afternoonbuzz

Federal Reserve, Fold3, Instagram, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, April 14, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

Federal Reserve: Federal Reserve Board publishes transcripts of more than 50 interviews with former policymakers and former senior staff that chronicle nearly half a century of Federal Reserve history . “The interviews, including with former chairs Paul A. Volcker, Alan Greenspan, and Janet L. Yellen, provide personal recollections of important economic, monetary policy, and regulatory developments. They also provide impressions of life and culture at the Federal Reserve Board.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Fold3: Search Updates. “At Fold3, we’ve recently launched powerful new updates to our search engine. Our updates are designed to help you navigate through more than 500 million records with a series of filters including name, date, place, military (including branch, conflict, service number, etc.) and additional filters to help you quickly locate the records you’re looking for.”

Quartz: Instagram will demote “inappropriate content”—and self-expression along the way. “Instagram and its parent company Facebook are constantly waging a complex battle with bad content on their platforms. But the latest chapter of that fight involves them stepping onto the slippery slope to censorship, worrying artists, people with disabilities, consensual sex workers, and those who are in various ways body- and sex-positive.”

USEFUL STUFF

Larry Ferlazzo: A Beginning List Of The Best Resources For Teaching About Reparations. “I have resources on reparations at NEW & REVISED: THE BEST RESOURCES I’VE USED (OR WILL USE) IN LESSONS ABOUT RACE & RACISM. However, especially now with the idea being taken more seriously in the public debate, I thought I’d take the materials there – and add more – to create a new ‘Best’ list to add to all my resources on race and racism.”

Lifehacker: Quickly Find a Nearby Scooter Using This App. “I have admittedly been reluctant to embrace the scooters that are infiltrating our cities. In my neighborhood in San Francisco, you constantly have to be on the lookout to make sure an inexperienced rider isn’t going to mow you down on the sidewalk, and on weekends that sidewalk is also often literally blocked with piles of them. I hate them. But in my hometown in North Carolina, where there are considerably fewer of them, I see the appeal.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

OneZero: Meet the People Who Still Have AOL Email Addresses. “…despite the rise of broadband and free email, both AOL and EarthLink have somehow managed to survive. It’s difficult to get up-to-date figures, since the two entities are now subsidiaries and barely register as a blip on their parent companies’ balance sheets. Neither company would disclose its current number of monthly subscribers, but as of 2014, more than 2.1 million people still used AOL dial-up.” Obviously I do not use dial-up, but I still have a Mindspring account I’ve had since ~1998. That email address is in some of my books and such and I’m reluctant to get rid of it. I should at some point.

Business Insider: YouTube’s algorithm is under fire for boosting a sexist conspiracy theory about black hole researcher Katie Bouman. “As news of Dr. Katie Bouman’s role in capturing the first image of a black hole went viral earlier this week, another group was creating their own version of the story that accused Bouman of profiting off the hard work of a male colleague on the Event Horizon Telescope team. That false narrative quickly found its way to social media, and YouTube. Earlier this afternoon, people began to notice that the top result when searching Bouman’s name on YouTube produced a video by a user named Mr. Obvious.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Ars Technica: A security researcher with a grudge is dropping Web 0days on innocent users. “Over the past three weeks, a trio of critical zeroday vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins has exposed 160,000 websites to attacks that allow criminal hackers to redirect unwitting visitors to malicious destinations. A self-proclaimed security provider who publicly disclosed the flaws before patches were available played a key role in the debacle, although delays by plugin developers and site administrators in publishing and installing patches have also contributed.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Genealogy’s Star: The Dangers of Using GEDCOM. “Even back in the time when GEDCOM was commonly used to transfer genealogical data between two programs, the process produced an ‘error’ file with information that could not be copied. Over time, the information that is not transferred has grown as programs implement features that are not supported by the old GEDCOM standard. I have discussed the use of GEDCOM or mentioned the problems associated with using GEDCOM to transfer genealogical data in at least 20 previous blog posts.”

The Next Web: YouTube’s plan to reward ‘quality’ content has some problems. “After a turbulent year, YouTube is allegedly doing some damage control with its advertisers. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company is looking for a way to reward constructive and quality content. The problem is that’s not something that can be done by algorithms. That’s something that’s going to take human eyeballs, looking at every video if the company doesn’t want another scandal.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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