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Georgia Newspapers, Victorian-Era Convict Tattoos, 2019 Film Registry, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, December 13, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

Digital Library of Georgia: Georgia Civil War and Reconstruction newspapers now freely available online . “As part of a $27,405.00 grant from the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation, the Digital Library of Georgia has digitized over 100,000 pages of Georgia newspaper titles published from 1861 to 1877 from microfilm held by the Georgia Newspaper Project.”

The Conversation: How tattoos became fashionable in Victorian England. “…we carried out the largest analysis of tattoos ever undertaken, examining 75,688 descriptions of tattoos, on 57,990 convicts in Britain and Australia from 1793 to 1925. We used data-mining techniques to extract information embedded within broader descriptive fields of criminal records, and we linked this information with extensive evidence about the personal characteristics and backgrounds of our subjects. Because the meanings of tattoos are often so difficult to fathom, we used visualisations to identify patterns of use and juxtapositions of particular designs.” This new database of tattoos is one of the new datasets from Digital Panopticon. There’s another new feature that lets you search convicts by occupation.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Library of Congress: Women Rule 2019 National Film Registry . “Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today the annual selection of 25 of America’s most influential motion pictures to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selected because of their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation’s film heritage, the films in the class of 2019 range from Prince’s 1984 autobiographical hit ‘Purple Rain’ and Spike Lee’s 1986 breakout movie ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ to Disney’s 1959 timeless fairy tale ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and this year’s biggest public vote getter, Kevin Smith’s 1994 ‘Clerks.'”

Neowin: Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode is rolling out to phones today. “Google announced Interpreter Mode earlier this year, rolling it out to Google Home and Assistant-powered Smart Displays some time later. As suggested by the name, Interpreter Mode permits users to communicate back and forth when they’re abroad and do not know the local language. Now the company has announced that it is rolling out this feature today to ‘Assistant-enabled Android and iOS phones worldwide.'”

Politico: Twitter to verify all congressional and gubernatorial primary hopefuls. “Twitter will on Thursday start verifying the accounts of all candidates running in 2020 congressional and gubernatorial party primaries — a move meant in part to counter worries that the social network’s new ban on paid political ads hurts up-and-coming politicians.” I don’t like this at all. I feel that Twitter should agree to undertake verification for any candidate on a ballot, no matter how local. It’s not Twitter’s place to determine that election tampering / misinformation is only appropriate to defend against when it concerns larger elections. Verify them all, or verify none and avoid setting a standard for larger elections that won’t be matched locally. (“Oh, you’re running for Mayor? I saw you on Twitter but your account wasn’t verified. I thought all politicians had verified accounts.”)

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

MEL Magazine: Inside the Outrageously Prestigious World of Falcon Influencers. “Falcon fever isn’t limited to the Middle East, though. Humanity’s fascination with the majestic, enigmatic birds has been resuscitated all over the globe. In the U.S. and U.K., a renewed interest in falcon hunting (not racing) has doubled the price of some raptors, increased the number of people applying for hard-to-get falconry licenses, and bizarrely, spawned the creation of a number of minor Instagram celebrities who drum up interest in the ancient pastime with flashy photos and heartwarming stories of interspecies friendship.” My jaw had dropped by the third paragraph of this article. I finally scraped it up and put it back on my face by the end. What a read. The last bit is somewhat icky and you should probably skip if you prefer rabbits to falcons.

BuzzFeed News: Exclusive: Facebook Fired A Contractor Who Was Paid Thousands In Bribes To Reactivate Banned Ad Accounts. “A Facebook contractor was paid thousands of dollars in bribes by a shady affiliate marketer to reactivate ad accounts that had been banned due to policy violations, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. A company spokesperson confirmed that an unnamed worker was fired after inquiries from BuzzFeed News sparked an internal investigation. The person in question was based in the company’s Austin office, according to information obtained by BuzzFeed News.”

The Art Newspaper: How to make museums more accessible for disabled people? Ask them. “Museums can be hostile places for disabled visitors, with buildings that are hard to navigate by wheelchair and exhibits presented with few concessions to those with sensory or cognitive impairments. But a handful of European institutions have conducted access studies that promise to transform this dispiriting experience, drawing on expert advice from participants with diverse lived experiences of disability.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

CNET: Robocaller could be fined $10 million. “The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has suggested a robocall telemarketer be fined almost $10 million, after an investigation found he spoofed a competitor’s phone number to spread misinformation about a candidate during California’s 2018 primary election.”

The Verge: Genetic database that identified Golden State Killer acquired by crime scene DNA company. “The crime scene DNA sequencing company Verogen announced yesterday that they’ve acquired the genomics database and website GEDmatch. The acquisition makes the relationship between the company and law enforcement explicit, but raises uncomfortable questions for users and experts about data privacy and the future direction of the platform.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Harvard Law Today: Shedding light on fraudulent takedown notices. “Every day, companies like Google remove links to online content in response to court orders, influencing the Internet search results we see. But what happens if bad actors deliberately falsify and submit court documents requesting the removal of content? Research using the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society’s Lumen database shows the problem is larger than previously understood.”

Ars Technica: This 3D-printed Stanford bunny also holds the data for its own reproduction. “It’s now possible to store the digital instructions for 3D printing an everyday object into the object itself (much like DNA stores the code for life), according to a new paper in Nature Biotechnology. Scientists demonstrated this new ‘DNA of things’ by fabricating a 3D-printed version of the Stanford bunny—a common test model in 3D computer graphics—that stored the printing instructions to reproduce the bunny.” Good morning, Internet…

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