Henri Désiré Landru, Mississippi Civil Rights, Instagram, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, April 15, 2019


Part new, part new-to-me, from RFI: The 100-year horror of France’s most notorious serial killer unveiled. “On 12 April 1919, Paris police arrested Henri Désiré Landru, who went into history as France’s most notorious serial killer. Convicted of having murdered at least 11 people, including 10 women, he was guillotined in February 1922. Today, documents covering the Landru case are available online and offer a chilling picture of the life and times of the ‘French Bluebeard’.”

Jackson Free Press: MSU Digitizes Endangered Citizens Council Radio Tapes. “On those tapes, the state’s old leaders often revel in their opposition to civil rights and support for segregation, revealing much about Mississippi’s political culture in the tumultuous years of the 1950s and 1960s. In one recording, [John Bell] Williams, who was then a Democratic congressman, calls the Civil Rights Act ‘the most monstrous piece of tyrannical legislation ever considered by Congress.’ In another, [Ross] Barnett, who was no longer governor at the time, claims communists are behind the civil rights movement. Digital recordings of those tapes, MSU libraries announced Thursday, are now available online.”


Tubefilter: Instagram Launches Moody Camera Effects For Coachella, Billie Eilish. “Instagram has released new filters to fete two of the biggest happenings in music right now: Coachella, which kicks off today in the California desert, as well as the debut album of breakout artist Billie Eilish, which is titled When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (which bowed on March 29).”


TechCrunch: Spy on your smart home with this open source research tool. “In a blog about the effort the researchers write that their aim is to offer a simple tool for consumers to analyze the network traffic of their Internet connected gizmos. The basic idea is to help people see whether devices such as smart speakers or wi-fi enabled robot vacuum cleaners are sharing their data with third parties. (Or indeed how much snitching their gadgets are doing.)” Mac only for now, Windows and Linux on a wait list.


New Bloom: Is China Attempting To Influence Taiwanese Elections Through Social Media?. “CONCERNS REGARDING Chinese attempts to interfere in Taiwanese elections are in the news again after a wave of unusual activity reported by moderators of well-known Facebook pages with a pro-Taiwan slant.”

CNET: Without Google, people behind bars pen their questions to librarians. “Rachel Kinnon and Jeanie Austin, librarians at the San Francisco Public Library, receive about 60 questions a week from a dedicated group of fans: prison inmates. The inquiries, usually handwritten and sent by post, range from requests for information about transitioning to life outside of prison to explanations of technologies that may not have existed before a prisoner was put away, like 5G and bitcoin. Song lyrics are a frequent ask.”

Business Insider: Facebook accidentally put hidden messages like ‘Big Brother is Watching’ and ‘The Masons Were Here’ in ‘tens of thousands’ of VR controllers. “Facebook said it accidentally hid bizarre and ‘inappropriate’ messages inside ‘tens of thousands’ of virtual-reality controllers, including ‘Big Brother is Watching’ and ‘The Masons Were Here.'” This company is worth over 500 billion dollars.


ZDNet: Can the internet be saved?. “The good news is that the House of Representatives passed the Save the Internet Act by a vote of 232-190. The bad news is while Republicans said they too want to to protect net neutrality, only one Republican voted for the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump have already refused to support the act.”

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Postal Service tweaking mail notification program that identity thieves hacked. “While police search for a gang of identity thieves that has been plundering mailboxes in Miramar, the U.S. Postal Service is tweaking a new program that the thieves took advantage of. The Informed Delivery program lets consumers know, via email and online, what mail is being delivered to their home and when.”


NPR: Edible Archives Project Aims To Revive Hundreds Of Vanishing Indian Rice Strains. “During the Green Revolution in the 1960s, when machinery replaced manual work and ‘high-yield variety’ seeds were promoted, agricultural output increased dramatically, but a few hybrid rice strains took over from hundreds of indigenous ones. The Edible Archives Project aims to showcase the sheer range of rice varieties grown in India, and throw the spotlight specifically on those which have almost vanished from the country’s foodscape or are grown only in small communities.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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