Flash Games, Louisiana Judges, Canterbury Tales, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, February 4, 2020


COGConnected: Flashpoint Project Archives 36,000 Flash Games Offline. “Flashpoint is a colossal offline archive of every Flash game the team can scoop up, preserved and protected from ultimate destruction. Flash is vanishing from the internet forever, you see. Adobe is officially killing the system on December 31st, 2020. That means BlueMaxima has less than a year to save every game they can from the slowly sinking ship.”

KTBS: New database expands access to judicial financial disclosures. “The Metropolitan Crime Commission, a non-profit watchdog group based in New Orleans, published a searchable database that allows the public to look up financial disclosure forms for any Louisiana judge. Elected officials in Louisiana are required to disclose where their money comes from, whether it’s from a job, an inheritance, an investment or any other source. They are also required to disclose their spouse’s financial information on the forms.”

EurekAlert: Canterbury Tales is first major literary work developed as an app. “A University of Saskatchewan-led international team has produced the first web and mobile phone app of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales–the first major literary work augmented by new scholarship, in any language, presented in an app.” This app also features the work of Monty Python alum Terry Jones.


MyNorthwest: AG Bob Ferguson weighs legal action over Seattle National Archives closure. “Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson told KIRO Radio listeners… that his office is considering the possibility of a lawsuit against the federal government in the wake of the decision over the weekend by the Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives and Records Administration to close and sell the Seattle National Archives facility.”


Lifehacker: Keep Track of All the Books, Movies, Podcasts, and Games You Want to Check Out With This App. “The app, which is currently available for iOS only, serves as a repository for all those things you want to see, listen to, and read later. The app specifically tracks book’s movies & TV shows, music albums, podcasts, and video games. When you come across one of those that you know you want to check out later, you can add it to your list within the app.”

Online Journalism Blog: How to: plan a journalism project that needs data entry. “Data-driven reporting regularly involves some form of data entry — some of the stories I’ve been involved with, for example, have included entering information from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, compiling data from documents such as companies’ accounts, or working with partners to collect information from a range of sources. But you’ll rarely hear the challenges of managing these projects discussed in resources on data journalism. Last week I delivered a session on exactly those challenges to a factchecking team in Albania, so I thought it might be useful to share the tips from that session here.”


Poynter: Photos and videos allegedly showing the coronavirus are now challenging fact-checkers . “Since Friday, more than 60 fact-checkers from different countries have been working together in a collaborative project coordinated by the International Fact-Checking Network to debunk hoaxes related to the lethal virus. So far, the group has flagged more than 80 pieces of misleading content — mainly regarding the origins of the fatal virus, a false patent created years ago and some weird ways to prevent or cure it. But the toughest barriers fact-checkers have faced so far are images and videos that supposedly show scenes of what is happening in China.”

Hindustan Times: This user ‘hacked’ Google Maps traffic flow in an entire area with 99 smartphones. “We often hear apps and services being hacked or breached resulting in user data sharing without consent. But the latest ‘hack’ found on Google Maps is quite an unusual one. It doesn’t leak your personal information to others or breach your smartphone but simply messes with the traffic information that Maps shows you. The ‘hack’ also shows how easy it is to change the traffic flow and indirectly make millions in the area take a different route.”


TechCrunch: Social media boosting service exposed thousands of Instagram passwords. “The company, Social Captain, says it helps thousands of users to grow their Instagram follower counts by connecting their accounts to its platform. Users are asked to enter their Instagram username and password into the platform to get started. But TechCrunch learned this week Social Captain was storing the passwords of linked Instagram accounts in unencrypted plaintext.”


BetaNews: IBM launches new open source tool to label images using AI. “Images for use in development projects need to be correctly labeled to be of use. But adding labels is a task that can involve many hours of work by human analysts painstakingly applying manual labels to images, time that could be better spent on other, more creative, tasks. In order to streamline the labelling process IBM has created a new automated labeling tool for the open source Cloud Annotations project that uses AI to ‘auto-label’ images and thus speed up the process.”

Phys .org: Citizen scientists get snappy to monitor bushfire-ravaged environment. “UNSW Sydney researchers are urging citizen scientists to use their mobile phones for a good cause: to monitor the recovery of bushfire-affected plants and animals for the Environment Recovery Project which will inform future research.”

NiemanLab: Ctrl-F: Helping make networks more resilient against misinformation can be as simple as two fingers. “People have a limited amount of effort they’ll expend on verification, the lack of knowledge here may be as big a barrier as other cognitive biases. Why we aren’t vigorously addressing issues like this in order to build a more resilient information network (or even to just help students study efficiently!) is something I continue to not understand. Yes, we have big issues. But can we take five minutes and show people how to search?” Good morning, Internet…

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