Historical Newspaper Images, Earth Map, Facebook Political Ads, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, September 17, 2020


Library of Congress: Library of Congress Launches New Tool to Search Historical Newspaper Images. “The public can now explore more than 1.5 million historical newspaper images online and free of charge. The latest machine learning experience from Library of Congress Labs, Newspaper Navigator allows users to search visual content in American newspapers dating 1789-1963.”

ReliefWeb: Google and FAO launch new Big Data tool for all. “Earth Map is an innovative and free-to-use Web-based tool to provide efficient, rapid, inexpensive and analytically cogent insights, drawn from satellites as well as [Food and Agriculture Organization]’s considerable wealth of agriculturally relevant data, with a few clicks on a computer. Earth Map has also been designed to empower and provide integrative synergies with the federated FAO’s Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform, a more comprehensive tool to provide Members, their partners and donors with the means to identify and execute highly-targeted rural development initiatives with multiple goals ranging from climate adaptation and mitigation to socio-economic resilience.”

New York University: New Tool to Analyze Political Advertising on Facebook Reveals Massive Discrepancies in Party Spending on Presidential Contest. “Designed to help reporters, researchers, thought leaders, policy makers, and the general public easily analyze political ads on Facebook ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, the web-based tool allows users to search by state, as well as major political races, to identify trends in how ads are targeted to specific audiences and what messages are being used, who is funding each ad, and how much they are spending to disseminate them.”


Reuters: Google grilled on ad business dominance by U.S. Senate panel. “Alphabet Inc’s Google faced a bipartisan buzzsaw of tough questions about its ad business in a hearing on Tuesday, with a particular focus on whether it misused its dominance in online advertising to drive profits.”

TechCrunch: Luther.AI is a new AI tool that acts like Google for personal conversations. “When it comes to pop culture, a company executive or history questions, most of us use Google as a memory crutch to recall information we can’t always keep in our heads, but Google can’t help you remember the name of your client’s spouse or the great idea you came up with at a meeting the other day. Enter Luther.AI, which purports to be Google for your memory by capturing and transcribing audio recordings, while using AI to deliver the right information from your virtual memory bank in the moment of another online conversation or via search.” Putting the privacy issues aside, this could make married couple fights positively incendiary.


So, so good, from a source new to me. Jersey Digs: As Construction Boom Continues, Social Media Influencers are Becoming Preservationists. “Most people know Keith Taillon as the Instagrammer that is trying to walk every block of Manhattan. Impressive — but that’s hardly the driving force behind his popular social media page. The Harlem resident is trying to salvage the history of his city before it is lost to the construction boom.”

BNN Bloomberg: After $9 Billion in Fines, EU Says Something Nice About Google. “After fining Google more than 8.2 billion euros ($9.7 billion) in three antitrust cases, a European Union official finally had something nice to say about the Internet giant. Olivier Guersent, the head of the European Commission’s antitrust arm, said Google’s efforts to provide more choice in shopping search results lead to ‘good, positive developments.’ Guersent’s comments Wednesday potentially ease the threat of new fines for the Alphabet Inc. unit.”


ZDNet: Google ‘formally’ bans stalkerware apps from the Play Store. “Google has updated its Play Store rules to impose a ‘formal’ ban on stalkerware apps, but the company has left a pretty huge loophole in place for stalkerware to be uploaded on the official store as child-tracking applications.”

Politico: Russia is back, wilier than ever — and it’s not alone. “Kremlin-backed operatives are flooding social media with fake accounts and stoking racial divisions around topics like Black Lives Matter. Articles in state-owned Russian media with millions of U.S. readers online seek to dampen Joe Biden’s appeal among progressives and echo President Donald Trump’s unsupported claims about voting fraud. At the same time, Russian state-backed hackers are waging cyberattacks against political parties, campaigns, consultants and others tied to the U.S. elections — using more elaborate deceptions than in 2016, Microsoft said last week.”

CNN: Trump administration provides first details on how a TikTok ban would work. “President Donald Trump’s looming ban on business dealings with TikTok will not restrict the social media app’s employees from receiving wages or benefits, and will not make it a crime for those employees to perform their day jobs, the US government said in a court filing Monday. The disclosure reflects the first concrete details the federal government has disclosed about how Trump’s ban against TikTok would be implemented.”


Arizona State University: Storing information and designing uncrackable codes with DNA. “For billions of years, nature has used DNA like a molecular bank vault: a place to store her most coveted secrets — the design blueprints essential to life. Now, researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Institute are exploring the unique information-carrying capacities of DNA, hoping to produce microscopic forms whose ability to encrypt, store and retrieve information rival those of the silicon-based semiconductor memories found in most computers.”

CNET: Facebook’s Project Aria is test-driving tech for AR glasses on real-world people this year. “We won’t be wearing our magic Tony Stark AR smartglasses this year, or the year after, or maybe not even the year after that. Although Facebook is already working on smartglasses with Luxottica, those won’t be world-sensing mixed reality devices yet. But Facebook’s Project Aria is ready to start mapping the real world with a head-worn sensor array being deployed to 100 or so testers in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area starting this month.” Good morning, Internet…

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