Vehicle-to-Grid Projects, Facebook Political Advertising, Alphabet, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 04, 2019

I know a lot of y’all had some feelings about the Good Housekeeping article I posted a few weeks ago. It was about talking to your family and getting family history. I wrote a response to it in my latest column for the Saturday Evening Post, about using YouTube to get my Granny to tell me about her family history. Check it out if you like: .


Current News: UKPN launches V2G Hub to give full picture of projects around the world. “UK Power Networks (UKPN) has launched a new website showing global vehicle-to-grid (V2G) projects, as it goes ‘full throttle’ in its support of the technology. The website, V2G Hub, shows 66 projects located across four continents. These include thousands of electric vehicles (EVs) and associated charging infrastructure.”

The Hindu: In the crosshairs of Facebook ads: Understanding the new infrastructures of political propaganda. “Trying to understand the new infrastructures of political propaganda, [Nayantara] Ranganathan and [Manuel] Beltrán launched [a new site] in July. The website compiles information on political ads running on Facebook and Instagram of more than 300 political actors across 39 countries. The interface shows, among other things, the regional distribution, timeline of ads, demographic targeting, money spent, attention gained, and the ad content. It answers interesting questions such as the amount of money Donald Trump spent on advertising ‘The Wall’ or the misinformation spread around Brexit.”


ABC News: Google co-founders step down as execs of parent Alphabet. “Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down from their roles within the parent company, Alphabet. Sundar Pichai, who has been leading Google as CEO for more than four years, will stay in his role and also become CEO of Alphabet.” Ten years ago this would have been a huge deal. Now? Meh.

Hackaday: Almond: Open Personal Assistant From Stanford. “The current state of virtual personal assistants — Alexa, Cortana, Google, and Siri — leaves something to be desired. The speech recognition is mostly pretty good. However, customization options are very limited. Beyond that, many people are worried about the privacy of their data when using one of these assistants. Stanford Open Virtual Assistant Lab has rolled out Almond, which is open and is reported to have better privacy features.”


Vietnam+: Vietnam, Laos ink cooperative MoU on archive. “The national archive agencies of Vietnam and Laos signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation in 2020 at a ceremony in Hanoi on December 3.”

Boston Herald: Greek-Americans look to preserve historic archive. “The remaining copies of newspapers documenting 50 years of the Greek American community are falling apart at the seams, threatening the loss of the history ingrained in the contents of its pages. ‘They are literally crumbling like filo dough left on the kitchen counter,’ former editor-in-chief Nancy Agris Savage said of the The Hellenic Chronicle archive. ‘The Greek-American community has just exploded in the United States and the history of it is about to disappear if we don’t do something about it.'”


The Verge: Congress is split over your right to sue Facebook. “Should private citizens be able to sue companies like Facebook or Twitter for misusing their data? That’s the question Republicans and Democrats have been ensnared in for months, as they work to craft a new data privacy law. But talks have stalled in recent weeks, and rather than putting out a bipartisan bill, both parties have now opted to introduce their own measures to stake out their positions.”

The Register: Europol wipes out 30,000+ piracy sites, three suspects cuffed to walk the legal plank. “In total, Europol says it was able to shut down 30,506 domains. They also arrested three people, seized 26,000 pieces of clothing and perfume, grabbed 363 litres of alcohol (about 10 Reg holiday parties), an unspecified number of hardware devices, and upwards of €150,000 in bank and online payment accounts.”


Arch Daily: Data from 350,000 Smartphones Visualize the Urban Segregation in Chile. “Every time you connect to the Internet or call someone, your smartphone plugs into the nearest available antenna, allowing X/CDR databases to anonymously access your personal record of checked-in places. The researchers worked with a 350,000-user database in Santiago, where each registered track allowed them to create a movement network. The sum of these movements indicates a community.”

Phys .org: Scientists race to document Puerto Rico’s coastal heritage. “A group of U.S.-based scientists is rushing to document indigenous sites along Puerto Rico’s coast dating back a couple of thousand years before rising sea levels linked to climate change destroy a large chunk of the island’s heritage that is still being discovered.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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