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WWII Draft Cards, Michigan Sustainable Energy, Paranormal Archives, More: Friday Evening ResearchBuzz, February 28, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

BusinessWire: Ancestry® Announces Digitization of All 36 Million Available US Draft Cards, Answering More Members’ Questions About Family History (PRESS RELEASE). “Today at RootsTech, the largest family history technology conference, Ancestry® announced the release of a game-changing content collection of all 36 million of the nation’s available World War II young man’s draft cards, further empowering customers’ journeys of personal discovery. Available now on Ancestry, the completion of this multi-year project with the US National Archives & Records Administration involved digitizing these valuable records to create a fully searchable collection, including color images.”

State of Michigan: EGLE launches unique renewable energy ordinance database of Michigan communities. “The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) today launched a unique searchable database of municipal ordinances across Michigan that address siting for renewable energy installations. The database was developed in collaboration with the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan. Over half of Michigan’s more than 1,800 municipalities have considered renewable energy in their zoning ordinances. The renewable energy zoning database is the first compilation of all renewable energy ordinances across the state and the first database of its kind in the nation.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

University of Manitoba: The University of Manitoba’s archive of the paranormal just became a little more extraordinary. “The University of Manitoba’s collection of the paranormal just got a little further out of this world. In October, the university’s archives and special collections unit received a private donation by Canadian ufologist Chris Rutkowski of some 30,000 UFO-related materials. It all adds to the university’s already impressive Psychical Research and Spiritualism Collections, making it a hub for paranormal archival research in Canada.” This story was ringing a bell with me and I couldn’t figure out what it was until I realized I was confusing it with the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick and its donation of UFO materials from Stanton Friedman.UfOH, CANADA….

CNET: Raspberry Pi cuts price of 2GB model to $35. “Celebrating its eighth birthday, Raspberry Pi announced Thursday that its 2GB Model B will be available for $35 — a $10 price cut from its normal $45 cost. The organization attributed the price cut to falling RAM prices. The latest model of the single-board computer, beloved by hobbyists and hackers, is now available at the same price as the original Raspberry Pi when it premiered in 2012, a price that will be adopted across all approved resellers.”

USEFUL STUFF

Medium: Big Data concepts explained in a simple application. “In this article, I will show you the most common issues that might occur in a very simple Big Data application and, based on these problems, I will explain the core concepts from the world of Big Data.” I really liked this. Walks you through a lot of things to consider.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Markup: Swinging the Vote?. “Pete Buttigieg is leading at 63 percent. Andrew Yang came in second at 46 percent. And Elizabeth Warren looks like she’s in trouble with 0 percent. These aren’t poll numbers for the U.S. 2020 Democratic presidential contest. Instead, they reflect which candidates were able to consistently land in Gmail’s primary inbox in a simple test.” Techdirt has a thoughtful response to this story.

SECURITY & LEGAL

New York Times: Facebook, Google and Twitter Rebel Against Pakistan’s Censorship Rules. “When Pakistan’s government unveiled some of the world’s most sweeping rules on internet censorship this month, global internet companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter were expected to comply or face severe penalties — including the potential shutdown of their services. Instead, the tech giants banded together and threatened to leave the country and its 70 million internet users in digital darkness.”

Techdirt: NSA Blew $100 Million On Phone Records Over Five Years, Generated Exactly One Usable Lead. “The telephone metadata program the NSA finally put out to pasture in 2019 was apparently well past its expiration date. Since the initial Snowden leak in 2013, critics have argued the program needed to die since it was obviously the sort of general warrant rummaging (only without the warrant!) the founding fathers headed off with the Fourth Amendment.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Next Web: This AI needs your help to identify child abusers by their hands. “The research team has appealed to the public for help with the project. They want anyone over the age of 18 to upload photos of their hands through a new smartphone app. The images will then be added to a database that’s used to develop the hand comparison algorithms. The researchers say they need more than 5,000 images to prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether our hands are truly unique. They promise that everyone who participates will remain anonymous. The images will never shared with external agencies, and will be destroyed at the end of the project.”

The Guardian: Users would tell Facebook their bank balance for $8.44 a month. “German Facebook users would want the social media platform to pay them about $8 per month for sharing their contact information, while US users would only seek $3.50, according to a study of how people in various countries value their private information.” Good evening, Internet…

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