Chemical Weapons, Unclaimed Property, African-American Archives, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, October 9, 2020


Chemical & Engineering News: Database brings clarity to chemical weapons lists. “In the fight against chemical weapons, information is power. That’s why researchers are hopeful that a new database of chemical warfare agents, including tables of molecular structures and other key details, will help efforts to clamp down on these monstrous compounds (J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jcim.0c00896).”

PRWeb: FindMyFunds. com Launches Free Unclaimed Property Website for Over 20 States (PRESS RELEASE). “ securely consolidates more than twenty state government unclaimed property databases and allows potential owners of lost or unclaimed property to file claims directly with each participating state.” It’s free to use.


Emory University Event: Lift Every Voice 2020: Defining the Black Reconstruction Archive. “‘Defining the Black Reconstruction Archive’ is the first of three panels that will explore the history and significance of Reconstruction. Panelists will highlight the manner in which African American archives and Black print culture illuminate the African American experience and shape the stories that we tell. They will discuss such topics as the use of archival collections that shaped their research, and African American patriotism and activism.” I’m 99% sure this is both free and virtual.

Engadget: Google Arts & Culture app lets you turn yourself into a Van Gogh painting. “If you’ve ever wondered what your portrait would look like if Van Gogh or Frida Kahlo were to paint it, Google can help you find out. The company’s latest Arts & Culture app update is a set of augmented reality Art Filters you can apply to your face to transform yourself into a famous painting or try on a priceless historical artifact.”

Reuters: Google poised to strike deal to pay French publishers for their news. “Alphabet’s Google is set to reach a deal to pay French publishers for their news, the U.S. tech giant said on Wednesday, the latest move to placate media groups and head off regulators siding with publishers seeking a level playing field.”


New York Times: Library of Congress Acquires Archives of the National Women’s Party. “The donation unites more than 300,000 documents, photographs, letters, broadsides, scrapbooks and other items relating to the party with another 200,000 items previously acquired by the library. The new materials relate to all stages of the party’s history, from its founders’ earlier involvement in feminist activism to the fight over the 19th Amendment to its decades of advocacy for the Equal Rights Amendment.”

CNET: Snapchat says it’s helped over 1 million people register to vote. “The popular app, known for its disappearing messages and face filters, estimates 56% of the people it helped register this year are first-time voters and nearly 65% are between 18 and 24. For the 2020 election, Snapchat parent company Snap said it’s created tools to help people register to vote, learn about voting options and make a plan to cast their ballot.”

Gulf News: Saudi Arabia: Don’t ask questions Google can answer, examiners told. “Saudi educational experts have called for a move away from questions that Google can answer in remote tests and evaluation. They urged examiners to ask good test questions that allow students to demonstrate what they have learned, elicit answers that reveal students’ intellectual progress, motivate students and help them structure their academic efforts. Questions should help discriminate between students who have learned what they had intended them to learn and those who have not.”


Mint: Google faces new antitrust case in India on smart TVs. “The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is examining a complaint that search giant Google abused its dominant market position in smart television operating systems, a person aware of the matter said. Anti-trust lawyers Kshitiz Arya and Purushottam Anand filed the complaint with CCI in the first week of June.”

BetaNews: Ransomware attacks rocket over the last quarter. “In the last three months ransomware attacks have grown by a global average of 50 percent compared to the first half of 2020. The figures look even bleaker for individual countries, with attacks up by by 98 percent in the US, 80 percent in the UK, 145 percent in Germany, 36 percent in France and 160 percent in Spain.”

Antiques Trade Gazette: ILAB president announces launch of missing books database following re-election. “Australian book dealer Sally Burdon said she will use her second term as [International League of Antiquarian Booksellers] president to consolidate changes and launch a new missing books register following the international book trade association’s recent election.”


TNW: Beauty is in the app of the beholder. “There has long been whispers about phone cameras secretly post-processing your selfies to make you ‘more beautiful,’ with the iPhone XS ‘Beautygate’ scandal perhaps being the most notorious instance of this trend. Critics have argued such automated edits fundamentally cultivate a culture of unobtainable beauty standards, which in turn leads to more extreme urges to manipulate our image — there are plenty of examples of pushing this beyond the norm in the popular Instagram versus Reality subreddit.” Good morning, Internet…

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