Federal Laws, Surface Reactions, Facebook Messenger, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, May 30, 2019


Reason: How Often Has the U.S. Supreme Court Struck Down a Federal Law? Part II. “The Judicial Review of Congress Database is now publicly available. It includes a list of all the cases in which the Court has substantively reviewed the constitutionality of an act of Congress from 1789 through the spring of 2018, as well as a variety of associated information such as identifying information about the statute that was reviewed, a measure of its importance, and the length of time between the passage of the statutory provision and its review by the Supreme Court.”

Nature:, an open electronic structure database for surface reactions. “We present a new open repository for chemical reactions on catalytic surfaces, available at The featured database for surface reactions contains more than 100,000 chemisorption and reaction energies obtained from electronic structure calculations, and is continuously being updated with new datasets.”


AdWeek: Hockey Fans Can Lace Up a New Facebook Messenger Bot From the NHL. “The National Hockey League teamed up with chat engagement platform GameOn on a new Messenger bot that debuted just in time for the Stanley Cup Final. The NHL Chatbot gives hockey fans access to content including news updates, game previews, notifications, scoring alerts, schedules, standings and in-game highlights in both video and GIF form.”

CNET: Twitch suspends live streaming from new accounts after ‘gross violations’. “Twitch has temporarily blocked live streams from new creators after content that ‘grossly violates’ its terms of service was streamed over the weekend. Trolls used the game streaming platform to stream footage of Game of Thrones, porn and the Christchurch terror attack along with hate speech in the comments, according to Vice.”

TechCrunch: Go chat yourself with Facebook’s new Portal companion app. “Ignoring calls that it’s creepy, Facebook is forging onward with its Portal smart display. Today Facebook quietly launched iOS and Android Portal apps that let owners show off photos on the screen without sharing them to the social network, and video call their home while they’re out.”


Search Engine Land: Bing turns 10: Why it’s been more disruptive than you think. “Ten years ago today, Microsoft launched Bing. A decade in, Bing’s evolution looks different depending on your perspective. After investing billions, Bing’s market share is still small, but Microsoft has stayed committed to search, used it to enhance its other products and has bigger plans ahead for its advertising business.”

The Atlantic: The Books of College Libraries Are Turning Into Wallpaper. “University libraries across the country, and around the world, are seeing steady, and in many cases precipitous, declines in the use of the books on their shelves. The University of Virginia, one of our great public universities and an institution that openly shares detailed library circulation stats from the prior 20 years, is a good case study. College students at UVA checked out 238,000 books during the school year a decade ago; last year, that number had shrunk to just 60,000.”

Ball State University: Ball State to archive websites of community organizations, local businesses. “Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections has launched a community archiving initiative to preserve and make accessible the websites of area organizations and businesses. The Ball State University Libraries’ web archive creates snapshots of selected websites at regular time intervals to capture and preserve culturally and historically significant information relevant to the city and county. The archived webpages are fully searchable and accessible.”


BetaNews: Flipboard hacked — attackers had access to database of user information for 9 months. “Flipboard is resetting the passwords of millions of users after suffering a data breach. Hackers were able to access databases containing usernames and passwords, as well as access tokens for some third-party services.”

Washington Post: It’s the middle of the night. Do you know who your iPhone is talking to?. “On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other trackers to pair up with. And all night long, there was some startling behavior by a household name: Yelp. It was receiving a message that included my IP address -— once every five minutes.”


VOX: Measuring the welfare effects of AI and automation . “Artificial intelligence promises economic growth as well as creating fear for those whose jobs it may replace. This column takes a wider approach to examining how AI and other technologies will affect citizens’ welfare beyond just their income. It argues that the new technologies are intrinsically neither good nor bad, it is how they are deployed and how the transition is crafted that conditions the welfare dynamics of societies.”

Gaston Gazette: Gastonia counting its trees. “The last time Gastonia completed a tree inventory was 15 years ago. Then, the count showed about 11,000 trees. The inventory, however, was done on paper — something Gastonia found hard to maintain. This time around, the city anticipates between 12,000 and 13,000 trees, and it’s making a digital archive.” Good morning, Internet…

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