Chernobyl Photography, Georgia Broadband, Abstract Wikipedia, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, July 2, 2020


British Journal of Photography: Maxim Dondyuk rebuilds a lost archive of life in Chernobyl. “Wandering through one of the thousands of evacuated homes, the photographer discovered piles of postcards, letters, and photographs, hidden beneath 30 years of debris. The Ukranian government considers anything left behind as ‘radioactive trash’, and forbids visitors from removing them from the exclusion zone. But, [Maxim] Dondyuk couldn’t bear to leave the artefacts he found to decay, so over the next two years, he continued to return, disguising himself as a landscape photographer, smuggling the photographs out of the exclusion zone, and rebuilding the lost archives of the families and individuals who once called the region their home.”


AllOnGeorgia: New Broadband Availability Map Shows 1 Million+ Georgians Without Reliable Internet Access. “Governor Brian Kemp announced Wednesday the publication of Georgia’s Broadband Availability Map, a new tool that will bring more transparency about the internet marketplace and clarify which Georgia households do not have access to high-speed internet. Currently, more than a million Georgians lack access to reliable high-speed internet service, defined by the Federal Communications Commission as twenty-five megabits per second download and three megabits per second upload (25/3 mpbs).”

Neowin: New wiki project – Abstract Wikipedia – will boost content across languages. “The project was first proposed in a 22-page paper by Denny Vrandečić, founder of Wikidata, earlier this year. He had floated a new idea that would allow contributors to create content using abstract notation which could then be translated to different natural languages, balancing out content more evenly, no matter the language you speak.” My head would absolutely not wrap around this until I saw a page of examples.


Mashable: The best apps for remembering that website you want to revisit. “Maybe you’re trying to remember that really funny video you saw online but can’t remember what the heck it was called. You can’t find it online. Your browser history doesn’t go that far back, and it’s not pulling anything up. Or maybe you’re just a bit of a digital hoarder, like me. Either way, not being able to find what you’re looking for is, well, annoying. I’m here to solve this problem. Here are a few of my favorite apps that will help you create your very own web history archive so you never forget about another website you once visited again.”


Hyperallergic: An Instagram Account Is Amplifying Anonymous Testimonies of Racism in Museums. “Ranging from micro-aggressions to blatant instances of race- and gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment, cultural workers are speaking out against the culture inside modern museums.”

Poynter: As TikTok grapples with weightier topics, journalists are tuning in to deliver the news. “CNN’s Max Foster started using TikTok to understand what his kids were up to online. He saw straight TikTok, where teenagers do choreographed dances from their parents’ homes. And he saw elite or alt TikTok, where users impersonate vegetables, retail brands and frogs. Mostly, he saw an opportunity for journalists.”


CNN: Black Facebook employee and two job applicants file EEOC complaint alleging discrimination. “One current Facebook manager and two job applicants have filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that Facebook has ‘a general policy of discrimination against Black applicants and workers, including in hiring, evaluations, promotions, and pay.'”

EFF: California Agency Blocks Release of Police Use of Force and Surveillance Training, Claiming Copyright. “Under a California law that went into effect on January 1, 2020, all law enforcement training materials must be ‘conspicuously’ published on the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) website. However, if you visit POST’s Open Data hub and try to download the officer training materials relating to face recognition technology or automated license plate readers (ALPRs), or the California Peace Officers Association’s course on use of force, you will receive only a Word document with a single sentence.”


Cornell Chronicle: Research reflects how AI sees through the looking glass. “Things are different on the other side of the mirror. Text is backward. Clocks run counterclockwise. Cars drive on the wrong side of the road. Right hands become left hands. Intrigued by how reflection changes images in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, a team of Cornell researchers used artificial intelligence to investigate what sets originals apart from their reflections. Their algorithms learned to pick up on unexpected clues such as hair parts, gaze direction and, surprisingly, beards – findings with implications for training machine learning models and detecting faked images.”

New York Times: Here Come the 4 Horsemen of the Techopolypse. “It’s clear that the chief executives wanted to appear together, not so much for support — frenemies is about as close as I would describe them, and there is intense dislike between some of the companies — but in the hopes that a group appearance will keep any one of them from being singled out for intense scrutiny. Some are suggesting that a multiday interrogation, with each chief executive facing a small number of experienced questioners, as well as real people they hurt, would be a better way to grill the tech moguls.” Good evening, Internet…

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