Mapping Arrest Records, Plan Your Vote, Helen Keller, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, August 19, 2020


Northwestern University: New Tool Maps Racial Disparity in Arrests Across the Country. “As communities across America have gathered in recent months to protest police abuses, researchers are taking a close look at how, where, and why racial disparities in policing occur. [Institute For Policy Research] sociologist Beth Redbird is one of them, and with graduate research assistant Kat Albrecht she’s compiled the data for a powerful new visual tool that shows how those disparities have grown over time. With their new police bias map, Redbird and Albrecht show county by county the extent to which Black Americans are arrested at a higher rate than White Americans — a trend that has only accelerated in recent decades. They also include data on the arrests of Asian Americans and American Indians, the latter of whom saw an increase in disparity that matches that among Blacks.”

NBC News: Plan Your Vote. “Mark your calendars. Everything you need to know about mail-in and early in-person voting, including the first day you can cast your ballot in the 2020 election.”

American Foundation for the Blind: American Foundation for the Blind’s Helen Keller Archive Launches Free Online Lesson Plans to Celebrate Centennial of Nineteenth Amendment. “Delving into the rich trove of information contained in the digital Helen Keller Archive, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the official launch of a series of free lesson plans designed to teach middle and high school students about using digital and physical archives, the difference between primary and secondary sources, and how to use them appropriately in scholarly projects. A third lesson plan, released today – the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment – focuses on Helen Keller’s advocacy for women’s right to vote.”


TNW: Twitter’s new API encourages devs to craft powerful third-party apps and useful bots. “Twitter‘s had a rocky relationship with third-party developers creating apps on top of the service. Over the years, it has introduced limitations for apps such as the active number of tokens and the number of actions (you know, tweets, retweets, likes, and DMs) within a time frame, making it difficult to craft things like alternative Twitter clients. But Twitter wants to put all that in the past, as it launched its new API last night. The company now wants to play fair with developers and even encourage them to make helpful bots.” Fool me once, etc etc. Pouring one out for ListiMonkey.

New Jersey Business: BPU Launches New Public Document Search Tool. “The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) unveiled its new Public Document Search tool, marking the first phase of its ‘E-Dockets’ project that will provide the public with greater access to official documents filed with the agency. Users can use the new tool to search the database in multiple ways, including by docket number, document title, party of record, or a keyword description, in order to retrieve all public documents filed within a particular docket.”


Gizmodo: How to Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts Without Deleting Them. “There are many reasons to avoid wanting a social media digital paper trail of your entire life. Maybe there are posts there you think your new employer won’t like, or that your new partner’s parents won’t like, or even ones that you don’t believe in anymore. But wiping the slate clean and starting again is only one of your options—you can still tidy up your existing accounts without deleting them.”

Digital Inspiration: Google Maps Formulas for Google Sheets. “You can bring the power of Google Maps to your Google Sheets using simple formulas with no coding. You don’t need to sign-up for the Google Maps API and all results from Google Maps are cached in the sheet so you are unlikely to hit any quota limits.”


CNN: Even TikTok has a white supremacy problem. “Nazis and white supremacists have been using TikTok to spread hate speech and recruit followers, the Anti-Defamation League said in a report Thursday. Extremists have used hashtags, captions and in some cases even manipulated video to spread their message, the ADL said. It found ‘dozens’ of accounts on TikTok that ‘use combinations of white supremacist symbols, terms and slogans as screen names or handles.'”

Fast Company: That guy yelling during the antitrust hearing this week? Google funds him. “While questioning Google CEO Sundar Pichai, [Jim] Jordan accused Google of siding with the World Health Organization over the American people, of backing Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, and generally stifling conservatives’ access to information online. It was a surprising stance from the congressman, given that Google gave $10,000 to his reelection campaign in 2020, and has been funding him every cycle going back to 2012, according to Federal Election Commission filings. In this hearing, the attack dog truly bit the hand that was feeding him.”

City University of New York: BMCC Partners With Google And Pathstream To Offer Google’s First Federally Registered Apprenticeship Program. “Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) is working with Google to train five apprentices as part of Google’s first Department of Labor-registered apprenticeship program. Apprentices will complete two months of online coursework through BMCC to earn the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. Following the training, they will work for one year in Google’s Manhattan office, serving as IT Support Specialists. Google selected BMCC to serve as the program’s inaugural training provider in New York.”


EurekAlert: New tool improves fairness of online search rankings. “When you search for something on the internet, do you scroll through page after page of suggestions – or pick from the first few choices? Because most people choose from the tops of these lists, they rarely see the vast majority of the options, creating a potential for bias in everything from hiring to media exposure to e-commerce. In a new paper, Cornell University researchers introduce a tool they’ve developed to improve the fairness of online rankings without sacrificing their usefulness or relevance.”

Concordia University: Concordia postdoc builds a database to study the factors behind age-related sight loss . “Caitlin Murphy (GrDip 08, MSc 10) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Concordia Vision Lab. Her research investigates the physiology of the retina in individuals with visual impairment using optical coherence tomography. She is currently building a database of images of individuals with visual impairment, which will allow researchers to pursue interdisciplinary projects on vision and aging. She also hopes it will help clinicians to better understand how vision loss impacts other areas of health.” Good morning, Internet…

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