Mapping Vulnerability, Ireland Films, Skype, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, July 19, 2020


Brookings Institution: A new tool for tracking vulnerability and premature mortality in America. “…we have built an interactive vulnerability indicator that shows the links between state-level trends in well-being (optimism and worry) and county-level trends in deaths of despair. Our indicator allows users to see how these accord with county- and state-level trends in poverty, unemployment, and average household income. As such, the indicator allows users to see how these trends vary by populations, by state and county, and their relationship with trends in well-being (and ill-being).”

Irish Film Institute: The Reel Art Collection Launches IFI@Home. “The Irish Film Institute is delighted to announce the launch of its new video-on-demand platform, IFI@Home. The platform, now live at, will make a selection of the IFI’s unique brand of Irish and international programming available to audiences across Ireland for the first time.” Please note this collection appears to be geo-restricted.


Neowin: Skype 8.62 adds preset replaceable backgrounds on desktop, new grid view for video calls. “Microsoft is rolling out a new update for its Skype apps, just under one month after the last update was released. That update, version 8.61, replaced the React Native version of Skype that used to be available on the Microsoft Store with one based on Electron, similar to the desktop version you can find on the Skype website.”


MIT Technology Review: How to talk to conspiracy theorists—and still be kind. “So how do you talk to a person who believes a conspiracy theory? This is something that the members of one of the internet’s most vibrant communities, r/ChangeMyView, deal with on a daily basis. This is the place on Reddit where people go to have their own beliefs challenged, and it is known as a calm, moderate place for debate. We asked some of its most active users, as well as some conspiracy theory researchers, for their tips.”

Wired: How to Check Your Devices for Stalkerware . “WHETHER IT’S A prying boss or a paranoid partner, no one should snoop on your phone or laptop. But that’s exactly what can happen if stalkerware somehow gets installed on your devices. These software tools are designed to be hidden and difficult to detect, but you can find them if you know how.”


DubaiLad: Has Palestine Really Been Removed From Google And Apple Maps?. “Palestine is a small region of land around 2,400 sare miles in size and is recognised as the State of Palestine by the United Nations. But it’s not officially represented on Google Maps. And while it’s often referred to as the region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, and can include Gaza Strip and the West Bank, there isn’t an official border. Which has lead to controversy in the region over who owns the land.”

WalesOnline: Facebook group showing how to inject fillers taken down after woman needed treatment. “A Facebook group which showed people how to inject themselves with fillers and Botox has been removed after a woman required emergency treatment. The private group, called Natural Kaos Tribe, had videos of people injecting themselves and links to other sites where you can buy Botox, filler and needles, PA reports.”

British Library: Mervyn Peake’s scariest drawings saved for the nation . “Today we are announcing the acquisition of over 300 drawings from the pen of one of the 20th century’s greatest illustrators, Mervyn Peake. The archive includes fearsome and funny illustrations for classics such as Treasure Island, The Hunting of the Snark and Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm, as well as illustrations for his own books including Gormenghast, Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor and Letters From a Lost Uncle.”


The Scotsman: Influencer accused of £200m plot to defraud Edinburgh firm. “Ramon Abbas, who has attracted millions of followers on the social media network by sharing images of his lavish lifestyle, is alleged to have conspired to launder hundreds of millions of pounds from frauds known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and other scams.”

New York Times: Hackers Tell the Story of the Twitter Attack From the Inside. “Despite global attention on the intrusion, which has shaken confidence in Twitter and the security provided by other technology companies, the basic details of who were responsible, and how they did it, have been a mystery. Officials are still in the early stages of their investigation. But four people who participated in the scheme spoke with The Times and shared numerous logs and screen shots of the conversations they had on Tuesday and Wednesday, demonstrating their involvement both before and after the hack became public.”


NiemanLab: Biased algorithms on platforms like YouTube hurt people looking for information on health. “Several public health agencies, such as state health departments, have invested resources in YouTube as a channel for health communication. Patients with chronic health conditions especially rely on social media, including YouTube videos, to learn more about how to manage their conditions. But video recommendations on such sites could exacerbate preexisting disparities in health.”

Phys .org: How well do you know your bumblebees?. “To mark Bees’ Needs Week, the X-Polli:Nation project launched the fun species identification tool which helps to distinguish bumblebee species in photos, in collaboration with Artificial Intelligence technologies. Users can use an interactive identification key, seek suggestions from automated image recognition and receive formative feedback through automatically generated texts. There are over 100 photos to practice on, organized in four difficulty levels.” Good morning, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: morningbuzz

Leave a Reply