Nebraska Disaster Relief, Vehicle Safety, Oculus Rift, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 22, 2019

(Hey y’all, I will be speaking at Computers in Libraries next week. RB may be a little off-schedule.)


KTIC: Gov. Ricketts Unveils New “Nebraska Strong” Relief Website. “On the website, Nebraskans who need relief can log requests for items ranging from housing to tools. Requests will then be reviewed by the Nebraska Preparedness Partnership before being posted. After they are reviewed, they will then be available for fulfillment by members of the public.” The article also includes phone numbers for specific needs – farmers who need feed stuffs, a general questions hotline, etc.

Car and Driver: Volvo Is Sharing 50 Years of Accident and Safety Analysis with Other Automakers—and You. “Volvo won’t actually be sharing the data that it has collected over the years—no one else would know what to do with it, the company says. Instead, it is releasing more than 100 research papers in an online database, and anyone can access them, not just other car companies.”


Mashable: Facebook announces $399 Oculus Rift S to launch in spring. “The $399 Rift S isn’t a minor upgrade. With new features such as built-in cameras and sensors for tracking your hands in the virtual world, improved image quality, and a new head strap design that makes long-term wear more comfortable, the Rift S is everything the original should have been.”

CNET: Facebook allegedly knew of Cambridge Analytica data mining earlier than reported. “Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica’s mining of its users’ data months before the media reported them, according to a recent filing in a court case regarding the data scandal.”

CNN: Vaccine misinformation flourishes on Facebook and Instagram weeks after promised crackdown . “Facebook on Thursday morning continued to recommend content in the search bar that linked vaccinations with autism, a CNN Business review showed. When searching for ‘vaccines’ using the search tool, results included ‘vaccines and autism’ and ‘vaccinesrevealed.’ When clicked, the suggestions in the drop-down menu returned results for Facebook pages that spread vaccine misinformation.”


AdAge: Kidfluencers’ Rampant YouTube Marketing Is A Minefield For Google. “Since it was founded in 2005, YouTube has operated beyond the reach of rules that govern advertising on traditional television. But the site has grown so large and influential that the days of light-touch regulation may soon be over. Kids’ programming is where the crackdown is most likely. The problem with sponsored content is that it’s not always clear what’s an ad. Kids are particularly vulnerable to being manipulated by paid clips that masquerade as legitimate content. On TV, the ground rules are clearer: Ads come when the show takes a break.”

The Atlantic: Instagram Is the Internet’s New Home for Hate. “Instagram is teeming with these conspiracy theories, viral misinformation, and extremist memes, all daisy-chained together via a network of accounts with incredible algorithmic reach and millions of collective followers—many of whom, like Alex, are very young. These accounts intersperse TikTok videos and nostalgia memes with anti-vaccination rhetoric, conspiracy theories about George Soros and the Clinton family, and jokes about killing women, Jews, Muslims, and liberals.”


EurekAlert: Data sharing by popular health apps is ‘routine,’ research finds . “Published in BMJ today, the research team – from the University of Sydney, the University of Toronto and University of California – set out to investigate if and how user data is shared by top rated medicines-related mobile apps. It also sought to characterise privacy risks to app users, both clinicians and consumers. The researchers found sharing of user data by medicines-related apps is routine but far from transparent, and also identified a small number of commercial entities with the ability to aggregate and potentially re-identify user data.”


Politico: The Federal Courts Are Running An Online Scam. “…I’m here to tell you that PACER—Public Access to Court Electronic Records—is a judicially approved scam. The very name is misleading: Limiting the public’s access by charging hefty fees, it has been a scam since it was launched and, barring significant structural changes, will be a scam forever.”

USC Viterbi: Using Artificial Intelligence to Predict Violence in Movies. “For many in the film industry, seeing your film landed with an NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is the kiss of death. With your film no longer accessible to viewers under 17, you are presented with a choice between limited box-office takings or expensive re-editing, or even reshooting, to meet the requirements of a more palatable R rating. But what if there were a more accurate way to determine a film’s likely classification at the script stage, before it moves through the expensive process of production and post-production?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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