afternoonbuzz

Findmypast, Wolfram|Alpha, Instagram, More: Monday Evening ResearchBuzz, May 20, 2019

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Findmypast: Over 100 Million New European Records Now Online. “Over 114 million new European births, baptisms, marriages, banns, deaths and burials are now available to search and explore on Findmypast. The new additions consist of transcripts sourced from the International Genealogical Index, a database compiled from a variety of sources from around the world.”

Wolfram Blog: Wolfram|Alpha at 10. “Today it’s 10 years since we launched Wolfram|Alpha. At some level, Wolfram|Alpha is a never-ending project. But it’s had a great first 10 years. It was a unique and surprising achievement when it first arrived, and over its first decade it’s become ever stronger and more unique.”

USEFUL STUFF

Digital Trends: How to save Instagram videos . “According to Hootsuite, Instagram has over 1 billion users each month, and the number of people using video increases by 80% each year. While it’s easy enough to take a screenshot or save a single photo, saving videos from the platform is a bit more difficult — but not impossible. We’ve rounded up eight different ways to download and organize all of your favorite Instagram videos, and shared how to save Instagram videos for resharing or archiving content.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Quartz: WhatsApp is driving Indian women to vote like never before. “Many women are still missing from the voter rolls — many millions, according to some estimates. This is largely due to lingering disenfranchisement and deliberate voter suppression. It’s possible that a targeted voting advocacy campaign by the Indian Election Commission, better access to education, and general emancipation have helped empower more women to vote. But really it’s the rise of social media and, in particular, WhatsApp.”

CNBC: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: Chinese tech companies are also powerful, and will not be broken up. “Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, sat down for an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin on Friday calling for regulation of American tech companies but pushing against the idea of breaking up the social media company.”

MSN News / Radio New Zealand: New database being launched for reporting Muslim hate crimes. “A nationwide database is being rolled out to monitor crimes that target the Muslim community, as part of a scheme to shore up security at the country’s mosques and other Islamic buildings.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Ars Technica: >20,000 Linksys routers leak historic record of every device ever connected. “More than 20,000 Linksys wireless routers are regularly leaking full historic records of every device that has ever connected to them, including devices’ unique identifiers, names, and the operating systems they use. The data can be used by snoops or hackers in either targeted or opportunistic attacks.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The New Yorker: Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us?. “On the one hand, we’ve grown wary of the so-called attention economy, which, in the name of corporate profits, exploits our psychological vulnerabilities in ways that corrode social life, diminish privacy, weaken civic cohesion, and make us vulnerable to manipulation. But we also benefit from social media and hesitate to disengage from it completely.”

China .org: Face scanning — this app can tell one panda from another. “Having trouble discerning one furry panda from another? A facial recognition app will make it easy for you. The app is developed by the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas along with researchers in Singapore Nanyang Technological university and Sichuan Normal University.”

Engadget: Many of the Brexit Party’s Twitter followers appear to be bots . “It’s not shocking to see Twitter bots latch on to a political campaign, but it’s not often they do so soon after a campaign starts — let alone on a large scale. That appears to be the case with the UK’s Brexit Party, however. The no-deal EU withdrawal party is only a few months old, but researchers talking to BuzzFeed News found that many of its Twitter accounts are networks of bots and other inauthentic users.” Good evening, Internet…

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