Mass Shooters, Women in STEM, Google Chrome, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, July 29, 2020


PRNewswire: Database Of Mass Shooters Revised And Expanded (PRESS RELEASE). “Version 2.0 of the database is being released to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, which claimed 32 lives over a 24-hour period. The database now includes names and information for all 1,215 people killed in a mass shooting since 1966—the youngest was 18 months, the oldest was 98. It also includes a new firearms database of all 377 guns used in mass shootings since 1966, individually coded by when and how they were obtained. Although two-thirds were legally obtained, 30% of guns used in mass shootings came into the shooter’s possession within the month prior to being used.”

Marie Claire: Lyda Hill Philanthropies Launches the IF/THEN Collection to Educate About Women In STEM. “The online resource features photos and videos of more than 125 female STEM change-makers selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Lyda Hill Philanthropies to be IF/THEN ambassadors. The diverse group of women, who represent a range of backgrounds, will serve as role models for young women interested in the sciences and technology.”


Neowin: Google is working on a ‘Read Later’ feature for Chrome. “Google is working on a new ‘Read Later’ feature for chrome that will let users set tabs aside for reading or accessing later. References to the feature were found in Chrome Canary’s experimental flags (via Techdows), with a Chromium entry also being spotted. However, the feature seems to be in the early stages of testing since enabling the flag does not really enable the feature in the browser.”


MakeUseOf: 6 Free Online Tools to Download Text-to-Speech as MP3 Audio. “Text to speech tools help you turn the written word into the spoken word. Text to speech technology has come a long way over the years, with male and female voices, different accents, and the ability to control volume, pitch, rate, and more. If you need a service to convert text to speech and then download it as an MP3 file, we’ve rounded up the best free websites to do that. The emphasis here is on tools that give you a file at the end of it, rather than just playing the conversion.”

CNN: India is blocking more apps in the wake of the TikTok ban. “India is banning dozens more apps and reportedly reviewing hundreds of others from well-known Chinese companies, as tensions between the world’s most populous countries continue to rise. The Indian government banned an additional 47 apps, all clones or variations of 59 other apps India blocked last month on national security grounds, an official at India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology told CNN Business on Tuesday.”


Stars and Stripes: Senate passes defense bill without funding for Stars and Stripes. “Funding for Stars and Stripes was not included in the Senate’s version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act passed Thursday, setting up deliberations with House members about the future of the news organization. The Senate’s version of the NDAA, which passed 86-14, contains no language reversing the Pentagon’s February request to strip the roughly $15.5 million annual subsidy that the editorially independent news organization receives.”

Mashable: ‘Vicariously’ app lets you snoop on other people’s Twitter timelines. “You shouldn’t judge someone before you’ve walked a mile in their shoes — though in our extremely online present, scrolling a while in someone else’s feed may be more apt. Fortunately, there’s now an app for that. Created by ilk co-founder Jake Harding, Vicariously allows you to automatically create Twitter lists based on the users another account is following. So if you want to know what scrolling through Donald Trump, Kanye West, J.K. Rowling, or Hozier’s Twitter feeds might be like, this app can give you an idea.”

AP: Twitter and Facebook become targets in Trump and Biden ads. “President Donald Trump has bought hundreds of messages on Facebook to accuse its competitor, Twitter, of trying to stifle his voice and influence the November election. Democratic challenger Joe Biden has spent thousands of dollars advertising on Facebook with a message of his own: In dozens of ads on the platform, he’s asked supporters to sign a petition calling on Facebook to remove inaccurate statements, specifically those from Trump.”


BBC: How a Chinese agent used LinkedIn to hunt for targets. “Jun Wei Yeo, an ambitious and freshly enrolled Singaporean PhD student, was no doubt delighted when he was invited to give a presentation to Chinese academics in Beijing in 2015. His doctorate research was about Chinese foreign policy and he was about to discover firsthand how the rising superpower seeks to attain influence.”

HuffPost: The NYPD Can See Millions Of Arrest Records That Were Supposed To Be Sealed. “For over 40 years, it has been illegal for police in New York state to access a person’s sealed arrest records. Details of arrests of people who were charged but not convicted or whose cases were dismissed ― as well as juveniles or people who completed drug treatment programs or committed noncriminal offenses ― aren’t supposed to influence law enforcement in any way should police encounter those people again. But new court documents obtained by HuffPost show that the New York City Police Department has been breaking that law for years, on a massive scale that has been previously unreported.”

The Register: Amazon’s auditing of Alexa Skills is so good, these boffins got all 200+ rule-breaking apps past the reviewers. “Amazon claims it reviews the software created by third-party developers for its Alexa voice assistant platform, yet US academics were able to create more than 200 policy-violating Alexa Skills and get them certified.”


EurekAlert: New machine learning method allows hospitals to share patient data — privately. “To answer medical questions that can be applied to a wide patient population, machine learning models rely on large, diverse datasets from a variety of institutions. However, health systems and hospitals are often resistant to sharing patient data, due to legal, privacy, and cultural challenges. An emerging technique called federated learning is a solution to this dilemma, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Scientific Reports, led by senior author Spyridon Bakas, PhD, an instructor of Radiology and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.” Good morning, Internet…

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