Vermont Humane Agriculture, Virginia Prohibition, Touring Bird, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, April 26, 2019


VTDigger: New website makes it easy to find humanely produced products in Vermont (PRESS RELEASE). “Health Hero Farm announced today that a group of Vermont farmers are collaborating on a project to help consumers find farms, restaurants, stores, and CSAs that offer products made with higher standards of livestock care across the state. ”

Augusta Free Press: JMU graduate students create digital archive of Rockingham prohibition records. “During the 2018-2019 academic year, a team of JMU [James Madison University] graduate students uncovered and digitized 6,379 prohibition-era legal records to create an interpretive website that seeks to put the documents into historical contexts.” I would not normally cover an archive like this in RB because of how it’s oriented toward a fairly small area. But the topic is so unusual, and the documents so specific, I think it’s worth a mention.


Google Blog: Touring Bird takes flight in 200 destinations worldwide. “With Touring Bird, a web-based travel app from Google’s Area 120 (a workshop for experimental projects), you can explore, compare and book over 75,000 tours and activities from top providers. Touring Bird is expanding from the initial 20 destinations launched in September 2018 to 200 total destinations, available on desktop and mobile. Our coverage now spans the world, from Anchorage to Zanzibar.”

BBC: Facebook sets aside $3bn for privacy probe. “Facebook has said it will set aside $3bn (£2.3bn) to cover the potential costs of an investigation by US authorities into its privacy practices. While it has provided for a heavy toll from the investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission, the final cost could be $5bn, it said.”


Search Engine Land: SEO guide to optimizing your LinkedIn profile for more connections, better leads. “With LinkedIn optimization, you will build connections with some of the best and brightest in your industry and attract your ideal clients directly to your profile and inbox. From profile optimization and SEO to content posting and engagement, this guide covers everything you need in order to turn your LinkedIn profile into a brand-building, lead-generating machine.” Cheesy intro gives way to a detailed, useful deep dive.


Mashable: ‘You are making these crimes possible’: Facebook, YouTube torn apart by UK lawmakers . “Representatives from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were grilled and admonished on Tuesday by UK lawmakers angry at the spread of extremist and criminal content. The UK parliamentary committee hearing was spurred by the spread of the graphic Christchurch shooting video, which the platforms struggled to contain. The shooter, who killed 50 people and injured 50 more at two mosques in New Zealand, livestreamed his crime on Facebook.”

Washington Post: How activists used photography to help end slavery. “…while social media makes this act of sharing protest imagery seem like a new innovation, it’s actually an organizing tool with roots almost two centuries old. Antebellum abolitionists pioneered the use of photography as a tool for social movements, and in the process, they heightened their sense of solidarity and urgency, exacerbating the political crisis over slavery.”

Lehigh University: Gloria Naylor Archive Project awarded Accelerator Grant. “A room full of boxes. What could be exciting about that? Well, these boxes, almost sixty of them in Williams Hall, are exciting. Within these boxes are the collected papers of Gloria Naylor, known for her National Book Award-winning novel The Women of Brewster Place, later made into a mini-series by Oprah Winfrey. Naylor wrote about black women’s lives at a time where depictions of topics like rape and homosexuality were shocking. On loan to Lehigh from Sacred Heart University for digitization, the collection is the focus of a two-year $100,000 Accelerator Grant awarded from Lehigh’s Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies.”


NBC News: Scammers have turned Instagram into a showroom for luxury counterfeits. “Instagram is failing to clamp down on the abuse of its platform by groups of organized criminals promoting counterfeit luxury products including shoes, handbags, clothes and sunglasses, according to research by analytics firm Ghost Data.”


Northeastern University: It’s Time To Study Machines The Way We Study Humans. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning models can be found in almost every aspect of modern life. News-ranking algorithms determine which information we see online, compatibility algorithms influence the people we date, and ride-hailing algorithms affect the way we travel. Despite the pervasiveness of these life-changing algorithms, we don’t have a universal understanding of how they work or how they’re shaping our world. So, a team of researchers—including two Northeastern University professors—says that it’s time to study artificially intelligent machines the way we study humans.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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