WWII Memorials, Google News, Google, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 28, 2020


Standard-Examiner: Everyday Heroes: Bountiful resident wants to memorialize every soldier who died during WWII, looking for help. “[Don] Milne, 59, of Bountiful, recently launched a nonprofit called ‘Stories Behind the Stars,’ an ambitious project that aims to compile short histories of all of the 400,000 plus American soldiers who died during WWII. The histories would be searchable, by name, from an online database Milne is creating. He says he’s also developing a smartphone app that would link to the database and allow people to scan names from war memorials and headstones, then instantly be taken to a particular soldier’s biography. A self-described ‘history buff,’ particularly of WWII, Milne has been blogging and writing military bios for fallen soldiers of the war pretty much every day for that past three years. So far, he’s written about 1,200 profiles, piecing the stories together mainly through sources he’s found online.”


Reuters: Google to pay some publishers for content; others dubious. “Alphabet’s Google on Thursday took a step towards resolving its spat with publishers, saying it would pay some media groups in Australia, Brazil and Germany for high-quality content and expects to do more deals, but others were sceptical.” Shocked. Really.

NDTV: Google to Start Offering Loans to Merchants in India, Rolls Out ‘Nearby Stores’ Spot Nationwide. “Google is set to start offering loans to merchants in India through the Google Pay for Business app. The search giant said on Thursday that it is working with partner financial institutions to help small businesses in the country impacted due to the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to offering loans, Google announced a national rollout of ‘Nearby Stores’ Spot on Google Pay to help businesses get discovered by customers in their locality. The feature was launched earlier this year in cities including Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune.”


The Verge: Are TikTok activists actually shutting down Trump’s online merch stores? An investigation. “Some critics of President Donald Trump have spent the last few days trying to lock up Trump-branded merchandise by leaving thousands of products from his online stores in shopping carts. But while the attack has become a kind of resistance meme, reminiscent of recent pranks on the president’s Tulsa rally, it’s far less clear whether the hoax actually prevented Trump’s stores from selling merchandise.”

CNET: Before the cats came: The web of 1995 leaves me nostalgic for simpler times. “My web circa 1995 will always be three sites: Suck, Argon Zark and the T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S Project. Put up by two Rice University students to document their experiments to determine the properties of Twinkies, the T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S Project was text heavy, with cheesy graphics and tiny photos. Ugly, but full of smarts, character and innocent charm. And a quarter of a century later, the homespun site still makes me , even if the only way to see it is in the Internet Archive.”


Arab News: Egypt court jails belly dancer for ‘debauchery’ in social media crackdown. “A high-profile Egyptian belly-dancer, Sama el-Masry, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($18,500) on Saturday for inciting debauchery and immorality as part of a crackdown on social media postings. El-Masry was arrested in April during an investigation into videos and photos on social media, including the popular video-sharing platform TikTok, that the public prosecution described as sexually suggestive.”

NBC News: Spyware hidden in Chinese tax software was probably planted by a nation-state, say experts. “Earlier this year, a multinational technology vendor doing business in China was instructed by its Chinese bank to install software to pay local taxes. The tax software was legitimate, but embedded inside it was a nasty surprise, according to a new report by a private security firm: A sophisticated piece of malware that gave attackers complete access to the company’s network.”

Ubergizmo: US Senators Propose A Bill To End ‘Warrant-Proof’ Encryption. “In the past, companies would have to fight requests from law enforcement agencies whenever they are asked to hand over information about their customers. These days, it has gotten a lot easier in the sense that tech companies are handing the encryption keys over to their customers.”


Twitter Blog: Using data from the conversation on Twitter to help detect wildfires. “This wildfire season, is set to combine data from the unfolding conversation on Twitter with its proprietary incident detection system, which is based on satellite sensors, an array of 35,000 traffic cameras, and IP911 to power a comprehensive detection and a highly targeted notification tracker. has developed a comprehensive dispatch platform and a mobile app which will provide first responders and civilians unprecedented access to real-time incident information — and has so far had much success in detecting wildfires using its proprietary platform and is being used as a template for other disasters in Mayday’s roadmap.”

ReliefWeb: Innovation in post-disaster data collection: From the Caribbean to the world. “Responding and rebuilding first requires data on what has been damaged or destroyed, and where. In the past, data collection was a laborious paper-based process that took months or years. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused massive destruction in the region in 2017, UNDP and partners launched a new tool to do such assessments in a matter of days. (UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Multi-County Office partnered with WFP, UNICEF, PAHO/WHO and UN Women.) The tool is a mobile app called HBDA, or Household and Building Damage Assessment. It works on a smartphone or tablet.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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