Brooklyn High School Newspapers, Air Quality Data, Local Government Algorithms, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, February 12, 2020


Brownstoner: Get Some Teen Perspective With Digitized High School Newspapers From Brooklyn Public Library. “[Brooklyn Public Library’s] latest digitization project adds to the growing list of research tools for the Brooklyn history lover. The new resource includes the work of Brooklyn student journalists in 925 issues produced by 55 schools across the borough. The publication dates span 1853 to 1994, although a quick perusal shows the highest concentration of papers is from 1958 to 1964.”

UN Environment Programme: World’s largest platform for air quality data launched at Tenth World Urban Forum. “The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), together with UN-Habitat and IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company, today launched the world’s largest air quality data platform, bringing together real-time air pollution data from over 4,000 contributors, including citizens, communities, governments and the private sector to work towards healthier, more sustainable cities.”

MuckRock: Smarter government or data-driven disaster: the algorithms helping control local communities. “Does handing government decisions over to algorithms save time and money? Can algorithms be fairer or less biased than human decision making? Do they make us safer? Automation and artificial intelligence could improve the notorious inefficiencies of government, and it could exacerbate existing errors in the data being used to power it. MuckRock and the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law (RIIPL) have compiled a collection of algorithms used in communities across the country to automate government decision-making.”


Neowin: YouTube Music will soon let you upload your entire local music library. “Sources have confirmed to 9to5Google that Google has rolled out the ability to upload one’s entire music library in an internal build of YouTube Music. This feature is similar to what the company offered with Google Play Music.”

Institute of Museum and Library Services: IMLS Statement on the President’s FY 2021 Budget Proposal. “Today, the Trump Administration released details from its budget request to Congress for FY 2021. The White House has requested $23 million in funding for the orderly closure of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, effective October 1, 2020.”


Illinois State Genealogical Society Blog: Celebrating Black History Month – FREE Online Resources for African-American Research. “In honor of Black History month, Fold3 is making the records in its Black History Collection available for free through the end of February! Their collection includes over a millions records spanning the Civil War era through the Civil Rights Movement.” There are a bunch of Illinois-specific links here too.

Analytics India: Top 10 Tools For No-code AI & ML. “Enterprises primarily rely on the two domains — artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in order to build and deploy various kinds of models for the smooth operation of their business. However, it requires programmers or data scientists with adequate knowledge of coding, which enterprises often lack. In a bid to ease such woes of the enterprises, tech giants are now open-sourcing their platforms and providing developer tools to ensure businesses can match the ongoing pace without the need for a coding expert. In this article, we list down ten such tools which can be used to develop models without being an expert in coding.”


The Verge: A history of Simlish, the language that defined The Sims. “We listened to their lovemaking in Simlish, their anguish in Simlish, their cries of delight in Simlish. It’s the language forged by the game’s creators over 20 years ago that has underscored the Sims universe since. Forged, because Simlish was not only crafted to last, but crafted to be appreciated over time. Few jokes are able to trap the delights of audiences for 20 years, and fewer still live long enough to see themselves seamlessly integrated into TikTok.”


Engadget: Android security flaw lets attackers send malware over Bluetooth. “If you’re using a not-quite current Android phone, you’ll probably want to check for an update. Security researchers at ERNW have detailed a vulnerability, BlueFrag, that lets attackers silently deliver malware to and steal data from nearby phones running Android 8 Oreo or Android 9 Pie.”


Nature: Highly cited researcher banned from journal board for citation abuse. “A US-based biophysicist who is one of the world’s most highly cited researchers has been removed from the editorial board of one journal and barred as a reviewer for another, after repeatedly manipulating the peer-review process to amass citations to his own work.”

EurekAlert: Study shows social media and search engines are better than their reputation suggests. “Based on an innovative analysis of the web browsing behavior of more than 5,000 German Internet users, the results show that the use of intermediaries such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, or portals like GMX actually results in more visits to news sites and a greater variety of news sites visited. This runs counter to what has been postulated to date.”

Slate: How Algorithmic Bias Hurts People With Disabilities. “A hiring tool analyzes facial movements and tone of voice to assess job candidates’ video interviews. A study reports that Facebook’s algorithm automatically shows users job ads based on inferences about their gender and race. Facial recognition tools work less accurately on people with darker skin tones. As more instances of algorithmic bias hit the headlines, policymakers are starting to respond. But in this important conversation, a critical area is being overlooked: the impact on people with disabilities.” Good morning, Internet…

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