Kenya Courts, The Provo Herald, Twitter, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, June 3, 2019


The Star (Kenya): New database to help document ‘fight against corruption’ in courts. “Transparency International Kenya recently launched the ‘Rada Database’, which is the most comprehensive and ambitious attempt to track and document all cases on corruption processed through the courts.”

Deseret News: U. Library digitizes 100 years of The Provo Herald. “The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library has digitized 100 years of editions of The Provo Herald — known today as the Daily Herald. The archive is available online and free to the public. Starting with 1909 and ending with 2009, the project, which is part of the Utah Digital Newspapers online repository, is one of the largest digitization efforts completed by the Marriott Library to date.”


TechCrunch: Twitter takes down ‘a large number’ of Chinese-language accounts ahead of Tiananmen Square anniversary. “Twitter has suspended a large number of Chinese-language user accounts, including those belonging to critics of China’s government. It seems like a particularly ill-timed move, occurring just days before thirtieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4.”

SF State News: SF State launches new certificate in ethical artificial intelligence. “Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform our life and work, but it also raises some thorny ethical questions. That’s why a team of professors from three different colleges at San Francisco State University have created a new graduate certificate program in ethical AI for students who want to gain a broader perspective on autonomous decision-making.”

Engadget: Amazon’s Textract AI can read millions of pages in a few hours. “Amazon has launched a new offering called Textract for its Web Services customers, and it’s like optical character recognition on steroids. It more than just extracts text from documents like its name implies — Amazon says it can actually identify different document formats and their contents so it can process them properly.” Apparently not available all over the US yet.


Vice: Shady Political Ads Are Pouring Into Facebook. We Still Can’t Track Them.. “If the 2016 election revealed Facebook’s power to influence elections, the millions spent by the presidential field so far this year suggest it was merely a warm-up for what’s coming next. And yet, researchers say Facebook has weakened or disabled certain tools they use to track political ads and content across the platform, just as users are about to be hit with a tsunami of political content.”

AdAge: A History Of Brands Hacking Wikipedia. “Since Wikipedia launched in 2001, multiple brands and agencies have manipulated the site’s open format, which allows anyone to edit articles, for their own marketing gain. Among brands previously called out are Burger King, SeaWorld and NBC News.” I had no idea this was such a thing.


SecurityWeek: Google Researcher Finds Code Execution Vulnerability in Notepad. “Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy revealed on Tuesday that he identified a code execution vulnerability in Microsoft’s Notepad text editor. Ormandy says he has reported his findings to Microsoft and the company has been given 90 days – per Project Zero’s vulnerability disclosure policy – to release a patch. Details of the security hole will be made public after 90 days or possibly sooner if Microsoft rolls out a fix.”

Education Week: Florida Plan for a Huge Database to Stop School Shootings Hits Delays, Legal Questions. “It was supposed to be operational six months ago, part of Florida’s wide-ranging effort to prevent the next school shooting: a sprawling new database that would merge people’s social media posts with millions of records on individuals who have been bullied, placed in foster care, committed a crime, or even been mentioned in unverified tips made to law enforcement. The plan, however, has sputtered, an Education Week investigation found.”

Government Technology: Facial Recognition Project Included Secret Photo Archive. “A professor at the University of Colorado’s Colorado Springs campus led a project that secretly snapped photos of more than 1,700 students, faculty members and others walking in public more than six years ago in an effort to enhance facial-recognition technology.”


Brookings: With Obama’s official papers living online, what might be lost?. “The announcement that President Barack Obama’s official papers will be digitized is a break from tradition. It is clearly a nod to contemporary life, and some might view it as a welcome change from driving for miles to sift through paper documents in presidential libraries. But the decision to go digital rather than place the paper records in a research library has created a stir in the community of people who make a living doing research in presidential libraries. With presidential libraries already facing challenges, a transition to online-only resources could come at the cost of one of their greatest assets: the knowledge and commitment of the archivists, whose expertise in both the presidency and the organization of the collection is an immense resource for researchers.”

NC State University: Cape Lookout Research Could Help National Park Managers. “To help with long-term preservation decisions, researchers with North Carolina State University, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service collaborated on a decision support model for Cape Lookout. The Optimal Preservation Model (OptiPres) factors in the vulnerability and significance of historic and cultural resources, while allowing managers to adjust their plans based on varying funding levels, says Erin Seekamp, associate professor and tourism extension specialist with NC State’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.” Good morning, Internet…

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