Maryland Mass Transit, Foreign Intelligence Law, British Airways, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, May 27, 2019


Baltimore Sun: ‘We’re opening the doors’: You can now search the on-time rates for each MTA bus route online. “The Maryland Transit Administration unveiled a searchable online database Thursday that offers bus passengers and the rest of the public the ability to view and track on-time rates of each of the agency’s bus routes, a transparency step long sought by advocates critical of the agency’s reporting.”

Georgetown University: Center on National Security and the Law Launches Online, Searchable Database of Foreign Intelligence Law Collection. “On May 23, Georgetown Law’s Center on National Security and the Law launched the Foreign Intelligence Law Collection — a publicly available, online searchable database of all declassified and redacted U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and Court of Review opinions; all Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) statutes; legislative history; associated regulations, guidelines, executive orders, and presidential directives; all publicly available reports on FISA implementation, and more.”

UK Aviation: British Airways launches online archive of its centenary. “The online collection showcases moments of British Airways history from its first ever international flight as Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T) on August 25, 1919 through to majestic images of Concorde, the world’s only supersonic airline of which British Airways was one of only two airlines to operate it.”


Mashable: Facebook reveals more details on AR glasses in new patent . “We may still be years away from Facebook’s augmented reality glasses becoming an actual product, but we now know a little more about how they might work. A new patent filing reveals additional details about Facebook’s AR glasses, including how they might handle audio. The patent, originally filed in January but published Thursday, describes a ‘cartilage conduction audio system for eyewear devices.'”

The Mandarin: Victoria opens up catalogue of government APIs, following lead of NSW. “The Victorian government has begun a public catalogue of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow software developers to more easily build third-party apps that pull information from its open datasets.”


MakeUseOf: 5 Free Apps to Turn Photos Into Art on Android, iPhone, or Web. “Akin to Instagram filters, there are now apps that can turn a photo into a painting. From Munch’s Scream to Mondrian’s geometric genius, these artistic effect filter apps are easy to use, and available for both mobile and desktop.”


Techdirt: Several Pro And College Sports Teams Suspended From Twitter Over Mystery DMCA Notices. “One of the core issues is the way the DMCA sets up a system in which service providers feel forced to proactively take down the speech of others based on accusation in the form of a DMCA notice, rather than this working the way it does in nearly every other aspect of American law in which an accusation does not result in a penalty. And penalty truly is the right word, as the American system recognizes that speech is among the most fundamental of freedoms. And, yet, when service providers like Twitter get sent DMCA notices over copyright claims, they are heavily incentivized to take down the content and take action against the account holder — or face potentially massive liability.”


Motherboard: Snapchat Employees Abused Data Access to Spy on Users. “Several departments inside social media giant Snap have dedicated tools for accessing user data, and multiple employees have abused their privileged access to spy on Snapchat users, Motherboard has learned.”

The Verge: YouTubers And Record Labels Are Fighting, And Record Labels Keep Winning. “Copyright issues have plagued YouTube and its community for years, but creators are calling this moment in time one of the worst eras for trying to navigate the platform. Over the past six months, multiple YouTubers have run into issues with what they describe as aggressive copyright claims from record labels.”


Ubergizmo: Exact Air Pollution From All Power Plants Globally Will Soon Be Revealed. “Power plants, particularly those that run on fossil fuels, tend to pollute the environment. No wonder countries are increasingly shifting to more renewable and green sources of energy to reduce their impact on the environment. WattTime, a nonprofit artificial intelligence firm, will soon provide valuable data which will track air pollution from every power plant in the world.”

Phys .org: Ancient toy inspires tool for state-of-the-art science. “A 5,000-year-old toy still enjoyed by kids today has inspired an inexpensive, hand-powered scientific tool that could not only impact how field biologists conduct their research but also allow high-school students and others with limited resources to realize their own state-of-the-art experiments.”

The European Sting: An economist explains how to value the internet. “It is one the most commonly used measures of economic activity: gross domestic product (GDP), defined as the total market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. But GDP misses out on huge chunks of value in the digital economy. When digital goods, whether Google Maps or Wikipedia, are available free of charge, they make no impact on GDP despite the value to their users.” Good morning, Internet…

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