LAMPA Festival Latvia, United States Flood Forecasts, Snapchat, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, October 31, 2020


Public Broadcasting of Latvia: LAMPA conversation festival video archive now available online. “Everyone who didn’t manage to watch the discussion festival LAMPA live in September now has the chance to do so online, organizers said October 20. Recordings of 220 festival events are available for free to anyone interested. Most of the videos in the archive are in Latvian, but some of them are also Russian and English.” I went looking for the meaning of LAMPA and found this on the festival Web site: “In our forever-changing world, the LAMPA Conversation festival creates an environment and an impulse for personal growth. The festival offerings enable one to overcome apathy – two uplifting days, during which one can sharpen one’s mind, expand one’s horizons, challenge one’s assumptions. It is an inspiring and energizing platform for everyone, who has something to say.”

USGS: USGS Unveils Mobile Flood Tool for the Nation. “The U.S. Geological Survey announced Friday the completion of a new mobile tool that provides real-time information on water levels, weather and flood forecasts all in one place on a computer, smartphone or other mobile device.”


VR Focus: Snapchat’s New Halloween AR Lenses Offer Full Body Tracking. “Launching over 10 3D full body tracking Lenses via the Snapchat platform, you can dress up as a purple pumpkin for Halloween, wear a green skeleton cloak, don a hot dog costume if the need takes you, unleash a giant tarantula or or use the Scary Face lens to shock a few people.”

CNBC: Instagram will disable a feature that could be used to sow election misinformation. “Facebook-owned Instagram on Thursday announced it will temporarily remove the ‘Recent’ tab from hashtag pages in an effort to reduce the spread of misinformation in the run-up to the Nov. 3 U.S. election.”


The Hindu: Indian Memory Project: Time travel through the history of a nation. “During this pandemic, when old albums are being dusted off to rediscover the people in them, the Indian Memory Project, a visual-narrative online archive turns 10. Curator Anusha Yadav on how these sepia-tone pictures are tiny integers in the story of the subcontinent.”

Inside Higher Ed: A New Home Online for Closed College Libraries?. “Selling parts of the collection wouldn’t net very much money — $3,000 for 3,500 books was Marygrove’s most likely offer, although it had a small chance of selling 32,000 books for $32,000. Buyers weren’t interested in many other media items like DVDs and microfilm, nor were they interested in journal volumes. Even if Marygrove was able to sell 32,000 of its books, librarians estimated it would need to recycle tens of thousands of remaining books and journal volumes, paying as much as $595,000. And that was before it paid to have remaining items that couldn’t be recycled packed and sent to a landfill.”

9to5 Google: [Update: Statement] PSA: Google Docs, Sheets, Slides comments being abused to send spam emails. “Have you received an email about a new comment in a Google Docs or other Google Workspace file you don’t recognize? Do not click the included link, as it’s likely part of a new source of spam emails that are abusing comments in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.”


Consumer Reports: Debt Collectors Will Be Able to Contact You on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. “A new rule finalized today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will let debt collectors contact consumers not just by phone, as presently permitted, but also by email, text message, and even using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.”

NPR: Trump’s Ban On TikTok Suffers Another Legal Setback. “A federal judge in Pennsylvania has blocked the Trump administration from outlawing U.S. transactions with TikTok, which was set to take effect Nov. 12, the latest setback in the administration’s push to ban the Chinese-owned hit video app.”

Reuters: Judge sets November deadline for Google’s initial response to U.S. antitrust case. “Alphabet’s Google must tell a district court how it will respond to a federal antitrust lawsuit by mid-November, with the two sides making initial disclosures later in the month, U.S. Judge Amit Mehta said in a brief order Friday.”


EOS: Disseminating Scientific Results in the Age of Rapid Communication. “Modernizing the peer review process and clarifying how to use and understand open data are two essential ways to make sure our science is accurate and accurately presented.”

New York University: Ahead of the Election, New Tools Help NYU Researchers Shed Light on the Internet’s Dark Power. “The internet has irrevocably changed the way voters engage with our democratic institutions and, with the November 3 election just days away, journalists and researchers worldwide are working to understand how what happens online could influence the election outcome in 2020, much like it did in 2016. At NYU, a number of faculty, students, and alumni have turned their attention to this pressing issue, conducting research into rapidly-moving online phenomena and developing tools that will empower journalists, researchers, and the public to better understand how the internet and social media are informing debate, influencing voters, and shaping the political process in the United States and abroad.” Good morning, Internet…

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