afternoonbuzz

Massachusetts History, Earth-Like Planets, North Carolina Newspapers, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, April 9, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

Boston Globe: Essex Heritage launches online database for outdoor and cultural resources. “Imagine browsing through the history of the Salem Witch Trials , the Whittier Home in Amesbury where American Quaker poet and abolitionist John Whittier wrote much of his work, and the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport all from the comfort of your home, These and other historical and cultural sites are featured in a new website crafted by the Essex National Heritage Commission in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has shuttered these sites and cultural resources across Massachusetts and the country.”

Space: You can build your own Earth 2.0 with the awesome website ‘Earth-like’. “You can now build your very own Earth 2.0! A new website allows users to create an Earth-like planet with a wide selection of options in an effort to demonstrate how many of the new exoplanets lauded as ‘Earth-like’ may not resemble our planet at all. The researchers behind this website hope to clear up some of the confusion about what the phrase ‘Earth-like’ really means.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

DigitalNC: Additional issues of Raleigh’s The Carolinian Newspaper from the Civil Rights Era now Online . “The newest issues to DigitalNC of one of Raleigh’s African American newspapers, The Carolinian, cover the most turbulent years of the Civil Rights Era. Recently added are issues from 1959-1962, 1965-1972. These join issues from 1945-1958, 1963-1964, which are already available on our site.”

Census .gov: American FactFinder Officially Retired: Data.census.gov Now Primary Data Tool. “Today the U.S. Census Bureau retired American FactFinder (AFF), the primary dissemination tool on census.gov for the past 20 years. Beginning in June of 2019, the Census Bureau stopped releasing new data in AFF, and transitioned to data.census.gov for data releases formerly on AFF. Data.census.gov represents a new chapter in the Census Bureau’s dissemination approach by centralizing data access and allowing for a more rapid response to customers.”

Softpedia News: Cloudflare Launches Free VPN for Windows and Mac, Linux Version Also Coming. “Cloudflare has released the first beta of WARP for Windows and Mac, one year after the application make its way to mobile devices. Available free of charge on the two platforms right now, WARP is supposed to make its way to Linux as well, but Cloudflare says additional work is required in this regard.”

USEFUL STUFF

DigitalArts: Find beautiful, free illustrations of black people on this new website. “Coming to fill a longtime gap in the market is Black Illustrations, a series of free digital designs of black people as released this week by Miami-based agency 5Four. As their mission statement reminds, people of colour are often underrepresented in illustrations, lacking in the design process and often go unseen in visuals across the internet. 5Four saw the lack of diversity as an opportunity to create a free resource for everyone, a way to add diversity to online content by showcasing black people and people of colour in a myriad of tasks, including medical work.”

Search Engine Journal: Google SEO 101: Image Search Best Practices & Changes Over the Years. “Changes to Google’s image search results over the years, and current best practices, are discussed in a newly uploaded presentation. The presentation was given by Francois Spies, Product Manager for Google Images, at Google’s Webmaster Conference in November. Google just published a batch of videos from the conference so, for most people, this is their first time seeing it. Here’s a recap of Spies’ presentation on Google Images.”

Digital Inspiration: How PR can Pitch Journalists and Bloggers with Mail Merge for Gmail. “In this tutorial, I’ll show you how you can use send personalised email pitches to your media contacts through Gmail and Google Sheets. You’ll be able to schedule your press releases in advance and also track which influencers have seen your emails.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Ukrainian Weekly: Thousands of Ukrainians gather online to protest against cuts to culture budget. “The protest slogan was ‘No to Destroying Culture!’ It was the first rally in Ukraine held in an online format. About 10,000 people were willing to join the action from all over Ukraine, according to organizers. Unfortunately, due to technical limitations, only 1,000 participants could take part in the event at one time. Still, during the two hours of the online meeting, participants replaced each other in a video call via the Zoom application. Others watched the stream on Facebook and YouTube.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Reuters: France rules Google must pay news firms for content. “France’s competition authority ruled on Thursday that Google must pay French publishing companies and news agencies for re-using their content. The U.S. tech firm said it would comply with the French competition authority verdict, which followed a complaint by unions representing French press publishers.”

The Register: Please, just stop downloading apps from unofficial stores: Android users hit with ‘unkillable malware’ . “Known as xHelper, the malware has been spreading mainly in Russia, Europe, and Southwest Asia on Android 6 and 7 devices (which while old and out of date, make up around 15 per cent of the current user base) for the past year from unofficial app stores. Once on a gizmo, it opens a backdoor, allowing miscreants to spy on owners, steal their data, and cause mischief.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Berkeley School of Information: Privacy Beyond Privacy Settings: A Twitter Case Study. “We use machine learning techniques to build a model that is capable of looking at user’s Twitter data and determining their political tendency. This approach demonstrates how malicious actors could build such a model and use that model in disinformation campaign. This work is specially critical in an election year and intends to demonstrate how fragile democracy is. If users knew how their Twitter activity would be perceived then they might be more careful with their activities. We have a built a website to help users know exactly that! Our website enables users to learn about their political tendency scores based on their Twitter activities!” Good afternoon, Internet…

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