Freedom Suits, Hmong Heritage, Manure Mapping, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, May 14, 2019


Lincoln Journal-Star: UNL project illustrates history of slaves suing for their freedom. “UNL’s Center for Digital Research in the Humanities have compiled and digitized court documents from more than 500 freedom suits and published them in an online database titled ‘O Say Can You See: Early Washington, D.C., Law and Family,’ through a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project focuses on slavery in the 1820s and 1830s, said project manager Kaci Nash, when African-Americans were held as property by a wide strata of Washington society.”

DigitalNC: Hmong Keeb Kwm: Hmong Heritage Project Materials Now Online at DigitalNC. “Over a hundred photographs, documents, artifacts, oral histories, and other materials from Hmong Keeb Kwm: The Hmong Heritage Project are now online, courtesy of the Catawba County Library. This new batch represents the first materials on DigitalNC to come from the Catawba County Library. This collection also has the honor of being the first to represent the Hmong people of North Carolina on our website.”

Science Magazine: This global map of manure could help save farming as we know it. “To grow the world’s wheat, corn, and beans, farmers need phosphorus—an essential nutrient that comes from bird and bat droppings and rock deposits. But the global supply of easily mineable phosphorus is dwindling; to stave off the coming drought, scientists are exploring an alternative: recycling animal manure for its phosphorus content. Now, they’ve come up with the world’s first map of this underappreciated resource, which shows that most manure is exactly where farmers need it—in their own backyards.”


Twitter Blog: Helping you find reliable public health information on Twitter. “We’re committed to protecting the health of the public conversation on Twitter — ensuring individuals can find information from authoritative sources is a key part of that mission. We recently launched a new tool so when someone searches for certain keywords associated with vaccines, a prompt will direct individuals to a credible public health resource.”

Ubergizmo: Mozilla Exploring ‘Super Private Browsing’ Mode For Firefox. “At the moment, pretty much most mainstream browsers out there already offer users a private browsing mode, where their identities will be better protected and where the history from your private sessions won’t be carried over to your regular browsing sessions. However, are these private modes private enough?”


Techdirt: Facebook’s ‘Please Regulate Us’ Tour Heads To France. “On Friday, Mark Zuckerberg went to France, just in time for the French government to release a vague and broad proposal to regulate social media networks. Similar to Zuckerberg’s pleas to Congress to ramp up its regulation of the company (and because he knows that any pushback on regulations will likely be slammed by the world of Facebook-haters), Zuckerberg tried to embrace the plans.”

Ars Technica: Ubuntu 19.04: The Disco Dingo arrives and will really make your IT dept. happy. “Canonical recently released Ubuntu 19.04, the latest version of its flagship GNOME-based Linux desktop. But if you’re a desktop user, you might be feeling a little left out.”


TechCrunch: Yes, Americans can opt-out of airport facial recognition — here’s how. “Facial recognition is highly controversial and has many divided. On the one hand, it reduces paper tickets and is meant to be easier for travelers to check in at the airport before their flight. But facial recognition also has technical problems. According to a Homeland Security watchdog, the facial recognition systems used at airports only worked 85% in some cases. Homeland Security said the system is getting better over time and will be up to scratch by the supposed 2021 deadline — even if the watchdog has its doubts.”

OneZero: How Artificial Intelligence Is Tracking Sex Traffickers. “Traffic Jam is part of a cluster of new tech tools bringing machine learning and artificial intelligence to the fight against sex trafficking, a battle that over the nearly 20 years since the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was signed into law has been stuck in a weary stalemate.”


Science Blog: Study: AI Can Detect Depression In A Child’s Speech. “A machine learning algorithm can detect signs of anxiety and depression in the speech patterns of young children, potentially providing a fast and easy way of diagnosing conditions that are difficult to spot and often overlooked in young people, according to new research published in the Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics.”

EurekAlert: Research sheds light on UK’s new unsustainable viewing habits. “A new study looks behind closed doors to reveal how UK viewing habits are shifting away from traditional broadcasting with more data-intensive streaming options now the default for many.”

Nature: Junior researchers are losing out by ghostwriting peer reviews. “A large proportion of graduate students and postdocs ghostwrite peer reviews for senior colleagues and supervisors, receiving no professional credit for their work, finds a study.” Good morning, Internet…

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