prevent us from talking to each other still exist. With the Google Assistant, we’re focused on creating the best way to get things done—regardless of who you’re communicating with or what language you speak. To help you connect with people you’re talking to, we recently introduced a new feature called interpreter mode that translates your conversations in real time.”

TechCrunch: Reddit says government data requests more than doubled in 2018 . “Reddit has said the number of government requests for user data more than doubled in 2018 than on the previous year. The news and content sharing site said in its latest transparency report, posted Wednesday, it received 752 requests from governments during the year, up from 310 requests a year earlier.”

Ars Technica: Opera shows off its smart new redesign that’s just like all the other browsers. “Being Web-centric is not a bad principle for an application such as a browser, where the bulk of the functionality and interest comes from the pages we’re viewing rather than the browser itself. At first blush, I think that Opera has come up with something that looks good, but it does feel like an awfully familiar design rationale.”


I do believe this is the first thing I’ve found via MeWe (thanks, Sam R.!) PetaPixel: This Web App Lets You Build Your Own Stock Photos. “Here’s an unusual way to obtain the simple stock photo you need: Photo Creator is a web app that lets you build your own realistic stock photos. The site features thousands of models, objects, and backgrounds that you can combine into your own creations.”


The Next Web: Facebook lets you search for pictures of your female friends, but not your male ones. “A Belgian security researcher has found an unusual quirk in Facebook’s search function. Facebook lets you search for photos of your female friends, but refuses to play dice if you want to look up pictures of your male friends. The bizarre find was discovered this weekend by notorious Belgian white-hat hacker Inti De Ceukelaire.”

Library of Congress: American Archive of Public Broadcasting to Preserve 50 Years of Sesame Street for Posterity . “As Sesame Street begins to mark its 50th anniversary, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation, has announced that Sesame Workshop has donated a collection of digitized episodes from the past 50 years of Sesame Street, to be preserved for posterity. Over the next year, nearly 4,500 episodes from the first 49 seasons of the iconic children’s television program will be incorporated into the AAPB’s extensive archive of public media from across the United States. The Sesame Street collection will be available to view on-site at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and by appointment at WGBH in Boston.”


Bloomberg Quint: Google, Facebook Forced to Pay Creators Under New EU Rules. “Online platforms will be required to compensate publishers and creators for the content that appears on their websites, under new European Union copyright rules that could shrink access to online media in Europe.”

Courthouse News Service: Bill Would Make Online Access to Federal Court Records Free (YAY!) “House lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would remove online paywalls and make federal court records free to the public. PACER, as the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system is otherwise known, currently charges between 10 cents and $3 for most searches, page views and PDF document downloads.”

CNET: Chinese facial recognition company left database of people’s locations exposed. “A Chinese facial recognition company left its database exposed online, revealing information about millions of people, a security researcher discovered. SenseNets, a company based in Shenzhen, China, offers facial recognition technology and crowd analysis, which the company boasted in a promotional video could track people across cities and pick them out in large groups.”


University of Maryland School of Medicine: UMSOM Scientists Call for Unrestricted Usage of Public Genome Data. “Researchers at the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) called for open access to genome data, stating that unrestricted usage is needed for progress in combatting the world’s most serious diseases. Scientific progress relies on unconditional access to data that is hosted in open and accessible repositories, a group of genomic research leaders that included top IGS faculty stated in an article published in Science. They noted that while there are valid concerns and misconceptions about the rights of data producers, what is needed are clear, unambiguous guidelines for data usage.”

ReliefWeb: Understanding Violent Extremism: Messaging and Recruitment Strategies on Social Media in the Philippines. “The first news that militants had taken to the streets of the Islamic City of Marawi on May 23, 2017, came from Facebook. Pictures of masked men carrying assault rifles and waving the black flag of the Islamic State were swirling across social media well before Philippine and international news channels picked up the story. By the time the military and the media had begun to respond, Marawi’s residents were already streaming out of the city by the tens of thousands to seek refuge from the violence. The fact that news of the siege spread first on Facebook isn’t surprising. Over 60 million Filipinos have access to the internet; of those, 97 percent are on Facebook. For many, Facebook is the internet, a circumstance encouraged by local telecoms that offer free access to the social media site without the need for a paid data plan.” Good morning, Internet…

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