LGBTQ Travel, Windows Updates, Facebook, More: Tuesday Evening ResearchBuzz, September 1, 2020


Condé Nast Traveler, with a thanks to Esther S.: This New Map Is Digitizing LGBTQ+ Travel Guides from the ’60s and Beyond. “In 1964, California businessman Bob Damron was filling a void. A frequent traveler himself, he began publishing his guides annually as a way to help queer individuals, particularly gay men, navigate both their hometowns and unfamiliar spaces (similar to the earlier Negro Motorist Green Book, which aided Black travelers). Damron’s guides, colorful and discreet, listed known queer haunts across the U.S., as well as their defining features. Now, [historian Eric] Gonzaba and co-primary investigator Amanda Regan are using Damron’s 1965-1980 books to map historical queer spaces, moving state by state in an effort to understand the trajectory of queer communities and place them in context. Their archival project, titled ‘Mapping the Gay Guides,’ is a collection of digital maps, each covering a year of Damron’s guides.”


BetaNews: Microsoft pushes out KB4023057 yet again to force Windows 10 feature updates. “KB4023057 has been pushed out by Microsoft several times before, and the company has just started to push it again. The aim of the patch is to address issues that have been preventing some people from upgrading to newer versions of Windows 10, and also override any blocks that users have put in place to stop feature updates from being installed. The problem is that there are many people with good reason to stick with an older build of Windows 10, but KB4023057 is ready to ride roughshod over such plans.”

Engadget: Facebook and Instagram reveal content ‘recommendation guidelines’. “The guidelines are essentially Facebook’s internal rulebook for determining what type of content is ‘eligible’ to appear prominently in the app, such as in Instagram’s Explore section or in Facebook’s recommendations for groups or events. The suggestions are algorithmically generated and have been a source of speculation and scrutiny.”


GMA News: 5 Useful Google Chrome extensions for school and productivity. “Students, from grade school to college, are facing a vast technological landscape that is why it’s important to develop the skill they need to navigate in this ever-changing world. Thankfully, Google Chrome extensions can help with that. Google Chrome extensions are small programs that help extend the functionality of one of the most popular web browsers. At a click of a button, students can eliminate ads, check the definition of a trivial word, convert files to PDF, and so much more.”


The Markup: Does Facebook Still Sell DiscriminatoryAds?. “In May, a Wisconsin health care agency, Tenderness Health Care, posted a job ad on Facebook looking for personal care workers. According to Facebook’s ‘Why am I seeing this ad’ pop-up, when the agency purchased the ad, it asked Facebook to not show it to anyone over 54 years of age. And they asked Facebook to show it specifically to people who have ‘African American multicultural affinity.’ Facebook, apparently, complied. The problem? Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of age and race, including in advertising open jobs.”

Bustle: Creators Explain Alt TikTok & How To Tell If You’re On It. “When you open TikTok for the very first time, your For You page is essentially the popular kids’ table in the cafeteria. Charli D’Amelio and Emma Chamberlain are doing hand dances, Addison Rae is lip syncing, and Gabrielle Alexis is glowing up. But the more time you spend on the app and the more videos you interact with, the more lunch tables appear. If your interests skew towards the inclusive, artful, absurdist, or irreverent, you might be curious about how get on Alt Tok — aka, the arty side of the cafeteria.”


ZDNet: Transparent Tribe APT targets government, military by infecting USB devices. “Transparent Tribe is involved in campaigns against government and military personnel, revealing a new tool designed to infect USB devices and spread to other systems. The advanced persistent threat (APT) group, as previously tracked by Proofpoint (.PDF), has been in operation since at least 2013 and has previously been connected to attacks against the Indian government and military.”

The Daily Swig: Browser fingerprinting ‘more prevalent on the web now than ever before’ – research. “With major web browsers now including privacy protections against cookie-based tracking, there’s been a rise in the use of fingerprinting – and researchers now say they’ve developed a way to spot and prevent these stealthy tracking techniques. FP-Inspector, created by a team from the University of Iowa, Mozilla, and the University of California, uses a syntactic-semantic approach to detect fingerprinting (FP) scripts, using machine learning models based on static and dynamic JavaScript analysis.” You can learn more about browser fingerprinting here.


Oh my word. Wired: Google Offers to Help Others With the Tricky Ethics of AI. “The company plans to launch new AI ethics services before the end of the year. Initially, Google will offer others advice on tasks such as spotting racial bias in computer vision systems, or developing ethical guidelines that govern AI projects. Longer term, the company may offer to audit customers’ AI systems for ethical integrity, and charge for ethics advice.”

The Next Web: This AI makes peanut butter and banana sandwiches that are fit for the King. “To identify precisely where the banana should be sliced, [Ethan] Rosenthal used a clever combination of computer vision and algebra. Next, he used an algorithm to calculate the best location on the bread for each slice. He then fed the system an image of his ingredients and let the AI do its magic.” Good evening, Internet…

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