Anglo-Saxon History, California Traffic, Uganda Internet Access, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, February 19, 2019


British Library: Explore our Anglo-Saxons webspace. “Would you like to find out more about the Anglo-Saxons? Have you been mesmerised by our recent blockbuster exhibition, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War, or are you doing research into some aspect of early medieval culture? If so, you may be interested in the British Library’s new webspace devoted to the Anglo-Saxons. Already published are a number of articles, on subjects as diverse as music, Anglo-Saxon women, and the Battle of Hastings, together with collection items and biographies. In the near future we intend to add more material, so (literally) please watch this space …”

Daily Californian: UC Berkeley transportation research center releases interactive website for reporting road safety issues. “Street Story, a new website developed by researchers at UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, or SafeTREC, allows California residents to report unsafe road conditions, accidents or near misses, with the goal of creating a data set that engages the community and provides useful, publicly accessible information for city and transportation planners.”


Quartz: Uganda’s social media tax has led to a drop in internet and mobile money users. “Uganda’s social media tax has proved to be detrimental to both its internet and mobile money sectors. In the three months following the introduction of the levy in July 2018, there was a noted decline in the number of internet users, total revenues collected, as well as mobile money transactions. In a series of tweets, the Uganda Communications Commission noted internet subscription declined by more than 2.5 million users, while the sum of taxpayers from over-the-top (OTT) media services decreased by more than 1.2 million users.”


Genealogy’s Star: Step-by-Step Guide to Using Online Census Indexes: Part Three. “There is a 72-year restriction on public access to the census data and so the most recent census records that are available are from 1940. Most people will only see the information from one census become available during their lifetime. All of the main schedules of the U.S. Federal Census are now available online. Here is a list of the main online sources for digitized copies of the U.S. Federal Census records, however, you will need to search for the census records on these websites. This list is not exhaustive and you may find other digital copies on additional websites. Subscription websites are marked with dollar signs.” More good stuff from James Tanner.


Al Bawaba: A Guide to Actually Understanding the Political Impact of AI. “Since their entrance into mainstream political consciousness, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data have been seen a harbinger of either political doom or revolution. Movies, TV series, think pieces and tech reports paint and increasingly grim picture of power being handed over by governments and citizens to amorphous algorithms that govern with no transparency. The most dramatic depiction is the all-out data-driven apocalypse of the Terminator universe, but subtler, more intimate insights into our Data Hell come from Black Mirror, whose episodes shed light on people, relationships and societies that have sacrificed their subjectivity in the name of optimization.” A deep dive with a focus on China.

Jamaica Information Service: Grange: Reggae Film Archive Coming. “The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the Reggae Films In The Park event launched preparations to establish the new digital Reggae Film Archive at the National Library of Jamaica as ‘a big step towards preserving Jamaica’s cultural heritage and Reggae history on film.'”

The Guardian: ‘Do the right thing’: ads on Facebook and Google seek big tech whistleblowers. “Silicon Valley activists have launched a whistleblower campaign to help workers organize against ‘unethical tech’, including ads on social media platforms targeting the employees of those companies.”


BBC: Millions of medical calls exposed online. “Millions of calls made by Swedes seeking medical advice via a national health service telephone line have been exposed online. Some 2.7 million conversations dating back to 2013 were uncovered by technology news site Computer Sweden on an unencrypted web server. It amounted to 170,000 hours of sensitive calls about symptoms and medications.”

Biometric Update: Site using facial recognition to match photos from Russian social media network sued. “A new website enabling users to search the image database of Russian social media site VKontakte with facial biometrics has been discovered, and then threatened with legal action, prompting it to switch off some functions, reports.”


Chronicle of Higher Education: As Scholars Are Driven to Less Prestigious Journals, New Measures of Quality Emerge. “As more scholars publish in less-recognized open-access journals, the search is on for other ways to measure the impact of their research. One potential measure of reach is in online sharing: posts on Twitter, blog links, and other engagement metrics of various kinds. HuMetricsHSS, a humanities and social-sciences project that tracks indicators in those fields, includes as another such metric ‘openness,’ including a researcher’s ‘transparency, candor, and accountability, in addition to the practice of making one’s research open access at all stages.'” Good afternoon, Internet…

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