Smoky Mountains Graves, Adventist Church, Google, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, July 5, 2020


Knox News: 163 veterans’ graves have been located in the Smokies. A new database is helping honor them. “From the American Revolution to the Vietnam War, countless Tennesseans have sacrificed their lives for the United States. Some are remembered with extravagant headstones — others with small rocks marking their graves. But no matter what, Joe Emert told Knox News, ‘we just can never forget our veterans.’ Emert is an organizer for a project launched in January to discover and document veterans buried in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on both the Tennessee and North Carolina sides.”

Adventist Review Online: New Adventist Encyclopedia Maps Church History, Looks to the Future. “In the past, church historians and scholars have struggled to find accurate and up-to-date information about the Adventist Church. As of July 1, 2020, that situation has changed. Thanks to the new [Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists], researchers will have access to the most current data. The ESDA is the Adventist Church’s first international online reference work, featuring more than 2,100 published articles on Adventist history and heritage written by nearly 1,000 authors from around the world. Article topics include Adventist missionaries, administrators, educators, institutions, global topics, beliefs, and more.”


The Register: If you wanna make your own open-source chip, just Google it. Literally. Web giant says it’ll fab them for free. “If you’re doodling your own computer chip yet wondering if you’ll ever see it physically manufactured, Google is offering to fabricate it for you for free. There are a few caveats.”

Observer: Feeling Heat, Mark Zuckerberg Will Meet With Civil Rights Groups Boycotting Facebook. “While the boycott may not make a significant dent in the company’s income, global brands such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola publicly calling for the platform to change is a big deal. And after a team of top Facebook executives failed to talk those advertisers out of it, CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally agreed to meet with the civil rights groups behind the boycott and hear what they want, a spokesperson confirmed to Reuters late Tuesday.”

The Verge: DuckDuckGo reinstated in India after being unreachable since July 1st. “Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has been restored in India after being unreachable for many users there since July 1st, Android Police reported. Reports about what was causing the outage have varied.” I’m glad this was resolved relatively quickly, because it was weird.


FamilySearch Blog: New: Online Genealogy Consultations with Family History Library Experts. “Humans have an innate need to know their identities—who their ancestors are and where they come from. Finding that past sometimes requires individualized expert assistance. Now such assistance is available worldwide—for free—through, regardless of location or research question. Anyone can share the vast resources and expert services of the Family History Library by scheduling one-on-one online consultations. Genealogical specialists talk with guests in English and Spanish and will soon be available in other languages as well.”


BBC: Finding the ‘invisible’ millions who are not on maps. “‘There are about two billion people in the world who don’t appear on a proper map,’ says Ivan Gayton from the charity Humanitarian OpenStreetMap. ‘It’s shameful that we – as cartographers of the world – don’t take enough interest to even know where they are. People are living and dying without appearing on any database.'”

Mashable: Best of the nice internet in 2020, so far. “We’re officially halfway through 2020 and it’s, uh, not great, Bob! Between the global pandemic and the massive social unrest, many of us are left anxious without much to do but…stare at our screens and become more anxious. In addition to being a hellscape, the internet is — thankfully — also always home to some wholesomeness, no matter what’s going on IRL. Here’s some niceness that’ll keep you going throughout the rest of the year (well, hopefully).”

AceShowbiz: Idris Elba Debuts Charity Single To Fund Black Cultural Archives . “Idris Elba has released a single to raise funds for Britain’s Black Cultural Archives (BCA) institution. The actor and DJ has teamed up with south London rapper Tiggs Da Author and electro-pop producers The Knocks for the track, ‘One Fine Day’.”


TechCrunch: Police roll up crime networks in Europe after infiltrating popular encrypted chat app. “Hundreds of alleged drug dealers and other criminals are in custody today after police in Europe infiltrated an encrypted chat system reportedly used by thousands to discuss illegal operations. The total failure of this ostensibly secure method of communication will likely have a chilling effect on the shadowy industry of crime-focused tech.”

Techdirt: Boston The Latest City To Ban Facial Recognition Use By Government Agencies. “San Francisco led the way. Then the entire state of California followed suit. And on the other side of the country, a few smaller cities in Massachusetts did the same thing: banned facial recognition. It just makes sense. The tech that’s out there is as dangerous as it is unproven. Mostly known for its false positive rates, facial recognition software has shown it’s capable of amplifying existing biases into actionable ‘intel’ with the power to severely disrupt people’s lives.”


Vulture: I Tried to Be Twitter-Famous. “Black Twitter is the place where Twitter goes to have a social life: the coolness of black culture reconstructed in memes, social insights, and pop culture commentary. Black Twitter has, essentially, become Twitter. I say this as someone whose job it used to be to write social media content for agencies whose client lists included Nike, Adidas, and Google. My first day on one new job, I sat down to read the company’s onboarding materials—a roster of strategic data collected about every viable social media platform, including Twitter. What was listed for its demographic? ’95 percent Smart Black People.'” Good morning, Internet…

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