Atlas of Surveillance, Translating Hieroglyphics, Eliza R. Snow, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, July 16, 2020


Electronic Frontier Foundation: EFF Launches Searchable Database of Police Agencies and the Tech Tools They Use to Spy on Communities. “The Atlas of Surveillance database, containing several thousand data points on over 3,000 city and local police departments and sheriffs’ offices nationwide, allows citizens, journalists, and academics to review details about the technologies police are deploying, and provides a resource to check what devices and systems have been purchased locally.”

Arab News: Google’s new tool lets you translate Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. “If you’ve ever wondered what messages the Ancient Egyptians were trying to convey with their hieroglyphics, Google’s new tool might just be able to help. In celebration of the anniversary of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, Google Arts and Culture has released a new AI-powered tool, Fabricius, that allows you to decode and translate the ancient symbols and characters into both Arabic and English.”

Salt Lake Tribune: New online collection will help LDS readers discover the Eliza R. Snow they never knew. “After Emma Smith, the beloved wife of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, Eliza R. Snow may be the best-known woman in Latter-day Saint history. Snow was a dominating presence in 19th-century Mormonism. She was at the founding meeting of the faith’s female Relief Society and later became its president. She championed women’s suffrage and heralded women’s voices. And she penned the words to one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ most famous hymns, ‘O My Father,’ which ironically laid out a theological argument for a Heavenly Mother.”


Voice of America: Notre Dame Cathedral to be Rebuilt Without Modern Touches. “Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt just the way it stood before last year’s devastating fire. No swimming pool or organic garden on the roof of the medieval Paris monument, or contemporary glass spire, or other modern twists. And to stay historically accurate, it will again be built with potentially toxic lead.”


Poynter: Here are some digital tools for a more productive — and fun — summer. “Welcome! I’m Jeremy Caplan, a guest contributor with some new tools and resources. I’m director of teaching and learning for CUNY’s Newmark Grad School of Journalism in New York City and a former Time Magazine reporter. I explore new stuff and write about the most useful tools I find in a free newsletter called Wonder Tools.”


Motherboard: This Guy Is Crossing the Country In Google Street View, One Click at a Time. “On June 19, Uday Schultz hit the road. The 19-year-old rising sophomore at Harvard decided to spend part of his summer break fulfilling a dream he has had since middle school. He was going to drive across the country. But without a car and the pandemic in full swing, he decided to do it all from his Brooklyn house. So Schultz fired up Google Street View, plugged in Seattle, and started clicking his way back home.”

New York Times: What if the U.S. Bans TikTok?. “Since Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News…that the United States was considering banning TikTok over national security concerns, a sentiment echoed by President Donald Trump in an interview on Tuesday, TikTok users have been scrambling.”

Los Angeles Times: Reddit moderators spent years asking for help fighting hate. The company may finally be listening. “When [Jefferson] Kelley, a Reddit moderator, booted hateful users off threads where Black people discussed sensitive personal experiences, racial slurs piled up in his inbox. Crude remarks about women filled the comment sections under his favorite ‘Star Trek’ GIFs. The proliferation of notorious forums, including one that perpetuated a vicious racist stereotype about Black fathers, stung Kelley, a Black father himself. Kelley and other moderators repeatedly pleaded with the company to back them up and take stronger action against harassment and hate speech. But Reddit never quite came through. Then, all of a sudden, that seemed to change.


BNN Bloomberg: Google Gets Record Belgian Privacy Fine Over ‘Right to Be Forgotten’. “Google was fined a record 600,000 euros ($681,400) by Belgium’s data protection authority for failing to delete links regulators deemed harmful to a person’s reputation under the European Union’s right to be forgotten.”

BuzzFeed News: Data Collection And State Surveillance Put LGBTQ People At Risk Online And Off . “A new report outlines the minefield of online threats LGBTQ people have to navigate online, from overt state surveillance to tracking via facial recognition to dating app information that gets shared with data brokers and advertisers. Recorded Future, a cybersecurity company, released a detailed look at what queer communities outside North America have to grapple with. The idea, senior director Maggie McDaniel said, was to better understand where deeper security research is needed.”


Tubefilter: What Makes A YouTube Video Hit The Trending Tab? This Data Scientist Broke Down Every Single Video That Trended In 2019.. “We’ll likely never get a true peek under the hood from YouTube itself. But thanks to data scientist Ammar Alyousfi, we now have a massive amount of data about every single video that hit the tab in 2019, as well as corresponding conclusions about what qualities these videos tend to share. To compile his report, Alyousfi ran an automated script that scraped data from YouTube’s Trending tab every day throughout the year.”


The Verge: Librarians Turned Google Forms Into The Unlikely Platform For Virtual Escape Rooms. “On the day the Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania, was supposed to unveil a superhero-themed escape room, the library had to close its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. With no physical location to work with, librarian Sydney Krawiec started to devise an alternative: a digital escape room created in Google Forms.” Good morning, Internet…

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