Consumer Protection, Native American Photography, Facebook Libra, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, November 28, 2020


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches Refreshed Website with a New Interactive Enforcement Database. “The updated website will feature additional user functionality, an improved layout, more content, and easier access to information. Notably, the refresh will also include a new interactive enforcement database to help the public track the Bureau’s enforcement actions. Through these updates, the Bureau aims to increase transparency and make it easier for consumers and stakeholders to locate and access essential resources.”

National Archives News: New Finding Aid Improves Search for Native American Photos. “It is now easier than ever to search through more than 18,000 digitized photos from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, thanks to a new finding aid from the National Archives and Records Administration. Released on November 19, 2020, the finding aid presents more than a century of archived photographs of Native American communities from the National Archives Catalog in a researcher-friendly format, searchable by Tribal Nation, topic, or state.”


CNET: Facebook’s controversial Libra cryptocurrency could launch in January. “Libra, the cryptocurrency spearheaded by Facebook, could launch as early as January, according to The Financial Times, which reported that the project will likely be even more limited than its already stripped-down plan.”

XDA Developers: Here are the shortcuts you can type into Google Chrome’s address bar. “When Google introduced Chrome 87, one of the exciting new features was called Chrome Actions. The feature makes it super easy to perform certain actions right from the browser’s address bar, rather than forcing users to clumsily dig through the browser’s settings menu. To help you utilize Chrome Actions, we’ve made a simple guide that highlights some of the actions you can take.”


MakeUseOf: 6 Little Known Places to Download Unique Free Ebooks. “You probably already know about Project Gutenberg, Overdrive, Centsless Books, and some of the other best free ebook download sites. In this article, we’ll look beyond them to find free ebooks from sources you haven’t heard of before. This includes one of the best forums to get books, a place to dig up old-school pulp fiction, and some better ways to get the classics.”


Montsame: Online database for Mongolian flora to be established. “Currently, there are two herbaria in Mongolia: the herbarium of the Botanic Garden and Research Institute of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (UBA) with 80 thousand pages, and the herbarium of the Faculty of Biology at the National University of Mongolia (UBU) with 20 thousand pages. By digitizing the herbaria as according to internationally accepted standards and creating the online database, it will become possible for the highly valuable materials about the flora diversity of Mongolia to be kept safe.”

The Mayor: Finnish town offers a free home in exchange for social media marketing. “In a bid to make a name for the city they govern, officials in the Finnish municipality of Luumäki have come up with an ingenious marketing scheme – offering a rent-free home to a family that is willing to promote the town on social media. The winning family will be telling the story of their life in Luumäki through its official Facebook and Instagram accounts, bringing some much-needed attention to its area.”


TechSpot: Xerox PARC accuses Facebook, Twitter, and Snap of infringing on several of its patents. “This week, Xerox PARC filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Central District of California against Facebook alleging it uses several of its patents across its apps and websites. Specifically, the patents are related to technology used by Facebook in core functionalities like the News Feed, notifications, groups features, automated content filters, as well as their primary driver of revenue: personalized and targeted advertisement services.”

The Guardian: New UK tech regulator to limit power of Google and Facebook. “Under the plans, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will gain a dedicated Digital Markets Unit, empowered to write and enforce a new code of practice on technology companies which will set out the limits of acceptable behaviour.”


New York Times: How Misinformation ‘Superspreaders’ Seed False Election Theories. “New research from Avaaz, a global human rights group, the Elections Integrity Partnership and The New York Times shows how a small group of people — mostly right-wing personalities with outsized influence on social media — helped spread the false voter-fraud narrative that led to those [“Stop the Steal”] rallies.”

Biometric Update: Report says lack of diversity in face biometrics datasets extends to expression, emotion . “An academic study on ‘Facial Expressions as a Vulnerability in Face Recognition’ from four researchers associated with MIT, Barcelona’s Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, suggests that databases with greater balance of facial expressions should be used to train facial recognition models. The lack of diverse expressions could create a security vulnerability, the researchers suggest, impacting the matching scores returned by facial recognition systems.”


The Register: Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone. “While booting an operating system nowadays usually sees the software loaded from disk or flash memory, some of us of a certain age recall the delights of shovelling bytes in memory via the medium of tape, such as an audio cassette sending noise into the RAM of a home computer. Tinkerer Jozef Bogin has taken things a little further by booting an elderly IBM PC from a record player.” Good morning, Internet…

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