Utah Missing People, UK Web Archive, DuckDuckGo, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, March 7, 2020


Found via Reddit, a new Web site aggregating information about missing people from Utah: The Names That Matter. From the front page: “Our goal is to compare and compile all state and national databases of missing persons and unidentified remains to create a single reference record for each Utah case. We’ll keep you updated in our blog with information discrepancies and our efforts to contact these databases and resolve conflicting cases.”


British Library: 15 Years of the UK Web Archive – The Early Years. “Think back 15 years to the beginning of 2005. Future Prime Minister David Cameron wasn’t yet Leader of the Conservative party and Google Maps, Twitter and the iPhone all had yet to be launched. It was, however, the year that we started collecting copies of UK published websites for permanent preservation and access.”

CNET: Privacy-focused DuckDuckGo launches new effort to block online tracking. “The company said Thursday it’s started sharing a data set called Tracker Radar that details 5,326 internet domains used by 1,727 companies and organizations that track you online. The data is available to anyone, and browser maker Vivaldi said on Tuesday it has begun doing so.”

The Verge: YouTube is demonetizing videos about coronavirus, and creators are mad . “Everyone wants to talk about the novel coronavirus outbreak right now, but you might hear YouTubers avoiding the subject — if they talk about it, they risk getting their ads shut off.”


MakeUseOf: The 5 Best Private Search Engines That Respect Your Data. “Finding a search engine that’s both effective and not hell-bent on selling on your information is hard. Fortunately, they do exist, and there are plenty of them for you to choose from. Here are some of the best private search engines available that won’t use you as a product.”


Amnesty International: Pho noodles and pandas: How China’s social media users created a new language to beat government censorship on COVID-19. “To fully appreciate conversations on China’s social media platforms, merely knowing Chinese is not enough. To evade the most extensive internet censorship system in the world, netizens have no option but to create their own vocabulary to discuss ‘sensitive issues’. This language keeps evolving as the government constantly adds new topics and terms that are prohibited. And there’s no better example of this linguistic cat-and-mouse game between China’s social media users and the country’s legions of online censors than the current COVID-19 epidemic.”

CNN: In the overlooked world of LinkedIn influencers, a plumber finds a following. “At Texas Green Plumbing, a residential plumbing company in Dallas, the setup resembles a traditional workplace: a reception area, several offices and a training space. But one room has been transformed into a home-made studio decked out with a microphone, video camera, lights and a backdrop that features shelves held up by pipes. That’s where Roger Wakefield, a 56-year-old plumber and owner of the company, spends half of each week filming advice and how-to videos — with the help of a hired videographer — to post to his thousands of followers on LinkedIn, as well as other social media channels.”

ABC News (Australia): Google Maps mission for Wollongong-born hiker on remote New Zealand trail . “A woman with a taste for risky, solo hiking is about to complete a spectacular top-secret journey for tech giant Google, wearing a custom-made backpack with 360-degree camera. After having to lay flat on the ground and grip a boulder for stability in the face of 100kph winds in Patagonia, anything less should be a walk in the park for Sharmali Kulatunga.”


Phys .org: Why drug sellers see the internet as a lucrative safe haven. “More than six years after the demise of Silk Road, the world’s first major drug cryptomarket, the dark web is still home to a thriving trade in illicit drugs. These markets host hundreds, or in some cases thousands, of people who sell drugs, commonly referred to as ‘vendors.’ The dark web offers vital anonymity for vendors and buyers, who use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to process transactions.”

BloombergQuint: AT&T Is Cooperating With Justice Department in Google Probe. “AT&T Inc. is cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department in its Google investigation, which is exploring whether the online search and advertising giant violated antitrust laws, according to a person familiar to the situation.”

Japan Times: Spanish ruling on ‘right to be forgotten’ says Google must put man’s acquittal at top of search results. “A Spanish court has partially accepted Google’s appeal against a ruling that ordered it to erase news articles about a man accused of sexual abuse, but the new judgement said the company had to display the man’s acquittal at the top of any search results.”


Techdirt: Turns Out Most People Still Don’t Hate ‘Big Internet’ As Much As Politicians And The Media Want Them To. “The good folks over at The Verge have done a big consumer survey of people’s general opinions of various big internet companies and it shows that most people still like these internet services, and believe, on the whole, that they make their lives better, not worse. Even the services that get the ‘worst’ grades, still get over a 60% ‘favorable’ rating, while Amazon, Google, YouTube, Netflix, Microsoft, and Apple all come in over 80% positive (with Amazon, Google, and YouTube breaking 90%).” Good morning, Internet…

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