Boston Genealogy, Facebook, Tinycards, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 5, 2019


Boston Globe: A digital family tree grows in Boston. “A massive genealogical project to digitize records from parishes in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston will expand its scope to the early 20th century, chronicling the lives of 10 million additional immigrants who maintained close ties to their ethnic communities amid the thrusts of assimilation.”

The Verge: Facebook will no longer scan user faces by default. “Facebook is making facial recognition in photos opt-in by default. Starting today, it’s rolling out its Face Recognition privacy setting, which it first introduced in December 2017, to all users. If you have Face Recognition turned on, Facebook will notify you if someone uploads a photo of you, even if you aren’t tagged. You can then tag yourself, stay untagged, or report the photo if it’s something you want taken down. Facebook tells The Verge it expects to complete the rollout over the next several weeks.”


Lifehacker: Memorize These Cool and Useless Facts on Tinycards. “I learned the NATO phonetic alphabet. Now I’m learning how to point to every country on a map. I’ll never need this information, but it feels cool to know. I’m learning on the free flashcard app Tinycards, which feels remarkably like playing a mobile game, but one you can feel good about.”

CNET: 8chan, 4chan, Endchan: Here’s what you need to know about image boards. “Let’s get one thing straight: lots of chan boards are nothing more than a place for people with an intense interest in a subject to swap thoughts. If you’ve got a passion that’s an inch wide and a mile deep, you might find a community of kindred spirits on a chan board. But because chan boards are loosely moderated and provide anonymity, they’ve become a breeding ground for hateful ideas and bullying behavior. They’ve also spawned some illegal activity.”


The Ringer: ‘NCAA Football’ Is Still Alive, Because One Online Community Won’t Let the Game Die. “EA Sports stopped issuing new versions of its beloved college football title in 2013. But you can still play the video game with updated rosters—thanks to the tireless efforts of an unlikely group of caretakers.”

Ars Technica: Senator: Mark Zuckerberg should face “the possibility of a prison term”. “Mark Zuckerberg has ‘repeatedly lied to the American people about privacy,’ Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said in a recent interview with the Willamette Week, a Portland alternative weekly newspaper. ‘I think he ought to be held personally accountable, which is everything from financial fines to—and let me underline this—the possibility of a prison term.'”

Daily Collegian: How thrift Instagram accounts cater to Penn State students’ vintage needs. “A recent fashion trend — thrifting and repurposing clothing items — has taken over Penn State in a big way. Vintage clothing accounts have taken over Instagram, with their target audiences being teens and young adults in college.”


TechCrunch: A huge database of Facebook users’ phone numbers found online. “Hundreds of millions of phone numbers linked to Facebook accounts have been found online. The exposed server contained more than 419 million records over several databases on users across geographies, including 133 million records on U.S.-based Facebook users, 18 million records of users in the U.K., and another with more than 50 million records on users in Vietnam.”

Reuters: Republican, Democratic U.S. lawmakers ask Google to expand copyright protections. “A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday asked the chief executive of Alphabet’s Google to expand its use of technology that prevents copyright infringement to smaller creators who are ‘at a significant disadvantage.'”


New York Times: A Breakthrough for A.I. Technology: Passing an 8th-Grade Science Test. “The world’s top research labs are rapidly improving a machine’s ability to understand and respond to natural language. Machines are getting better at analyzing documents, finding information, answering questions and even generating language of their own.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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