Vermont Water, YouTube, Google Drive, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 19, 2019


NECN: ‘There’s No Safe Level of Lead:’ Vermont Schools, Day Care Centers Undergoing Wave of Lead Tests. “With a sweeping round of statewide lead tests now underway at Vermont schools and day care centers, some faucets and drinking fountains are getting failing grades….Wednesday, state health and environmental leaders unveiled a new website where families can check on lead levels in their kids’ drinking water sources.”


Tubefilter: YouTube Is Hiring Partner Managers To Work With Conservative And Liberal News Creators. “YouTube is bringing on a crop of new hires to its Partner Manager network with the explicit goal of maintaining relationships with news-focused creators and organizations. Partner Managers serve as a liaison between YouTube’s top creators and the platform itself, offering a direct line of communication for the two.”

Ars Technica: Google Drive will introduce long-asked-for file shortcuts feature. “Soon, Google will add one of the most commonly requested features to its Drive file hosting, sharing, and collaboration service: shortcuts. These will allow users to create pointers to files from either the same drive or another, separate shared drive.”


Genealogy’s Star: The Ultimate Digital Preservation Guide, Part Ten: The Importance of Image Quality. “When faced with a pile of old photos, the genealogist must make some important decisions. Of course, there is always the challenge of identifying the people and places represented in the photos, but sometimes we are faced with just really poor quality photos. Here is one example.”


Atlas Obscura: On the Hunt for National Treasures With America’s Archive Detective. “[Mitch] Yockelson is one-half of the Archival Recovery Program, based in the National Archives and Records Administration’s office in College Park, Maryland. He and analyst Kellie Shipley believe they are the only dedicated team in any museum or cultural institution in the world whose sole purpose is to search for missing and stolen items. This hunt for documents and other objects that belong in the official repository of American history is what brought him to the military antiques show.”

Religion News Service: Boston’s Catholic archdiocese expands effort to digitize archives. “When Thomas Lester began his job as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston’s archivist in 2014, he quickly noticed that many of the archdiocese’s bound archives containing centuries of records of sacraments performed by its clergy were beginning to fall apart.”


Motherboard: We Asked Def Con Attendees Why People Are Still Getting Hacked. “Motherboard sent four reporters to Def Con. We spoke on panels, gave talks, and reported on what we saw there, but we also asked about two-dozen attendees two simple questions: Why are people still getting hacked? What is one thing the cybersecurity community needs to do better?”

TorrentFreak: Rightsholders Remove Google Results of Legal Search Engine ‘JustWatch’. “Copyright holders would like Google to be more proactive when it comes to piracy. The company should promote legal services in its search results, is an often heard suggestion. A good idea perhaps but, at the moment, some copyright holders are taking things in the opposite direction.”


Wired: AI Algorithms Need FDA-style Drug Trials. “Intelligent systems at scale need regulation because they are an unprecedented force multiplier for the promotion of the interests of an individual or a group. For the first time in history, a single person can customize a message for billions and share it with them within a matter of days. A software engineer can create an army of AI-powered bots, each pretending to be a different person, promoting content on behalf of political or commercial interests. Unlike broadcast propaganda or direct marketing, this approach also uses the self-reinforcing qualities of the algorithm to learn what works best to persuade and nudge each individual.”

Digital Trends: Google’s soccer-playing A.I. hopes to master the world’s most popular sport. “Think the player A.I. in FIFA ‘19 was something special? You haven’t seen anything yet! That’s because search giant Google is developing its own soccer-playing artificial intelligence. And, if the company’s history with machine intelligence is anything to go by, it’ll be something quite special.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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