afternoonbuzz

NASA’s Perseverance Rover, Australia Mugshots, Microsoft Flight Simulator, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 25, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

SlashGear: NASA’s new tool lets anyone watch Perseverance rover’s journey in real-time. “Following its recent successful launch of the spacecraft, NASA’s Perseverance rover is on its way to Mars, a journey that will take several months. All will be quiet during this time, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for more information. NASA has launched a free online tool that enables anyone to monitor the rover’s journey in real-time, read information about the journey, and see which celestial body the spacecraft is closest to at any given moment.”

9News (Australia): Tens of thousands of prison portraits captured in 15 jails over 50 years: Portraits of Crime now in remarkable digital archive. “Tens of thousands of prison portraits captured in 15 jails over a 50-year period are now accessible in a remarkable online database. In recent years the NSW State Archives digitised 46,000 images and collated them in an exhibition titled Captured: Portraits of Crime. Now these photographs all exist online in a searchable database.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

PC Invasion: Microsoft Flight Simulator quickly gets a freeware add-on site. “There must be a new Flight Simulator in town, because a shiny new add-on website to host freeware content is already on the scene. Indeed, less than a week since its release, the talent within the flight sim community has already risen up to produce some new content for Microsoft Flight Simulator.”

BetaNews: Celebrate 25 years of Microsoft Windows 95 by running it on Windows 10, macOS or Linux — here’s how . “If you’re looking for a way to feel particularly old, the news that Windows 95 was released a quarter of a century ago today should do it. You can read my recollections of its launch here. If that’s not enough nostalgia for you, why not experience Microsoft’s game changing OS for yourself, by running Slack developer Felix Rieseberg’s app version.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Rantt Media: As QAnon Spreads, Social Media Companies Finally Step Up. “…Twitter announced the launch of a new campaign, in partnership with the United Nations’ UNESCO, the European Commission, and the World Jewish Congress, to combat conspiracy theories and disinformation. The groundbreaking global campaign, anchored by the hashtag #ThinkBeforeSharing, offers a suite of educational tools and infographics to fight conspiracy theories. While the campaign is largely focused on combating disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, it also includes modules that address anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories more broadly.”

Washington Post: Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to disrupt philanthropy has a race problem. “Through [Chan Zuckerberg Initiative], [Mark] Zuckerberg propagates his worldview far beyond Facebook. And some Black employees say that his philanthropic efforts are stymied by the same desire to appear unbiased that critics of Facebook claim is causing real-world harm to Black communities. In recent months, civil rights leaders, independent auditors and Facebook’s own employees have called out what they perceive as Zuckerberg’s blind spots around race, including his approach to civil rights as a partisan issue, a blinkered view on moderating white supremacy and discomfort discussing anti-Blackness.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

CNET: Secret Service reportedly paid to access phone location data. “The Secret Service reportedly paid for a product called Locate X, which allows the agency to access location data from apps on people’s phones. The agency was thus able to bypass measures like obtaining a warrant or court order to get that kind of information, according to [an August 17] report by Motherboard.”

Techdirt: Judge Forbids Facebook Users Being Sued By A Cop From Publishing The Cop’s Name On Social Media. “Eugene Volokh reports an Ohio court has hit a number of defendants in a libel lawsuit with an unconstitutional order forbidding them from posting the name of the man suing them. It’s no ordinary man, though. It’s a police officer who several attendees of a Cincinnati city council meeting have both identified and claimed used a racist hand sign while interacting with them.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Next Web: This Philosopher AI has its own existential questions to answer. “A new Philosopher AI could help you find meaning in a meaningless world — as long as you don’t ask it any controversial questions. The system provides musings on subjects that have plagued humanity since its inception. You can ask it about a topic that’s filling you with existential angst. It then uses OpenAI‘s GPT-3 text generator to analyze your text and spit back a life-affirming/soul-destroying response.” I do not recommend trying this if you have a heavy burden of despair right now.

New York Times: America Has Two Feet. It’s About to Lose One of Them.. “How big is a foot? In the United States, that depends on which of the two official foot measurements you are talking about. If it comes as a surprise that there are two feet, how about this: One of those feet is about to go away. The first foot is the old U.S. survey foot from 1893. The second is the newer, shorter and slightly more exact international foot from 1959, used by nearly everybody except surveyors in some states.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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