morningbuzz

Queens University of Charlotte, College Sports Finance, Public Records Laws, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, March 12, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

DigitalNC: New student newspapers from Queens University of Charlotte now online at DigitalNC. “A new batch of newspapers from Queens University of Charlotte is now online. The batch covers a 20 year span (1931-1951) of Queens Blues, the student newspaper for Charlotte’s Queens College. An all female liberal arts institution, Queens College began admitting male students after the Second World War and later became Queens University of Charlotte.”

PR Newswire: Knight Commission Unveils New College Sports Financial Database (PRESS RELEASE). “In an effort to inject more financial transparency into college sports, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics has unveiled a revamped and innovative College Athletics Financial Information (CAFI) Database. The new resource provides unprecedented access to athletics revenues, expenses, and debt as well as institution-wide academic spending for more than 220 public NCAA Division I colleges and universities dating back to 2005.”

MuckRock: MuckRock gives a state-by-state look at your public records law. “There are 50 state records laws (51 counting Washington D.C.) all with different statutes, exemptions, and limitations that dictate what you can get from your state and local agencies. With the rules of access differing across the board, MuckRock provides an easy way to keep track of them all through our interactive database showcasing the best, the worst, and the confusing parts of state records law.”

USEFUL STUFF

Lifehacker: Try Out iPhone Automation with This List of 150+ iOS Shortcuts . “I confess, I haven’t really touched iOS shortcuts much since the feature’s big debut last September, but don’t let my laziness dissuade you from fiddling around with them. If you’re just getting started, you should find some awesome premade shortcuts to integrate into your device instead of spending way too much time figuring out how to build your own. That’s fun too, but there’s no need to jump in the deep end just yet.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Recode: Inside Twitter’s ambitious plan to change the way we tweet. “Everything the company seems to do — from cracking down on bots to building new conversation features — has been done in the name of a healthier Twitter. When the company’s user base started shrinking noticeably last year, Twitter said that its focus on health was at least partly to blame. Measuring the health of interactions is just one part of that broader effort, but it’s one of the more challenging and confusing parts. Removing bots and spam are technical problems. Truly understanding the health of a conversation requires things like understanding who is talking, what they’re talking about, or when someone is using sarcasm. Not all arguments, of course, are bad.”

The Journal: Shepherd, Loyola Chicago awarded grant to create historical database. “The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at the College of William & Mary has awarded Benjamin Bankhurst, assistant professor of history at Shepherd University, and Kyle Roberts, associate professor of public history and new media and director of the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities at Loyola University Chicago, with a $5,000 Lapidus Digital Collections Fellowship for ‘The Maryland Loyalist Project.’ The project is a collaboration between Bankhurst and Roberts, aiming to make the letters and petitions of British loyalists who fled the American Revolution housed in the British National Archives available in a digital archive.”

New York Times: How TikTok Is Rewriting the World. “Hello, person who is, statistically speaking, a human adult aged approximately ‘millennial’ to ‘boomer.’ The analytics suggest a high likelihood that you’re aware there is an app named TikTok, and a similarly high likelihood that you’re not totally sure what it’s all about. Maybe you asked someone younger in your life, and they tried to explain and possibly failed. Or maybe you’ve heard that this new, extraordinarily popular video app is ‘a refreshing outlier in the social media universe’ that’s ‘genuinely fun to use.’ Maybe you even tried it, but bounced straight out, confused and sapped.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

The Verge: Facebook’s former chief of security says its privacy pivot is ‘punting’ on its hardest issues. “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a bombshell announcement earlier this week that his company would pivot to a ‘privacy-focused communications platform’ that prioritizes encrypted private messaging and groups over public-facing posts and the algorithm-driven News Feed. According to the company’s former security chief, Alex Stamos, the move could mean that some of Facebook’s toughest issues around moderating speech and curbing bad behavior effectively disappear.”

Billings Gazette: When government fails, indigenous women take their search for missing loved ones online. “Indigenous people make up 26 percent of Montana’s missing persons cases, but only 6.7 percent of the state’s population. That’s nearly 300 Native Americans reported missing in Montana in 2018 alone, according to the State Department of Justice. And though most eventually turn up, at the end of year when the still missing are tallied, Native Americans remain more than a quarter of Montana’s unfound.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): Use of smartphones and social media is common across most emerging economies. “Large majorities in the 11 emerging and developing countries surveyed either own or share a mobile phone, and in every country it is much more common to own one’s own phone than to share it with someone else. In seven of these countries, half or more now use smartphones – and smartphone use is especially common among younger and more educated groups.”

Library of Congress: In the Library’s Web Archives: Sorting through a Set of US Government PDFs. “The Digital Content Management section has been working on a project to extract and make available sets of files from the Library’s significant web archives holdings. This is another step to explore the web archives and make them more widely accessible and usable. Our aim in creating these sets is to identify reusable, ‘real world’ content in the Library’s digital collections, which we can provide for public access. The outcome of the project will be a series of datasets, each containing 1,000 files of related media types selected from .gov domains. We will announce and explore these datasets here on The Signal, and the data will be made available through LC Labs. Although we invite usage and interest from a wide range of digital enthusiasts, we are particularly hoping to interest practitioners and scholars working on digital preservation education and digital scholarship projects.”

The Nation (Thailand): Tree ‘fingerprinting’: a new weapon to defend forests . “A timeworn laboratory in Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens may not seem like the obvious epicentre of efforts to halt international illegal logging. Beakers bubble away on a hotplate, while suspect guitars that have been sent by customs officials for testing sit on top of shelves lined with tattered old journals and reference books in a multitude of languages. But scientists at the Wood Anatomy Laboratory, part of the research centre at the gardens in Kew, southwest London, are working on a new global project to help precisely identify the origin and species of timber.” Good morning, Internet…

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