UWO Yearbooks, UK Charities, Greenwich Village, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, May 1, 2019


University of Wisconsin Oshkosh: 75-plus years of UWO student life chronicled in digitized yearbook collection. “Alumni, faculty, staff and students can get a glimpse of days gone by on campus by exploring a new digitized collection of The Quiver, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s yearbook published from 1897 to 1974. The new online collection—completed by Polk Library’s University Archives in partnership with Recollection Wisconsin and hosted by Milwaukee Public Library—includes nearly 15,700 pages.”

Civil Society: New free networking tool launched for development charities. “A new tool to allow development charities to network with other charities in the UK and abroad has been launched. The tool, NGO Explorer, is a website that allows charities to search for UK-based development charities by their location in the UK or overseas.”

Curbed NY: See Greenwich Village’s historic buildings in one handy map. “The map shows the 2,200 buildings located within the district as they looked back in 1969, and has over 1,000 entries with information on those landmarks. The map is divided in 17 sections, including Transformative Women; Artists’ Homes; Social Change Champions; Course of History Changed; Great Writers; and Edward Hopper’s Greenwich Village.”


Make Tech Easier: 4 of the Best Alternatives to AutoCAD. “If you’re an average student or hobbyist working on a lean budget, you don’t have to always pick AutoCAD. There are some worthy contenders with similar supporting infrastructure and critical functionality. The challenge is in deciding which AutoCAD alternatives are worth your time, as the market is awash with ghastly knockoffs. Our four AutoCAD alternatives aren’t just affordable but read similar files to those AutoCAD reads, easily integrate with AutoCAD, and are intuitive to learn.”


Wired: LA’s Plan to Reboot Its Bus System—Using Cell Phone Data. “Transportation, meanwhile, emits nearly a third of the nation’s climate-change-causing greenhouse gases. Getting people out of cars and into buses and trains is key to knocking that number down. Trains are great, and Los Angeles’ light rail network—84 miles spreading across the Southland—is the largest in the country. But trains are expensive, and they can’t get everywhere. That’s where buses can come in. Yet at the precise moment when it’s most urgent that cities get people out of their cars, bus systems are struggling. So LA is talking about scrapping the system and starting over, the first radical revamp since rail came back to town. To figure out how to do it right, all the city’s transit planners need is location data from about 5 million cell phones.”

The Guardian: DNA search angels: the Facebook ‘detectives’ who help reunite families. “Beth’s older brothers would sometimes joke that she was the postman’s daughter. They had dark hair and brown eyes while she was fair and blonde. Growing up, Beth ignored them – the man that she was told was her father was not around anyway. But as an adult, when her mother grew sick, the question became more urgent. During visits to the hospital, Beth tried to work up the courage to ask her directly: who is my real father? She would always back out at the last minute.”

Daily Dot: Report: Facebook is punishing Black people for talking about racism (updated). “Numerous Black people told USA Today that when they write “white people” in their Facebook message, it gets flagged, leading to an account suspension. In 2017, Mary Canty Merrill had her post removed and account suspended after she wrote about racism, beginning the post with ‘Dear white people.’ As an experiment, she had her white friends conduct a test run with the same text on their pages and had others ‘report’ those posts. Most of their content was allowed to remain, and none had their accounts suspended.”


ZDNet: GoDaddy takes down 15,000 subdomains used for online scams. “Web hosting provider and domain registrar GoDaddy has taken down more than 15,000 subdomains that were being used as part of a spam operation that lured users on web pages selling fake products.”

New York Times: Public Records: Personal Information on New York City Voters Is Now Available for All to See. “The city’s Board of Elections recently posted its voter enrollment lists to its website, a massive upload of thousands of pages, covered in tiny all-caps letters, that offer a district-by-district breakdown of voters sorted by party and street name — one line for each of the 4.6 million active registered voters. City officials said that the information was already public record, and that a new forum did not change its availability. But the move raised alarms among privacy advocates and some election experts, who said the ease of access could play into the hands of mail scammers, internet trolls and domestic violence perpetrators.”


Phys .org: New research helps visualise sentiment and stance in social media. “How can you find and make sense of opinions and emotions in the vast amount of texts in social media? Kostiantyn Kucher’s research helps visualise for instance public opinions on political issues in tweets over time. In the future, analysis and visualisation of sentiment and stance could contribute to such tasks as detection of hate speech and fake news.”

Duke Learning Innovation: MOOC Enrollment Trends. “Duke has produced 63 Coursera MOOCs since about 4.5 years ago. Over that time we have recorded the number of new public users signing up for our courses each week. The graph above shows data from all those courses for the first three years after each one launches on the platform (see below for more details on the methods used). Duke has one of the largest sets of course offerings on the platform, and also one that has a diverse array of topics. Regardless of the subject matter or the timing of the course start date, we see a remarkably strong trend of declining enrollment. No course exhibits a ‘viral’ upswing in enrollment or benefits long from a major marketing push or course revision.”

Engadget: AI brought a 60-year old music-making machine to life. “If you’ve seen Looney Tunes or The Simpsons, you’ve probably heard Raymond Scott’s music — which was adapted for those and other cartoons. But there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Scott himself. A musician and inventor, Scott was ahead of his time. As early as the 1950s, he began working on the Electronium, a kind of music synthesizer that he hoped would perform and compose music simultaneously. While Scott invested $1 million and more than a decade in Electronium, he died before it was complete. Now, Fast Company reports, Pentagram partner and sound artist Yuri Suzuki has picked up where Scott left off.” Good morning, Internet…

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