Indigenous Storytelling, NYPD Complaints, Facebook, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, August 21, 2020


Mongabay: New Indigenous storytelling platform brings community perspectives to the world. “A new indigenous geo-storytelling platform, Tribal Stories, launched on Aug. 9, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The new platform, by Netherlands-based nonprofit People’s Planet Project (PPP), features films created by Indigenous filmmakers from the A’i Cofan community of Cofan Bermejo, Sucumbíos, Ecuador; and the Kīsêdjê community, from the Xingu Indigenous Territory in Mato Grosso, Brazil.”

CNN: Thousands of NYPD discipline records published by New York Civil Liberties Union after court order is lifted. “The second circuit court of appeals lifted the order that was put on the NYCLU to not publish the records it had obtained from the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the city agency charged with oversight of the NYPD, after a New York State law was repealed that prevented discipline records from being released. Within minutes of the denial, the NYCLU’s database went live with what it says has 35 years of data and over 300,000 complaints against over 81,000 NYPD officers.”


Fossbytes: ‘Classic Facebook’ Will Die In September, Confirms Facebook. “The social media giant has started throwing notifications in users’ profiles, announcing that the Classic Facebook interface will be discontinued and become inaccessible for everyone starting this September. It’s yet to be known whether it will be a gradual process, or Facebook would just press the OFF button on September 1.”


FStoppers: How to Properly Resize Your Images for Social Media and the Web. “Resizing your photographs is one of those tasks that’s so simple and easy at first glance, you might not think about the process. Furthermore, most platforms like Instagram and Facebook will just resize the images for you, so why bother? Well, as almost every photographer I’ve ever spoken to has noticed with platforms like Facebook, the quality loss is substantial. On platforms that don’t automate the process, you could end up making your website incredibly slow to load for many viewers.”


Inverse: How the humble office printer has persevered in a digitized world. “As technology has gotten better, the ambiance in offices has changed as well. Computers have been reduced from large towers and boxy monitors to slim laptops and pocket-sized smartphones. These changes include the sounds of offices since those older computers required plenty of cooling and had more audible processes. Another sound missing from offices is the distinct hum of the office printer. (This one sounds like a techno song.) Although the sounds of printers have quieted over the years, and there’s much less need to print documents in many professions, printers still persist in offices as a bridge between the physical and digitals worlds.” I worked with dot-matrix printers, so the “distinct hum” was more like RRRAAAAAACK, RAAAACK, RAAAAACKKKKKK…

Washington Post: Disinformation campaign stokes fears about mail voting, using LeBron James image and boosted by Trump-aligned group. “The website, called Protect My Vote, warns baselessly that mail balloting results in ‘lost votes and lost rights.’ An associated page on Facebook has purchased more than 150 ads, which have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times this month. They appear designed to tap existing anxiety about the integrity of the voting system to convince voters in swing states where minority turnout could be decisive that mail balloting is not reliable amid an uncontained pandemic leading many Americans to consider alternative ways to be heard on Election Day.”

Travel Weekly: Brisbane River renamed ‘Ithaca Creek’ in bizarre Google Maps glitch. “The requests of young Aidan Ameer, who spends much of his time reportedly poring over maps, and even had a Google Maps cake for his eighth birthday, have seen a glitch emerge on Google Maps…. Ameer explained that the family live by a creek that was listed as the Brisbane River, so Aiden set about trying to get it corrected, with Google responding that it would look into the issue. ‘A few months later we’ve noticed now that yes, the creek next to us is now called Ithaca Creek, which is good. He’s really happy about that,’ [Ismaan Ameer] told ABC Radio Brisbane. But Aidan and his father soon noticed that the renaming had stretched much further than the creek, with ‘everywhere that used to be called Brisbane River’ also renamed Ithaca Creek.”


Motherboard: The Secret SIMs Used By Criminals to Spoof Any Number. “Russian SIMs. Encrypted SIMs. White SIMs. These cards go by different names in the criminal underground, and vary widely in quality and features. But all are generally designed to give the user some sort of security or privacy benefit, even if what that particular SIM does is more theatre than substance. Beyond spoofing phone numbers, some SIMs let a caller manipulate their voice in real-time, adding a baritone or shrill cloak to their phone calls that is often unintentionally funny. Other cards have the more worthwhile benefit of being worldwide, unlimited data SIMs that criminals source anonymously from suppliers without having to give up identifying information and by paying in Bitcoin.”

BBC: Queen’s ‘uphill battle’ to stop Trump using songs on social media. “British rock band Queen is trying – and failing – to get US President Donald Trump to stop using their songs in his online campaign videos. The band’s management says it is an ‘uphill battle’ and has ‘repeatedly taken issue with the Trump campaign’. ‘The band itself has been quite outspoken on the subject’, a spokesman said.” Isn’t it weird that an iconic rock band is having trouble enforcing its intellectual property rights, while YouTube channels get popped for cat purring videos?

Politico: Zuckerberg interviewed by FTC as part of antitrust probe into Facebook. “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified this week at a Federal Trade Commission investigative hearing as part of the agency’s antitrust investigation into the social network, according to three people familiar with the case. FTC staff often interview witnesses under oath as part of their investigations in a process similar to a deposition and nearly always in cases they expect to lead to a lawsuit. The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the probe, said the step doesn’t necessarily signal that the agency will ultimately pursue an antitrust lawsuit.”


The Conversation: Artificial intelligence is a totalitarian’s dream – here’s how to take power back . “Every hell starts with a promise of heaven. AI-led totalitarianism will be no different. Freedom will become obedience to the state. Only the irrational, spiteful or subversive could wish to chose their own path. To prevent such a dystopia, we must not allow others to know more about ourselves than we do. We cannot allow a self-knowledge gap.”

KOLD: University of Arizona researchers discover a new tool to unlock secrets of the past. “Researchers from the University of Arizona said they have discovered a new way to unlock secrets of the past. The scientists said they have new and improved radiocarbon dating tools that can more accurately date major moments in history.” Good morning, Internet…

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