Vermont Traffic Stops, Google, Genealogy Search, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 13, 2019


My Champlain Valley: Public database of racial info from Vermont traffic stops launched. “Five years after Vermont law enforcement officers first became required to document the race of all drivers they pull over in traffic stops, that information has proven to be difficult to come by. However, a Vermont racial justice group has just made the data significantly easier to find.”


Ars Technica: Google fires staffer, suspends two others, amid rising workplace tensions. “Google has fired a staffer who allegedly leaked the names of Google employees and their personal details to the news media, Ryan Gallagher reports in a scoop for Bloomberg News. Two other Googlers have been put on leave for violating company policies, Google told Gallagher.”


Genealogy’s Star: How Good are Genealogical Search Engines?. “As a genealogical researcher, in order to do your research, you have two options: use a database program with a searchable index to the content of the digital images of historical documents or search the original documents word by word yourself either from paper or digital copies. If the database (website) you are searching supports user searches, your search is made by using a dedicated search engine.” Check the resource Randy Majors mentions in the first comment.

Social Media Examiner: How to Create an Instagram Content Strategy With User-Generated Content. “Are you struggling to come up with Instagram content ideas? Wondering how to turn brand mentions into content for Instagram? In this article, you’ll learn how to develop a customer-centered user-generated Instagram content strategy.”


CNET: From Instagram to Candy Crush: These are the most important apps of the decade. “As part of CNET’s Decade in Review here are our picks for the impactful apps of the 2010s. I crowdsourced this list from every CNET editor and then curated it further from there. The result is the list below in no particular order.”

Jerusalem Post: National Library of Israel uploads 120,000 historic books online. “The books that are expected to be uploaded will, according to NLI, include all of the library’s out-of-copyright, royalty-free books which have not yet been digitized. Around 45% of the books are written in Hebrew script in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino and other languages of the Jewish world. The rest of the works are in a variety of languages, including Latin, German, French, Arabic and Russian.” This is a project that’s expected to be completed in a couple of years, so the headline is a little premature.


Engadget: Facebook is fixing a bug that turned on phone cameras . “Early this month, some Facebook users began to notice a glitch when they were using the iOS app. Users shared on Twitter that when they were watching videos or looking at photos, their cameras were activated behind the Facebook app, CNET reports. Facebook has acknowledged the bug and says it is submitting a fix to Apple today.”

Lifehacker: Seriously, Update Your Old Windows 7 PCs and Windows Servers Right Now. “We’ve made several posts over the past year about “BlueKeep,” a serious exploit present in Windows 7’s remote desktop protocol (RDP) that could allow a hacker to take control of someone’s PC. Hell, we even covered recent news about the first successful use of BlueKeep attacks earlier this week, wherein hackers remotely installed cryptocurrency-mining software on vulnerable systems via RDP. And just yesterday, Microsoft’s internal security team posted a new warning saying they expect BlueKeep attacks to not only continue, but increase in sophistication (and severity) as time goes on.”


BBC: The Chinese suicides prevented by AI from afar. “The Java-based program monitors several ‘tree holes’ on Weibo and analyses the messages posted there. A ‘tree hole’ is the Chinese name for places on the net where people post secrets for others to read. The name is inspired by an Irish tale about a man who confided his secrets to a tree. One example is a post by Zou Fan, a 23-year old Chinese student who wrote a message on Weibo before killing herself, in 2012.”

Brookings: Local journalism in crisis: Why America must revive its local newsrooms. “Few newspapers today send journalists to statehouses or maintain Washington bureaus, and issues from public health to education are often under-covered. The declining capacity of newsrooms to investigate potential stories not only renders newspapers less valuable to news consumers, but also results in a newspaper that is less valuable to its community.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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