Katsushika Hokusai, Midwest Weather Summaries, Google Tables, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, September 23, 2020


Smithsonian Magazine: You Can Now Explore 103 ‘Lost’ Hokusai Drawings Online. “Earlier this month, the British Museum announced its acquisition of a trove of newly rediscovered drawings by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, who is best known for 19th-century masterpiece The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. Visitors can’t yet see the illustrations in person, but as the London institution notes in a statement, all 103 works are now available to explore online.”

Aberdeen News: Website’s new weather tool to aid farmers in 12 states. “Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has debuted a new tool on the Forecast and Assessment of Cropping Systems (FACTS) website that displays weather summaries for every crop reporting district in 12 Midwest states. The weather summaries include data from 1984 through today, updated every month and with information on temperature, precipitation, radiation and other weather indicators — like the number of days with extreme weather rain events, or the number of warm nights.”

VentureBeat: Google’s Area 120 launches Tables, a rules-based automation platform for documents. “Google’s Area 120 incubator today launched Tables, a work-tracking tool with IFTTT-like automation features and support for Google products, including Google Groups, Google Sheets, and more. Currently in beta in the U.S., Tables automates actions like collating data, checking multiple sources of data, and pasting data into other docs for handoff.”


National Archives: Archives Jackpot: Citizen Archivist Contributions Top One Million. “The Citizen Archivists who tag, transcribe, and comment in the National Archives Catalog recently achieved a milestone: their contributions have now enhanced more than one million pages of records. The community-sourced project witnessed a surge in contributions this fiscal year, then got an additional boost from the public and from National Archives staff, when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted increased telework for the agency and across the United States, beginning in March.”


Mashable: Twitter to investigate apparent racial bias in photo previews. “The first look a Twitter user gets at a tweet might be an unintentionally racially biased one. Twitter said Sunday that it would investigate whether the neural network that selects which part of an image to show in a photo preview favors showing the faces of white people over Black people.”

Slate: How Tech Tools Helped Taiwanese Activists Turn a Social Movement Into Real Policy Change. “One community of civic-oriented programmers active in the Sunflower Movement named g0v (pronounced ‘gov-zero’) assembled a collection of open source programs to build vTaiwan, a hybrid online and in-person deliberation process. VTaiwan has a broad set of features that help citizens, government agencies, and civil society reach agreements on contentious issues. The process allows users to transparently propose policies and crowdsource facts, facilitate public discussion, deliberate with key stakeholders, and draft suggested changes.”

NiemanLab: Spanish-language misinformation is flourishing — and often hidden. Is help on the way?. “Another possible contributor to Biden’s lack of success with Hispanic voters may be an onslaught of anti-Biden disinformation that ‘is inundating Spanish-speaking residents of South Florida ahead of Election Day, clogging their WhatsApp chats, Facebook feeds and even radio airwaves at a saturation level that threatens to shape the outcome in the nation’s biggest and most closely contested swing state,’ Sabrina Rodriguez and Marc Caputo reported in Politico this week.”


Bloomberg: Facebook Accused of Watching Instagram Users Through Cameras. “Facebook Inc. is again being sued for allegedly spying on Instagram users, this time through the unauthorized use of their mobile phone cameras. The lawsuit springs from media reports in July that the photo-sharing app appeared to be accessing iPhone cameras even when they weren’t actively being used. Facebook denied the reports and blamed a bug, which it said it was correcting, for triggering what it described as false notifications that Instagram was accessing iPhone cameras.”

BBC: Dark web drugs raid leads to 179 arrests. “Police forces around the world have seized more than $6.5m (£5m) in cash and virtual currencies, as well as drugs and guns in a co-ordinated raid on dark web marketplaces. Some 179 people were arrested across Europe and the US, and 500kg (1,102lb) of drugs and 64 guns confiscated.”


MIT Technology Review: AI ethics groups are repeating one of society’s classic mistakes. “International organizations and corporations are racing to develop global guidelines for the ethical use of artificial intelligence. Declarations, manifestos, and recommendations are flooding the internet. But these efforts will be futile if they fail to account for the cultural and regional contexts in which AI operates.”

University of Washington: Who’s tweeting about scientific research? And why?. “Scientists candidly tweet about their unpublished research not only to one another but also to a broader audience of engaged laypeople. When consumers of cutting-edge science tweet or retweet about studies they find interesting, they leave behind a real-time record of the impact that taxpayer-funded research is having within academia and beyond.”

New York Times: Don’t quit Facebook. Change laws.. “There was a predictable backlash this week when celebrities like Kim Kardashian West stopped social media posts for a day on Instagram, the photo-sharing site owned by Facebook, to protest the social network. This is a stunt, some people said. If you think Facebook worsens misinformation and hate speech, just quit the social network. Dear readers, you too might have felt guilty for still being on Facebook. A recent book by the leftist lawyer and activist Zephyr Teachout short-circuited this narrative for me.” Good morning, Internet…

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  1. Thank you, my amazing friend, for continuing to help others worldwide access information what they would previously not known about.

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