Urban Technologies, Investigative Journalism, Frederick Douglass Newspapers, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, January 20, 2020


University of Oregon: Urbanism Next launches the NEXUS online clearinghouse. “Created by the UO’s Urbanism Next Center in partnership with NUMO Alliance, NEXUS is a comprehensive, vetted source of information that explores the potential effects of innovations such as new mobility, autonomous vehicles and the rise of e-commerce. Going beyond the technologies themselves, NEXUS sheds light on possible long-term and compounding influences of these technologies on cities and communities.”

Balkan Insight: BIRN Launches New Investigative Resource Desk Platform. “The platform provides investigative journalists with various types of assistance and a set of tools and resources related, but not limited, to freedom of information, data access and protection, cyber-security and open-source datasets. The assistance of our experts is free and provided on a needs basis. BIRD also contains various databases and a set of tools that can be used in daily reporting. Currently, the platform offers 20 different publications on topics such as freedom of information, data protection, journalism sustainability, verifying information and many more. And we intend to add more in future.”

Library of Congress: Frederick Douglass Newspapers, 1847-1874: Now Online. “The striking, forward-thinking motto, ‘Right Is of No Sex–Truth Is of No Color–God Is the Father of Us All, and All We Are Brethren,’ initially appeared on December 3, 1847 in the first issue of The North Star, the earliest newspaper African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass founded and edited. That issue is one of 568 now digitized and freely available in Frederick Douglass Newspapers, 1847-1874 on the Library of Congress website.”


CBC: New Cree language app targets students, teachers and newcomers. “More than 150 elders from five northern Alberta First Nations have contributed to a new tool designed to preserve Cree words and phrases. The free app, KTCEA Elders Speak, is a product of the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Education Authority, which oversees six schools within five northern Alberta First Nations: Peerless Trout First Nation, Whitefish Lake First Nation, Loon River First Nation, Lubicon Lake Band, and Woodland Cree First Nation.”


Towards Data Science: Analyze and Track Freelance Revenue with Google Calendar and Pandas. “My life and work schedules are run by Google Calendar — this includes all of my private classes, bike/photography tours, academy work, governmental positions, translation gigs, and random freelance jobs. Every ‘unit’ of paid work is in the calendar; I simply needed to figure out a way to directly access the Google Calendar data and rebuild my spreadsheet into a sustainable analyzing machine. In my previous corporate life, I worked exclusively in the world of Pandas Notebooks (Python framework for analyzing data) — therefore it was a natural solution to leverage those tools to access my class schedule from Google Calendar and utilize Pandas to process and analyze the revenue data.”


Washington Post: National Archives exhibit blurs images critical of President Trump. “The Archives acknowledged in a statement this week that it made multiple alterations to the photo of the 2017 Women’s March showcased at the museum, blurring signs held by marchers that were critical of Trump. Words on signs that referenced women’s anatomy were also blurred. In the original version of the 2017 photograph, taken by Getty Images photographer Mario Tama, the street is packed with marchers carrying a variety of signs, with the Capitol in the background. In the Archives version, at least four of those signs are altered.” The National Archives has apologized for what it characterized as a “mistake.”

Dawn: Senate panel recommends pact with Twitter to block fake accounts. (This is Pakistan.) “The Senate Standing Commit­tee on Information Technology on Wednesday asked the government to enter into an agreement with Twitter’s management to share information and block fake accounts. The committee members asked the authorities concerned to identify accounts that were allegedly involved in defamation and harassment of individuals as well as organisations.”

BBC: Facebook blames ‘technical issue’ for offensive Xi Jinping translation. “Facebook has apologised for translating Chinese President Xi Jinping’s name from Burmese to English into an obscenity on its platform. The translation gaffe came to light on the second day of Mr Xi’s state visit to Myanmar.”


ZDNet: FBI seizes WeLeakInfo, a website that sold access to breached data. “US authorities have seized this week the domain of, an online service that for the past three years has been selling access to data hacked from other websites. The website provided access to people’s cleartext passwords, allowing hackers to purchase a subscription on the site and gain access to billions of user credentials.”


UC Santa Barbara: Take It or Leave It. “Of California’s 23 federal offshore platforms, many are nearing the end of their lives, and regulators need to decide what to do with the underwater superstructures. Some advocate removing the platforms in their entirety, while others propose leaving their support structures in place to continue acting as human-made reefs. In an effort to inform this discussion, a group of researchers led by scientists at UC Santa Barbara has produced 11 studies in a dedicated issue of the Bulletin of Marine Science outlining the ecology of the state’s oil platforms. They’ve also compiled a searchable database of studies on platform ecology carried out worldwide.”

EurekAlert: Internet use reduces study skills in university students. “Two hundred and eighty-five university students, enrolled on a range of health-related degree courses, participated in the study. They were assessed for their use of digital technology, their study skills and motivation, anxiety, and loneliness. The study found a negative relationship between internet addiction and motivation to study. Students reporting more internet addiction also found it harder to organise their learning productively, and were more anxious about their upcoming tests. The study also found that internet addiction was associated with loneliness, and that this loneliness made study harder.”


Big thanks to Shirl K. for this one — The Deep Sea. There’s not really a description I can quote from. It’s an illustration of the sea. You keep scrolling down and down while the page shows you some creatures who live at that depth. You keep going lower, and lower, and even when you think you’re at the end you’re not. I think it’s the physical act of scrolling that “makes it click,” when it comes to understanding just how deep the ocean is. Highly recommended. Good morning, Internet…

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