Former Soviet Union, Instagram, Open Images, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, May 12, 2019


Columbia University Libraries: Just Launched: Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union Web Archive. “I am pleased to announce the launch of the Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union Web Archive, comprised of captured website content from Eastern Europe and the territories of the Former Soviet Union. In recent years, this area of the world has produced a significant volume of websites likely to be of value to contemporary and future humanities, social science, and history projects, and the archive has been established as an attempt to identify, capture, and preserve this material.”


The Verge: Instagram appears to be testing stickers with song lyrics. “It looks as though Instagram is testing a new feature for stickers in its Stories feature: music lyrics that play out along with a video.”

Google AI Blog: Announcing Open Images V5 and the ICCV 2019 Open Images Challenge. “In 2016, we introduced Open Images, a collaborative release of ~9 million images annotated with labels spanning thousands of object categories. Since then we have rolled out several updates, culminating with Open Images V4 in 2018. In total, that release included 15.4M bounding-boxes for 600 object categories, making it the largest existing dataset with object location annotations, as well as over 300k visual relationship annotations. Today we are happy to announce Open Images V5, which adds segmentation masks to the set of annotations, along with the second Open Images Challenge, which will feature a new instance segmentation track based on this data.”


Government Technology: States Contribute Images for 270K Miles of Roads to Database. “Hundreds of thousands of miles of roadways in Arizona and a number of other states are part of a growing network of images detailing guardrails, street-signage, striping and other features central to understanding and improving highway safety.”

The Atlantic: Tech Companies Are Deleting Evidence of War Crimes. “…some of what governments ask tech companies to do, such as suppressing violent content, cuts against other legitimate goals, such as bringing warlords and dictators to justice. Balancing these priorities is hard enough when humans are making judgments in accordance with established legal norms. In contrast, tech giants operate largely in the dark.”


New York Times: How Volunteer Sleuths Identified a Hiker and Her Killer After 36 Years. “What does it actually take to identify a person through genetic genealogy? Wading through infidelities and pornography.”

AP News: Turkey fines Facebook for failing to protect personal data. “Turkey’s state-run news agency says the country’s data protection agency has fined Facebook 1.650 million Turkish lira ($270,000) for contravening data laws.”

TechCrunch: Flaws in a popular GPS tracker leak real-time locations and can remotely activate its microphone. “A popular GPS tracker — used as a panic alarm for elderly patients, to monitor kids and track vehicles — contains security flaws, which security researchers say are so severe the device should be recalled.”


Phys .org: People more likely to trust machines than humans with their private information. “Not everyone fears our machine overlords. In fact, according to Penn State researchers, when it comes to private information and access to financial data, people tend to trust machines more than people, which could lead to both positive and negative online behaviors.”

Ubergizmo: Using Your Phone While In A Store Could Make You Buy More Junk. “In a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, a team of researchers found that playing with your phone while you’re inside of a store has the potential to cause you to end up buying junk that you don’t need.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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