Arkansas Trail of Tears, Tom Lehrer, Twitter, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, October 26, 2020


University of Arkansas Little Rock: UA Little Rock’s Sequoyah National Research Center creates website visualizing American Indian removal through Arkansas. “The center has completed a two-year research project, ‘Journey of Survival: Indian Removal Through Arkansas,’ that includes a website and interactive touchscreen table that visually maps the journey of American Indians who journeyed through Arkansas after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The project was funded by a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council.”

Techdirt: Tom Lehrer, Still Awesome, Releases Lyrics Into The Public Domain. “Back in 2014 we had a post about Tom Lehrer and copyright. As you hopefully know, Lehrer, the unassuming retired math teacher, had a brief and massively successful music career, in part because all of his work is amazing. Years back, Buzzfeed had a fantastic article about Lehrer that is worth reading. That’s what spurred my post about Lehrer and copyright, because in the Buzzfeed piece it became clear that Lehrer did not care one bit about retaining his copyrights.”


Forbes: Twitter Shuts Down PAC, Donates Remaining Money To Charities. “Twitter has terminated its corporate political action committee, according to a Thursday FEC filing first reported by Business Insider, even as other tech companies continue to support candidates through their own PACs.”

Analytics India: Google Open-Sources Kartta Labs That Virtually Reconstructs Historical Maps. “Recently, Google Research has open-sourced a platform that can reconstruct historical cities in 3D visualisation, known as Kartta Labs. The platform is a modular and scalable designed scalable system for virtually reconstructing cities from historical maps and photos.”


Mother Jones: Facebook Manipulated the News You See to Appease Republicans, Insiders Say. “To be perfectly clear: Facebook used its monopolistic power to boost and suppress specific publishers’ content—the essence of every Big Brother fear about the platforms, and something Facebook and other companies have been strenuously denying for years. It’s also, ironically, what conservatives have consistently accused Facebook of doing to them, with the perverse but entirely intended effect of causing it to bend over backward for them instead.”

Financial Post: Sandvine’s Technology Used for Web Censoring in More Than a Dozen Nations. “In Jordan, Sandvine Inc.’s equipment was used to censor an LGBTQ website. Egypt’s government relied on Sandvine equipment to block access to independent news sites. In Azerbaijan, it was deployed for a social media blackout, current and former employees say.Last month, U.S. -based Sandvine, which is owned by the private equity firm Francisco Partners, said it would stop selling its equipment in Belarus after Bloomberg News reported that it was used to censor the internet during a crucial election.”


New York Times: The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone. “At least 2,000 law enforcement agencies have tools to get into encrypted smartphones, according to new research, and they are using them far more than previously known.”

Motherboard: Skepticism Mounts Around Alleged Trump Twitter Hack. “On Thursday, Dutch media outlets reported that security researcher Victor Gevers had accessed President Trump’s Twitter account with the password ‘maga2020!’ But multiple security experts including those who track how Twitter accounts are compromised, as well as a review of the material that Gevers provided to Dutch and other media to corroborate his claim, throw doubt onto the hacking claim.”


NBC News: QAnon accounts make a dent in voting discussion on Twitter. “More than 1 in 50 tweets about voting in the 2020 elections in August and September were posted by QAnon accounts, according to research released Friday by Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan nonprofit.”

ZDNet: Open-source use goes up while the economy goes down. “This is pretty simple really. Open source works, and it’s cheap. And when the Main Street economy is going rotten, smart businesses turn to open source. Tidelift, a major commercial support, and maintenance company for community-led open-source, found the proof for this idea in its third-annual Managed Open Source Survey.”


CNET: This app will tell you if the local McDonald’s ice cream machine is broken. “We all know the heartbreak of wanting nothing more than a cheap ice cream cone from McDonald’s, only to find when we get there that the machine is apparently broken. Thankfully, people will never run out of reasons to build apps, and there’s now one called mcbroken that’ll tell you whether the machine at your local McDonald’s is working.” Good morning, Internet…

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