Miscarriages of Justice, Michigan Local Government, Google Cardboard, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, March 4, 2021


Scottish Legal News: Database of miscarriages of justice in UK launched. “The Laboratory for Evidence-Based Justice, based at Exeter Law School, is a new research group working at the intersection of cognitive psychology, data science, and law. The new database, created by the lab, includes the most comprehensive set of information to date about convictions overturned as a result of factual error in the UK, and covers cases in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, from 1970 to the present.” Currently information is available on 346 cases.

Michigan Radio: Introducing Minutes, a new tool to keep track of local government in Michigan. “We’ve been working on this project for more than a year, with funding from the Google News Initiative. And what we’ve built is a program that can search for and download content from the videos of public meetings from dozens of cities and counties from every corner of Michigan…. One way we’re making these meetings more public is by setting up new podcasts feeds, so you can subscribe and listen to the meetings for your city.”


Android Police: Google finally stops selling Cardboard VR goggles. “Google was among the first to herald the advent of mobile VR, but that daydream is slowly coming to an end. After the company halted the Cardboard SDK development and open-sourced it in 2019, it has now finally stopped selling the Cardboard hardware altogether in its online store.”

Axios: Facebook to lift political ad ban imposed after November election. “Facebook will finally allow advertisers to resume running political and social issue ads in the U.S. on Thursday, according to a company update. The big picture: Facebook and rival Google instituted political ad bans to slow the spread of misinformation and curb confusion around the presidential election and its aftermath.”


Mashable: Dive into women’s history with these 4 free online resources. “Mashable reached out to the National Women’s History Museum, the National Women’s History Alliance, the New-York Historical Society’s Center for Women’s History, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame to curate a list of engaging resources that elevate the largely untold stories of underrepresented women. They also explore the fight for suffrage and other vital movements within women’s history. We included digital media that feature a wide range of women from varying cultures, sexualities, classes, and fields.”

Lifehacker: Don’t Let Google Scare You Into Paying for Google Photos. “Google Photos is going away soon — or at least, the useful free service we used to store years’ worth of photographs is finally getting hit with a storage limit. Go beyond that, and you’ll have to pay to store your photos. That’s not great, but what’s almost as annoying are the scare tactics Google is using to convince free users to switch over to a paid subscription.”


Washington Post: Recipeasly promised to ‘fix’ online recipes. After critics called it theft, the site shut down.. “Lisa Lin can understand why home cooks might be interested in Recipeasly. The website allows users to collect their favorite recipes from around the Internet in one convenient location, sort of like an online recipe box. But as the founder of Healthy Nibbles, a seven-year-old website featuring hundreds of recipes, Lin doesn’t like how Recipeasly has marketed itself or how it developed a product without any apparent buy-in from the food bloggers and recipe developers who could be most affected by it.”

Gizmodo: Brave Is Launching a Privacy-First Search Engine to Take On Google. “Brave Search, which the company announced on Wednesday, is poised to become the ‘privacy-preserving alternative’ to, say, Google search, whose massive market cache is built — in part — off of hoovering data from every search that its users make, even when those searches are happening in incognito mode. And as others have pointed out in the past, if you try to use Google search within Brave’s browser, there’s still all sorts of data being collected on Google’s end about the number of search ads you’re seeing or clicking on.”

CNN: TikTok empowered these plus-sized women, then took down some of their posts. They still don’t know why. “Adore Me, a lingerie company that partners with all three women on sponsored social media posts, recently made headlines with a series of tweets claiming that TikTok’s algorithms are discriminating against its posts with plus-sized women, as well as posts with ‘differently abled’ models and women of color…. The issue isn’t new, either: Nearly a year ago, the singer Lizzo, who is known for her vocal support of body positivity, criticized TikTok for removing videos showing her in a bathing suit, but not, she claimed, swimwear videos from other women.”


Route Fifty: Feds Up Share of FEMA Grants That Must Be Spent on Cybersecurity. “The Department of Homeland Security will require more federal grant money to go toward cybersecurity projects in an effort to help state and local governments protect critical infrastructure, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced Thursday. In the past, DHS has required that a minimum of 5% of Federal Emergency Management Agency grants be dedicated to cybersecurity. The department will now up that requirement to 7.5%—a change that will bolster cybersecurity funding for state and local governments by $25 million, Mayorkas said.”

CNET: Parler files new suit against Amazon alleging defamation, breach of contract. “Parler has voluntarily dismissed its hosting lawsuit against Amazon, but the alternative social network isn’t done with its fight. Parler on Tuesday filed a new lawsuit against Amazon, alleging defamation and breach of contract.”


Wired: A Trippy Visualization Charts the Internet’s Growth Since 1997. “The original Opte was a still image, but the 2021 version is a 10K video with extensive companion stills, using BGP data from University of Oregon’s Route Views project to map the global internet from 1997 to today. [Barrett] Lyon worked on the visualization for months and relied on a number of applications, tools, and scripts to produce it. One is a software package called Large Graph Layout, originally designed to render images of proteins, that attempts hundreds and hundreds of different visual layouts until it finds the most efficient, representative solution.” Good morning, Internet…

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