Texas Photography, New Jersey Water, PoC NC History, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, November 22, 2019


New-to-me, from the Houston Chronicle: Texas outlaws, giant crocodiles and Houston’s Astrodome in historical photos database. “Traces of Texas is a historical database of sorts, which collects photos of the state’s people, places, roadways, stories and captures the culture of the Lone Star State. In one recent photo taken around 1925, readers can learn about the Mineola Black Spiders baseball team, which was an independent, all-black team based in Mineola, Texas. Another photo reveals the history of ‘infamous Newton Gang,’ a group of outlaws who robbed banks and trains in the early 1900s.”

NJ .com: New tool lets you see if there’s lead in the water at your school. “For parents who want to know if there is lead in the water at their kid’s school, finding the answer is now a little bit easier. On Thursday, the New Jersey Department of Education launched a new website to serve as a centralized database with information about lead testing in Garden State schools.”

DigitalNC: Cleveland County Memorial Library Collection of Materials from the Black Community is Now Live on DigitalNC!. “DigitalNC partner Cleveland County Memorial Library provided us with a rich collection of documents, photographs, and yearbooks related to the history of Black citizens in the area. Much of the collection focuses on Black schools that were established during the era of Jim Crow and segregation. These schools were created out of necessity but did not survive integration, leaving their history vulnerable. Fortunately people like Ezra A. Bridges, a longtime educator and community activist, made it a priority to preserve items related to the Black experience in Cleveland County.”


CNN: Twitter now lets you hide replies to your tweets. “Twitter is letting all users hide unwanted replies to their tweets as part of a broader effort to make the platform less toxic. On Thursday, the company announced it’s rolling out the feature globally. It had been testing the option earlier this year in select countries, including Canada, Japan and the US.”

Mashable: YouTube says it will soon monetize ‘edgier content’ . “YouTube has heard the most recent concerns and complaints from its creators loud and clear. In her last quarterly creators letter of the year, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki laid out a number of updates in the works for creators who may not make the most family-friendly content.”


Sudbury Mercury: How new tech will help bring more film and TV productions to Suffolk. “Screen Suffolk’s parent company Film Fixer has created – a new online database where productions can search for locations by picture rather than just keyword. Location scouts can upload an image of the kind of building or location they are after, with the database coming up with matches of similar buildings or areas.”

US News And World Report: PDC Discusses Searchable Digital Archive of Campaign Ads. “Campaign finance officials are discussing the idea of building a searchable digital archive that collects campaign ads and information related to them. The Seattle Times reports the idea was discussed at a Wednesday meeting of the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections Committee. Officials with the state Public Disclosure Commission say a digital archive could shine sunlight on political ads bought through social-media companies like Google and Facebook.”


Government Technology: Vermont Attorneys Leverage Open Source Expungement Plug-In. “A Vermont Code for America brigade, Code for BTV, designed a Google Chrome extension to scrape data from criminal dockets found on the state’s legacy court database to autofill expungement and record sealing petitions.”

Ars Technica: Official Monero website is hacked to deliver currency-stealing malware. “The official site for the Monero digital coin was hacked to deliver currency-stealing malware to users who were downloading wallet software, officials with said on Tuesday.”

CNET: Exposed database left terabyte of travelers’ data open to the public. “When it comes to travel, most people are concerned with planning their trip, getting the best price and making sure they’ve packed everything. Now they also need to worry about whether their reservation companies have properly secured their data: Security researchers found that one of Europe’s largest hotel booking companies left more than a terabyte of sensitive data exposed on a public server.”


NewScientist: Humans across cultures may share the same universal musical grammar. “While music seems to be everywhere, scientists haven’t previously found much evidence to suggest it has any universal features. The prevailing view is that music is so diverse that few, if any, universals exist. Settling the matter empirically has been difficult, because research often focuses on individual cultures and musical contexts, says Samuel Mehr of Harvard University. So Mehr and his colleagues decided to use data science to try to understand what was universal and what varied in music across the world. To do this, they developed a database containing around 5000 detailed descriptions of songs and their performances in 60 human societies.”

Nieman Journalism Lab: What should newsrooms do about deepfakes? These three things, for starters. “The threat of deepfakes to sow disinformation is real — but it is broadly overstated, and it can be mitigated by interventions centered on newsroom practices.” Good morning, Internet…

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