Skid Row, IKEA Catalogs, Arolsen Archives, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, August 28, 2020


Hyperallergic: A “People’s History” of Los Angeles’s Skid Row. “Plans for an online version of the physical archive at LAPD’s Skid Row History Museum & Archives (SRHMA) date back to the museum’s opening in 2014. LAPD founder and artistic director John Malpede explained by email that the original plan was to ‘include everything we have in our Skid Row archive,’ which contains documentation from LAPD’s performance history, including scripts, rehearsal notes, and videos dating back to its inception, as well as historical materials such as city planning documents related to the Skid Row neighborhood.”

Bloomberg CityLab: Get Lost in 70 Years of Old IKEA Catalogs. “As millions of people around the world become intimately familiar with their home decor, the Swedish furniture giant IKEA is offering an online resource to fuel your redecoration reveries: In honor of the the 70th anniversary of the company’s first catalog, IKEA just dropped digital versions of every catalog on its museum website. If your idea of a good time is wandering the labyrinth of your local IKEA showroom, trying out sectionals in a pretend living room, this digital trove of modular furniture makes an excellent and Covid-safe alternative distraction — and a fascinating time capsule of Scandinavian design trends.”

Business Wire: Ancestry® Completes the Arolsen Archives Collection with 19 Million Holocaust Records (PRESS RELEASE). “Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, has completed a significant philanthropic initiative to digitize and make searchable millions of Holocaust and Nazi persecution-related records. Building on its commitment to preserve at risk history, there are now more than 19 million Holocaust records available globally, for free and in perpetuity as part of the Arolsen Archives Collection. Ancestry also announced today a new partnership with USC Shoah Foundation to publish an index to nearly 50,000 Jewish Holocaust survivor testimonies that contain information on more than 600,000 additional relatives and other individuals found in survivor questionnaires.”

Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University: New Online Tool Tracks Oil and Gas Transformation. “To help explain how the oil and gas sector is transforming, the many challenges the industry is facing, and the intersecting factors that will shape its role in the energy transition, the Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) partnered with the World Economic Forum on the Oil and Gas Transformation Map, an interactive tool for users to explore and make sense of the complex and interlinked forces that will dictate the future of the industry.”


CNN: Walmart is joining Microsoft in the pursuit of TikTok. “Walmart is partnering with Microsoft in an attempt to buy TikTok, as the popular yet embattled short-form video app seeks a US buyer amid intense political scrutiny. The retail giant told CNN Business Thursday it is participating in the negotiations with Microsoft over a potential deal. CNBC was first to report the effort by the two companies.”


New York Times: How TikTok’s Talks With Microsoft Turned Into a Soap Opera. “Pushed by President Trump, who has ordered TikTok’s U.S. operations to be sold or to cease operating, ByteDance is now discussing selling parts of TikTok’s global operations to several potential bidders. And with so many groups jumping into the talks to get a piece of any deal, all are trying to drive their own interests and agendas.”

Straits Times: Thai minister says clampdown on social media content won’t stop as Facebook plans to fight order. “Thailand’s digital minister vowed not to relent on Wednesday (Aug 26) in a crackdown on social media content deemed illegal. It was also unlikely that Facebook would follow through on plans to challenge an order to block access to a group critical of the Thai monarchy, the minister said. The ‘Royalist Marketplace’ group, which had more than one million members, was blocked within Thailand late on Monday after the Digital Ministry threatened legal action against Facebook under the country’s Computer Crime Act.”

BuzzFeed News: Blanked-Out Spots On China’s Maps Helped Us Uncover Xinjiang’s Camps. “China’s Baidu blanked out parts of its mapping platform. We used those locations to find a network of buildings bearing the hallmarks of prisons and internment camps in Xinjiang. Here’s how we did it.”


Malay Mail: Facebook shares data on Myanmar with UN investigators. “Facebook says it has shared data with United Nations investigators probing international crimes in Myanmar, after the lead investigator said the company was withholding evidence. A Facebook representative told Reuters yesterday it had given the Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar (IIMM) data from pages and accounts associated with the Myanmar military that it had removed in 2018 to stop hate speech against Rohingya but declined to describe the content.”

India Today: Gangs of Twitterpur: Inside a network of fake celebrity accounts. “Some Twitter users are caught imitating popular personalities during a given news cycle. While impersonating celebrities like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and prominent lawyers, they used to garner thousands of like and retweets based on the news doing rounds at a particular time.”


EurekAlert: How to make AI trustworthy. “One of the biggest impediments to adoption of new technologies is trust in AI. Now, a new tool developed by USC Viterbi Engineering researchers generates automatic indicators if data and predictions generated by AI algorithms are trustworthy. Their research paper, ‘There Is Hope After All: Quantifying Opinion and Trustworthiness in Neural Networks’ by Mingxi Cheng, Shahin Nazarian and Paul Bogdan of the USC Cyber Physical Systems Group, was featured in Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence.”

Cornell Chronicle: Tool transforms world landmark photos into 4D experiences. “Using publicly available tourist photos of world landmarks such as the Trevi Fountain in Rome or Top of the Rock in New York City, Cornell researchers have developed a method to create maneuverable 3D images that show changes in appearance over time.” Good morning, Internet…

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