Texas Border, Phish, Facebook, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, December 19, 2019


New to me from TexLibris (what a GREAT name): Read, Hot and Digitized: South by—The Border Studies Archive at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “The Border Studies Archive (BSA) at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) has fostered really interesting digital collections of borderlands materials in recent years. These projects include Traditional Mexican American Folklore; Border Wall and Border Security; Border Music; Latinas and Politics; Spanish Land Grants; and Visual Border Studies. Each of these collections offers insight into a vast array of cultural elements that combine to depict life along the U.S.­–Mexico border.”

Live for Live Music: Free Archive Of Phish Studies Conference Lecture Videos Now Available Online. “You can now experience the academic findings presented throughout 15 presentations, panels, and Q&A sessions throughout the three-day conference. Available presentations include ‘Shiny Music That Descends from Overhead: The Significance of Improvisation’, ‘Setlists, Ratings, and Archives: Do You Have to Count Them?’, ‘Buckets Full of Thoughts: Philosophical Approaches to Phish’, and many more.”


Motherboard: Facebook Is Literally Hiring People to Just Google Stuff. “Facebook announced Wednesday that as part of its effort to clean up its platform, it will hire part-time contractors, known as ‘community reviewers’ who will have no previous journalism or fact-checking experience, and use them to check the millions of pieces of content flagged each day as questionable by the company’s artificial intelligence algorithms.” You know that GIF where the boy is posing for his school picture and he just stares at you flatly and blinks? Put that here.

Bing Blogs: HO HO HO! Microsoft and Bing Maps help NORAD track Santa!. “The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is preparing for their annual tradition of tracking Santa around the globe. As NORAD conducts its primary mission of defending Canadian and United States airspace, they take on the supplementary mission of tracking Santa’s journey for the holidays. Much like Santa and his Elves, NORAD gets help from volunteers, partners and Microsoft Employees who will be joining the crew at the Peterson Airforce Base to ensure Santa’s safe travels around the globe!”

Ars Technica: Apple, Google, and Amazon team up to create “CHIP,” a new smart home standard. “Apple, Google, Amazon, and the Zigbee Alliance have all teamed up to make a new smart home standard. The new working group went live today under the name of ‘Project Connected Home over IP’ with announcement blog posts from Google, Apple, Zigbee, and a new website,”


NBC 7 San Diego: NBC 7 San Diego History Center Partner to Preserve Decades of Archives. “The archive, to be held at the San Diego History Center’s Research Archives, consists of video recordings, video tapes, and assorted materials that document the daily journalism of San Diego from the period of 1976 to 2012. Contained in the archives are thousands of interviews and individual stories. The archived materials will be made accessible to the public once inventory and a catalogue have been completed. Due to the size of the archive this may take several years.”


The Guardian: Apple and Google named in US lawsuit over Congolese child cobalt mining deaths. “A landmark legal case has been launched against the world’s largest tech companies by Congolese families who say their children were killed or maimed while mining for cobalt used to power smartphones, laptops and electric cars, the Guardian can reveal.” This is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, not the Republic of the Congo.

Brian Krebs: The Great $50M African IP Address Heist. “A top executive at the nonprofit entity responsible for doling out chunks of Internet addresses to businesses and other organizations in Africa has resigned his post following accusations that he secretly operated several companies which sold tens of millions of dollars worth of the increasingly scarce resource to online marketers. The allegations stemmed from a three-year investigation by a U.S.-based researcher whose findings shed light on a murky area of Internet governance that is all too often exploited by spammers and scammers alike.”

New York Times: Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy. “Each piece of information in this file represents the precise location of a single smartphone over a period of several months in 2016 and 2017. The data was provided to Times Opinion by sources who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to share it and could face severe penalties for doing so. The sources of the information said they had grown alarmed about how it might be abused and urgently wanted to inform the public and lawmakers.”


Times of India: Forest department to use artificial intelligence in lion census. “The state wildlife board has directed the forest department to use methods based on artificial intelligence during the lion census to avoid and eradicate duplication of entries, and enhance identification of individual animals.”

Harvard Business Review: The AI Transparency Paradox. “In recent years, academics and practitioners alike have called for greater transparency into the inner workings of artificial intelligence models, and for many good reasons. Transparency can help mitigate issues of fairness, discrimination, and trust — all of which have received increased attention…. At the same time, however, it is becoming clear that disclosures about AI pose their own risks: Explanations can be hacked, releasing additional information may make AI more vulnerable to attacks, and disclosures can make companies more susceptible to lawsuits or regulatory action.”

Phys .org: Instagram’s virtual features have real relationship benefits. “Young adults say that Instagram helps them develop friendships in real life, especially those who are more hesitant to try new experiences, according to a recent study by Washington State University researchers.” Good morning, Internet…

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