Florida Government Spending, Massachusetts Law Enforcement, Occupy Movement, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, August 17, 2020


Northwest Florida Daily News: Does your community pass muster? New website ranks counties, cities in Florida. “A $117,000 website that grades and lets people compares cities and counties based on spending, crime and education was rolled out by the state House this week. House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, said in a press release the new Taxpayer Accountability & Transparency Project… ‘gives residents a useful tool to help them make educated judgments and hold their elected officials accountable.'”

NBC Boston: Mass. Launches New Website Tracking Crime, Policing Data. “Massachusetts has launched a new website that gathers data from all the state’s police departments into one place. The Massachusetts Crime Statistics site breaks down hundreds of local and state police agencies’ arrest numbers and offers details on the number and types of of crimes reported each year, going back as far as 1994.”

Phys .org: A decade after the Occupy movement, a new digital archive chronicles its history—and continuing influence. “Funded by the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship in the Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve—and led by a scholar of the Occupy Movement—the Occupy Archive preserves more than 1,200 pages of documentation and offers access to more than 400 digitized materials that help bring to life the movement’s massive scale, grassroots flavor and enduring impact.”

KGMI: Eat Local First Washington Directory launched. “Advocacy groups Sustainable Connections and Eat Local First have launched the ‘Eat Local First Washington Directory’. The online database allows you to find local farmers statewide through a variety of sources.”


BetaNews: Windows 10 0x800f0988, 0x800f081f or 0x800f08a errors? You are not alone. “The August security updates for Windows 10 released by Microsoft last week are causing issues for people running the November 2019 Update (version 1909) and the May 2020 Update (version 2004). Released last Patch Tuesday, 11 August, the KB4565351 and KB4566782 updates are causing various issues, ranging from failed installations, through error messages and BSoDs to problems with audio.”


Virginia Tech Daily: Mellon Foundation grant supports development of a plan for using artificial intelligence to plumb the National Archives. “The National Archives and Records Administration, the official recordkeeper of the United States, provides digital access to more than 110 million digital records, a number that continues to grow exponentially…. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Virginia Tech a planning grant to work with the National Archives and a number of universities nationwide to understand the opportunity for using artificial intelligence to search digital records.”

New York Times: After Atomic Bombings, These Photographers Worked Under Mushroom Clouds. “The idea of publishing in the United States images from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings was first proposed to the University of Texas at Austin in 2017 by the Anti-Nuclear Photographers’ Movement of Japan, one of the organizations that have worked for decades to collect and preserve such photographs. The group was seeking an American publisher because it worried about rising tensions enveloping North Korea, Japan and the United States at the time, and it wanted to broadcast its antinuclear message to a wider audience. Through an intermediary, it approached the Texas university’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, whose collection includes photographs of the Vietnam War by the American photojournalist Eddie Adams….The center’s director, Don Carleton, said that while he initially worried that the Japanese group might use the project to ‘assign war guilt,’ it turned out that the two sides had a simple goal in common: educating the public about the horrors of nuclear war. The association eventually agreed to make its photos available as a digital archive at the university, starting in 2021.” Warning: the pictures are horrifying.

NBC News: Big Tech met with govt to discuss how to handle election results. “Nine major U.S. tech companies met with federal government officials Wednesday to discuss how to handle misinformation during this month’s political conventions and election results this fall.”


Techdirt: Las Vegas Police Are Running Lots Of Low Quality Images Through Their Facial Recognition System. “Even when facial recognition software works well, it still performs pretty poorly. When algorithms aren’t generating false positives, they’re acting on the biases programmed into them, making it far more likely for minorities to be misidentified by the software. The better the image quality, the better the search results. The use of a low-quality image pulled from a store security camera resulted in the arrest of the wrong person in Detroit, Michigan. The use of another image with the same software — one that didn’t show the distinctive arm tattoos of the non-perp hauled in by Detroit police — resulted in another bogus arrest by the same department.”

CTV: Canadian AI-powered legal response tool helps guide victims of harassment. “The Botler For Citizens web app is a free service that will confidentially ask users trauma-informed questions based on any incident they have experienced. Using artificial intelligence, the software then analyzes the details of the incident to identify if any misconduct had occurred. Based on the findings, the user is then provided with a breakdown of relevant information to help them understand their rights and the potential legal options at their disposal.”


University of Colorado Boulder: Twitter users may have changed their behavior after contact with Russian trolls. “It’s the latest research to dig into the affairs of the Russian government-backed Internet Research Agency (IRA). For more than two years, according to an investigation by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, this organization set out to undermine the U.S. electoral process—through a campaign of posting false information and racist memes to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The new CU Boulder findings, however, are some of the first to examine the behavior of a broad swath of Twitter users who had contact with the IRA.”

CNET RoadShow: Russian company Yandex sets up self-driving car testing in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Yandex is a regular attendee of CES in Las Vegas, and now, according an announcement… by the company, it’s getting even more of a foothold in the US. Specifically, it’s opening a facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Why Michigan? Unlike cities such as Moscow and Tel Aviv, where Yandex also tests, Michigan allows self-driving cars to operate without an engineer behind the wheel, and Yandex is already taking advantage of that.” Good morning, Internet…

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