1000 Miles of Desert and Mountains, Sourcery, Autumn Leaves, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, September 8, 2020


Nevada Today: University Libraries launches 1000 Miles project. “The University Libraries at the University of Nevada, Reno, in partnership with the Washoe County Library, is launching a new project, 1000 Miles of Desert and Mountains, this Thursday, Sept. 3. The 1000 Miles project brings to life the adventures of George and Josephine Scott who trekked 1,000 miles across Nevada in 1914 and recorded their experiences in daily diaries. Based on passages from the diaries, the project encompasses eight short learning videos, eight podcast style audio recordings and worksheets, along with the diaries which are available online in their entirety. The learning videos are suitable for students in grades 4 through 7, while the podcast recordings and online diaries are suitable for all ages.”

UConn Today: Archival Documents, Like Magic, Thanks to UConn Researchers’ New App. “…Sourcery gives researchers convenient, remote access to special collections that can’t otherwise be found online. Users just plug in citation information for the desired source material into the app, which can connect researchers to any institution in Sourcery’s service area. A researcher or graduate student in the local area is paid a fee to make a digital version following relevant copyrights, regulations, or policies, and within a matter of hours or days, the documents appear in the user’s inbox. No planes, no trains, no favors. Sourcery first launched in New York City, Boston, and Storrs. Now they are expanding coverage to include New Haven, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., where many of the world’s most in-demand special collections are located.”


Mashable: The interactive fall foliage map is back to help you plan your autumn road trip. “If you’ve never used the annual interactive tool before, you’re in for a real treat. This year’s map begins on Sept. 7, a day when minimal and patchy foliage is predicted in only a few states. The map concludes on Nov. 23, when nearly the entire country will be be past-peak foliage.”

Search Engine Journal: Breaking Down the Google My Business Profile Program Upgrades. “Google may open the Google Guarantee to some local organic search opportunities. Here’s how it can impact small businesses and consumers alike.”

The Next Web: New Firefox for Android launches with souped-up privacy tools and a bottom address bar . “The most important change here is the Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP), that’s on by default. It’s meant to prevent trackers from gathering your browsing pattern and data and using it for ads. While the browser lets these tracker load when you visit a site, it stops them from actually accessing your cookies — snippets of data that gather your browsing habits.”


New York Times: Forget TikTok. China’s Powerhouse App Is WeChat, and Its Power Is Sweeping.. “For most Chinese people in China, WeChat is a sort of all-in-one app: a way to swap stories, talk to old classmates, pay bills, coordinate with co-workers, post envy-inducing vacation photos, buy stuff and get news. For the millions of members of China’s diaspora, it is the bridge that links them to the trappings of home, from family chatter to food photos. Woven through it all is the ever more muscular surveillance and propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party. As WeChat has become ubiquitous, it has become a powerful tool of social control, a way for Chinese authorities to guide and police what people say, whom they talk to and what they read.”

Washington Post: Trump and allies ratchet up disinformation efforts in late stage of campaign. “On Aug. 30, the president retweeted footage of a Black man violently pushing a White woman on a subway platform under the caption, ‘Black Lives Matter/Antifa’ — but the man was not affiliated with either group, and the video was shot in October. White House social media director Dan Scavino shared a manipulated video that falsely showed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden seeming to fall asleep during a television interview, complete with a fake TV headline. And Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the second-ranking House Republican, released a video splicing together quotes from activist Ady Barkan — who has Lou Gehrig’s disease and uses computer voice assistance — to falsely make it sound as if he had persuaded Biden to defund police departments.”

BBC: Instagram photo filters targeted by model’s #filterdrop campaign. “A recent survey, carried out by Girlguiding, found a third of girls and young women will not post selfies online without using a filter to change their appearance. Thirty-nine percent of the 1,473 respondents, aged 11-21, said they felt upset that they could not look the same in real life as they did online. The survey results mirror the worries of make-up artist and curve model Sasha Pallari, who recently launched the hashtag #filterdrop in the hope of seeing ‘more real skin’ on Instagram.”


CNET: Google’s antitrust battles: What you need to know. “Google is on a collision course with the government over its size and dominance. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is a sprawling operation whose businesses include web searches, maps, the YouTube video platform and the Android mobile operating system. Google’s products have become ubiquitous across the globe. Many of its services have more than a billion monthly users apiece.” Good overview but not enough about antitrust actions outside the US.

TechCrunch: Facebook to warn third-party developers of vulnerable code. “In a blog post announcing the change,Facebook said it ‘may occasionally find’ critical bugs and vulnerabilities in third-party code and systems. ‘When that happens, our priority is to see these issues promptly fixed, while making sure that people impacted are informed so that they can protect themselves by deploying a patch or updating their systems.’ Facebook has previously notified third-party developers of vulnerabilities, but the policy shift formally codifies the company’s policy toward disclosing and revealing security vulnerabilities.”

Reuters: Australian watchdog to examine competition between Apple, Google app stores. “Australia’s competition regulator on Tuesday said it would look into the extent of competition between the app stores of Apple Inc AAPL.O and Google, and also examine whether more pricing transparency is needed in the country’s mobile apps market.”


MIT Technology Review: Why Facebook’s political-ad ban is taking on the wrong problem. “The idea of algorithmic manipulation schemes brainwashing large swaths of the US electorate online is a nice way to explain the polarized nature of American public opinion. But experts say it’s actually pretty unlikely that targeted political advertising has had much influence on voter behavior at all.” Good morning, Internet…

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