Parramatta Female Factory, Intelligence Agency Oversight, Gmail, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 1, 2021


Namoi Valley Independent (Australia): New website offers insight into historical Female Factory in Paramatta. “LAST Sunday marked the Bicentenary of the Parramatta Female Factory, an institution which operated as an assignment depot, prison, place of industry and medical facility for approximately 5,000 women and children until its closure in 1848….The City of Parramatta has created a website which details many of the stories of the women who passed through the Factory gates.”

Statewatch: New database on the oversight of intelligence agencies in Europe. “A European research project examining surveillance, intelligence and oversight has produced a new database that aims to provide ‘an evolving document archive of laws and regulations, court decisions and official reports surrounding intelligence oversight.'”


MakeUseOf: 5 Free Email Tools to Clean Your Inbox and Make Gmail Better. “The internet has hundreds of social networks, thousands of chat apps, and millions of ways to connect with people, but good old email isn’t going anywhere. Your email inbox still rules your personal and professional life, so it’s in your best interest to learn all the tips and tricks to get the most out of email. The good news is that all you need are a few free apps and browser extensions.”

Techdirt: The Best Summary Of Australia’s News Link Tax / ‘Bargaining Code’ Legal Issues . “The Juice Media, an Australian outfit that is famous for making hilarious ‘Honest Government Ads’, usually for the Australian government (but sometimes for elsewhere) has put out a new ‘ad’ about the link tax in which they explain how it was a fight to take money from one set of giant rich companies, and give it to another set of giant rich companies, and not to do anything useful in between.” Includes several obscenities. Hysterically funny and also enraging.


Times of Israel: Rare Israeli Bedouin audio archive digitized to boost study of nomadic society. ” Leading Bedouin scholar Clinton Bailey has amassed hundreds of hours of recordings about the nomadic society’s poetry, history and legal system, in a career that began while jogging through Israel’s Negev desert. Bailey’s unique Arabic audio archive is now being transcribed and digitized by Israel’s National Library, a project aimed at enriching Bedouin scholarship in Israel, the Arab world and beyond.”

ProPublica: Sheryl Sandberg and Top Facebook Execs Silenced an Enemy of Turkey to Prevent a Hit to the Company’s Business. “Turkey was demanding the social media giant block Facebook posts from the People’s Protection Units, a mostly Kurdish militia group the Turkish government had targeted. Should Facebook ignore the request, as it has done elsewhere, and risk losing access to tens of millions of users in Turkey? Or should it silence the group, known as the YPG, even if doing so added to the perception that the company too often bends to the wishes of authoritarian governments?”


New York Times: Bangladeshi Writer, Detained Over Social Media Posts, Dies in Jail. “The writer, Mushtaq Ahmed, was among 11 people charged early last year over the spread of social media content, including cartoons, that alleged mismanagement and corruption in Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s response to the pandemic.”

WFTV: Bill proposes database to track use-of-force complaints against Florida police officers. “House Bill 277 is one of 16 bills announced by the Legislative Black Caucus this month focused on police reform. It would create a database to help agencies track use-of-force complaints against Florida officers.”


Pete Warden: How screen scraping and TinyML can turn any dial into an API. “I’ve already heard from multiple teams who have legacy hardware that they need to monitor, in environments as varied as oil refineries, crop fields, office buildings, cars, and homes. Some of the devices are decades old, so until now the only option to enable remote monitoring and data gathering was to replace the system entirely with a more modern version. This is often too expensive, time-consuming, or disruptive to contemplate. Pointing a small, battery-powered camera instead offers a lot of advantages. Since there’s an air gap between the camera and the dial it’s monitoring, it’s guaranteed to not affect the rest of the system, and it’s easy to deploy as an experiment, iterating to improve it.”

University of Georgia: New data traces rise, fall of the Freedman’s Bank. “In 1865, the U.S. government established the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Co. in to help newly emancipated communities gain a financial footing. With 37 branches across the South and in New York, the bank initially flourished and grew to include more than 100,000 customers. But it collapsed in June 1874 after the Financial Panic of 1873. Some of the Freedman’s Bank records have been lost to time, but many still exist. [Professor Malcom] Wardlaw and his Ph.D. student, Virginia Traweek, found the archived records and decided to analyze the data to see what they could discover about African American communities after the Civil War.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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