Flint Water Crisis, Argentina History, Google Maps, More: Wednesday Evening ResearchBuzz, April 24, 2019


State of Michigan: New Study Guide Enables Educators to Teach the Lessons of Flint. “‘Here’s to Flint.’ With that line, the city of Flint officially shut off the water flowing from Detroit and shifted to pulling its drinking water from the Flint River. The date was April 25, 2014. Five years later, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights has released a new study guide designed to help educators teach the lessons of the Flint water crisis.”

National Archives: Declassified Records Shed Light on Argentine History. “The largest government-to-government declassification release in United States history, the latest release represents the final stage of an effort by the U.S. Government to search, identify, review for public access, and provide records that shed light on human-rights abuses in Argentina between 1975 and 1984, committed during the military dictatorship of that nation (1976–1983).”


AM Online: Google Maps launches real-time EV charge point search function. “Google Maps has launched a new function which delivers real-time search results detailing electric vehicle (EV) charge point availability.”

Mashable: Snapchat just grew for the first time in a year . “The app now counts 190 million daily active users (DAUs), up from 186 million last quarter. Overall, DAUs are still down from its previous peak of 191 million, but the new growth suggests the company has been able to reverse the momentum caused by an unpopular redesign last year.”


CNET: Google Home Hub vs. Amazon Echo Show: A smart display showdown. “Both smart displays respond to the same voice commands as an ordinary smart speaker like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. Both use a screen to show extra info when you ask a question. You see a detailed forecast when you ask about the weather, or you can browse pics of a restaurant if you’re looking for a place to eat. You can also use the screen on both devices to watch videos, control smart home devices, make video calls and check on the feed from your security cam. Both came out last year, and with Google I/O approaching along with the next presumed wave of smart home tech, it’s a good time to figure out, once and for all, which company makes the better smart display.”

Today NG: Facebook’s flood of languages leave it struggling to monitor content. “Facebook Inc’s struggles with hate speech and other types of problematic content are being hampered by the company’s inability to keep up with a flood of new languages as mobile phones bring social media to every corner of the globe. The company offers its 2.3 billion users features such as menus and prompts in 111 different languages, deemed to be officially supported. Reuters has found another 31 widely spoken languages on Facebook that do not have official support.”

The Atlantic: The Instagram Aesthetic Is Over. “As Instagram has grown to more than 1 billion monthly users, it has ushered in a very particular look: bright walls, artfully arranged lattes and avocado toast, and Millennial-pink everything, all with that carefully staged, color-corrected, glossy-looking aesthetic. Photos that play into these trends perform so well on Instagram that the look became synonymous with the platform itself, then seeped into the broader world. Even if you don’t use the app, you’ve undoubtedly encountered an ‘Instagram wall,’ a pop-up experience like the Museum of Ice Cream, or a brightly patterned restaurant bathroom just made to be photographed.”


ABC News (Australia): Social media abuse targets female athletes three times more than men, study finds. “Nearly 27 per cent of comments on well-read Facebook posts by major Australian broadcasters were negative towards sportswomen compared to 8 per cent for male athletes. The analysis, conducted by women’s and children’s advocacy group Plan International, looked at more than 1,300 comments on broadcasters’ pages in the past 12 months.”

660 News: Health database that crosses provincial borders to launch with federal funding. “Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says a new database will help researchers find solutions to health events like the opioid crisis and chronic illnesses that cross provincial boundaries. While meeting with researchers at the University of British Columbia, Petitpas Taylor announce $81 million in funding over seven years to support the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Canadian Data Platform.”


Wired: ‘Heaven’s Vault’ Is a Rare Videogame About the Art of Translation. “Heaven’s Vault is about the thrill and uncertainty of lost knowledge—about connecting to the past and to other people. It’s also about something I’ve never seen a videogame tackle in such detail before: the art of translation, of deciphering old languages and actually listening to what they tell us.” Good evening, Internet…

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