afternoonbuzz

Freediving, Judah Railroad Map, National Library of Israel, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, May 9, 2019

Slowly we claw our way out of the resource pile…

NEW RESOURCES

Deeper Blue: New Freediving Records Website Launched. “A new website has launched which aims to be the go-to source for all information about AIDA records. The … website is the brainchild of AIDA Master Instructor David Watson and will host information about all the ten freediving disciplines recognized by AIDA.” AIDA stands for Association Internationale pour le Développement de l’Apnée; the assembly member USA Freediving has a Web site at http://www.usafreediving.com/ .

Stanford News: Stanford scans storied Judah railroad map. “Stanford Libraries has scanned an 1861 map depicting a proposed route for the railroad that eventually connected California with the rest of the country, making the one-of-a-kind map available for online viewing by people around the world. The Central Pacific Railroad Proposed Alignment Map, which is 66 feet long and 2.5 feet wide, comprises four maps on one continuous roll. ”

The Jerusalem Post: National Library Of Israel Releases Photo Archive Of IDF History – Pictures. “Thousands of photographs have been preserved at the National Library of Israel, documenting the operational history of the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, throughout the state’s history. The Library is bringing these photographs back to life through a digitization project, that allows the yellow negatives to be converted into high resolution images. However, the Library is lacking information relating to the identities of the soldiers and are requesting the public’s help to identify their names and stories.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Mozilla Blog: What we do when things go wrong. “An error on our part prevented new add-ons from being installed, and stopped existing add-ons from working. Now that we’ve been able to restore this functionality for the majority of Firefox users, we want to explain a bit about what happened and tell you what comes next.”

Marketing Land: WordPress version 5.2 delivers more security features, tools to fix ‘fatal’ website errors. “Version 5.2 of WordPress includes new website health check features, PHP error protection, new dashboard icons and more.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

AP: Facebook auto-generates videos celebrating extremist images. “Facebook likes to give the impression it’s staying ahead of extremists by taking down their posts, often before users even see them. But a confidential whistleblower’s complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained by The Associated Press alleges the social media company has exaggerated its success. Even worse, it shows that the company is inadvertently making use of propaganda by militant groups to auto-generate videos and pages that could be used for networking by extremists.”

Mashable: Predictive text memes: The rush of a personality quiz with none of the work . “Predictive text memes are all over Twitter for a few reasons. First, they’re easy to do: All you need is 30 seconds and a phone; no Photoshop required. Second, they’re in a pliable format with nearly endless room for variation. And finally, they scratch that weird itch many of us feel on the internet: The desire for an online entity — a quiz, an astrology app, a device full of our own data — to tell us something about ourselves.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

CNET: Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids violates privacy regulations, child advocates say. “Children’s advocates want the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon over privacy concerns. Nineteen consumer and public health advocacy groups, led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, are asking the FTC to look into Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition, they said Thursday.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

New York Times: It’s Time to Break Up Facebook. “The company’s mistakes — the sloppy privacy practices that dropped tens of millions of users’ data into a political consulting firm’s lap; the slow response to Russian agents, violent rhetoric and fake news; and the unbounded drive to capture ever more of our time and attention — dominate the headlines. It’s been 15 years since I co-founded Facebook at Harvard, and I haven’t worked at the company in a decade. But I feel a sense of anger and responsibility.”

Nieman Journalism Lab: Fact-checking can’t do much when people’s “dueling facts” are driven by values instead of knowledge. “This has serious implications for American democracy. As political scientists, we wonder: How can a community decide the direction they should go if they can’t agree on where they are? Can people holding dueling facts be brought into some semblance of consensus? To figure that out, it’s important to determine where such divergent beliefs come from in the first place. This is the perspective we began with: If dueling fact perceptions are driven by misinformation from politicians and pundits, then one would expect things to get better by making sure that people have access to correct information — via fact-checking by news organizations, for example.” Good something or other, Internet…

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