Alabama Proclamations, Native American Sports Mascots, Delhi Archives, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, February 16, 2019


Alabama Secretary of State: Secretary Merrill Announces Availability of Proclamations On Secretary of State Website. “Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill has worked to digitize proclamations issued by the Office of the Governor of Alabama. Secretary Merrill has made these documents available to the public as a part of his work to make as many pieces of state government transparent and available to the people of Alabama as possible.”

New-to-me, possibly launched last fall? A database of Native American mascots for sports teams. From the database page: “This database contains the Native American mascots from high schools, colleges, and professional sports teams throughout the United States. The layers include high schools who currently have Native mascots (blue), colleges who currently have Native mascots (purple), and high schools, colleges and professional teams who have changed their mascot (red).” It looks like most of the site is the map containing the pointers (and there are many); no annotation I can find.

Hindustan Times: Delhi’s archives and records, dating back to 1803, go online. “Centuries-old land records of the national Capital and other important government documents were made available online on Wednesday after deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia launched the web portal of Delhi Archives … Delhi Archives is a custodian of Delhi government records and was established in 1972 to preserve the archival heritage of the city. The department has archival records dating to 1803.”


Facebook: Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior From Moldova. “Earlier this week, we removed 168 Facebook accounts, 28 Pages and eight Instagram accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting people in Moldova. This activity originated in Moldova, and used a combination of fake accounts and some authentic accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing. Given the upcoming elections in Moldova, we wanted to let people know about the action we’ve taken and the facts as we know them today.”


Interesting Engineering: 11 Amazing Biology YouTube Channels That Will Have You Gripped. “When it comes to Biology YouTube channels, these 11 are some of the best of the best. They range from highly-entertaining enthusiasts to collators of some of the best science leaders lectures from around the world.” Nice use of embedded content.


South China Morning Post: Japanese wartime photos strike a nerve in China. “The release online of 35,000 photographs taken during the Japanese occupation of China between 1936 and 1945 has riled Chinese social media commenters.” I can’t find a link to the photography collection or much other news about it. The collection purportedly came from Kyoto University; I can’t find any announcements on its Web site but I have contacted the site and will update if I get any information.

New York Times: India Proposes Chinese-Style Internet Censorship. “Under the proposed rules, Indian officials could demand that Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok and others remove posts or videos that they deem libelous, invasive of privacy, hateful or deceptive. Internet companies would also have to build automated screening tools to block Indians from seeing ‘unlawful information or content.’ Another provision would weaken the privacy protections of messaging services like WhatsApp so that the authorities could trace messages back to their original senders.”

Los Angeles Times: Lost in the Woolsey fire: A location scout’s photo archive of vintage New York. “Eryka Seimona Casper is a location scout, coordinator and manager who has worked on projects in which the setting itself is a key character. ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ ‘Crooklyn,’ ‘Broken City,’ ‘Sex and the City,’ and ‘The Sopranos’ are just a few credits of her 27-year career….It’s a behind-the-scenes specialty that she’s always wanted to explore in a documentary, and for decades she maintained a meticulous catalog of photos specifically of New York. Shot long before photography went digital, her archive visually captured a version of the Big Apple that no longer exists.”


Popular Mechanics: Left to Their Own Devices, Pricing Algorithms Resort to Collusion. “When you’re browsing online, who sets the prices? An algorithm, most likely. A study from 2015 showed that a third of all items on Amazon had prices set by an algorithm, and chances are that percentage has only risen. A new study shows how easy it would be for price-setting algorithms to learn to collude with each other and keep prices at a disadvantage for customers.”

University of Vermont: In Disasters, Twitter Influencers Get Out-Tweeted. “When it comes to sharing emergency information during natural disasters, new University of Vermont research shows how timing is everything. The new study on Twitter use during hurricanes, floods and tornadoes offers potentially life-saving data about how information is disseminated in emergency situations, and by whom. The research is the first to look at social media patterns across different disaster types, focusing on five of the decade’s costliest U.S. emergencies.”

University of Kansas: Study: With Twitter, Race Of The Messenger Matters. “When NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice, the ensuing debate took traditional and social media by storm. University of Kansas researchers have found that tweets both in support of and opposed to the protests can influence how young people think about the issue and, like in many aspects of life, the messenger’s race matters.”

BBC News: Lancaster University’s hand database ‘could catch paedophiles’. “Researchers in Lancaster and Dundee want 5,000 ‘citizen scientists’ to help create a database of images to train machines to identify child abusers by analysing videos of their hands. They would analyse unique features such as vein patterns, scars and freckles. Prof Dame Sue Black, who is leading the project, said one day the database could be as valuable as fingerprinting.” Good morning, Internet…

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