Property Tax Inequality, Lithuanian-Jewish Genealogy, Women in Radiation Sciences, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, March 11, 2021


UChicago News: Property tax burdens fall on nation’s lowest-income homeowners, study finds. “The Center for Municipal Finance at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy has completed a nationwide analysis revealing that property taxes—which generate roughly $500 billion and represent the single largest revenue source for local governments each year—are inequitable, with the burden falling disproportionally on owners of the least valuable homes in most counties, cities, and other taxing jurisdictions across the United States…. Using data from millions of residential real estate transactions between 2007 and 2017, [Professor Christopher] Berry—who directs the Center for Municipal Finance and is the William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor at Harris Public Policy—developed the nationwide analysis and a new tool, searchable by county and city, which looks at property tax records for communities around the U.S.”

BusinessWire: MyHeritage Adds Lithuanian-Jewish Historical Records in Coordination with LitvakSIG (PRESS RELEASE). “MyHeritage, the leading global service for discovering your past and empowering your future, and LitvakSIG, a U.S. non-profit organization providing the primary online resource for Lithuanian-Jewish genealogy research worldwide, jointly announced today the publication of an important compilation of Lithuanian-Jewish historical records by MyHeritage. The records in this collection were originally translated and indexed by LitvakSIG, and represent almost the entire corpus of LitvakSIG’s work over more than twenty years. These records have now been added to MyHeritage’s historical record database.”

Science Advisory Board: EPA launches Women in Radiation History website. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is marking Women’s History Month with the launch of a new website to celebrate the history of women in radiation sciences.”


TechCrunch: Walmart to host a new livestream shopping event on TikTok, following successful pilot. “In December, Walmart partnered with TikTok on the first pilot test of a new livestreamed shopping experience in the U.S. on the video platform. That test seemingly performed well, as today Walmart announced it will return to TikTok to host another livestream shopping event, the ‘Spring Shop-Along: Beauty Edition,’ which will feature TikTok creators and influencers in an hour-long livestream.”

Google Blog: New features for Chromebook’s 10th birthday. “Today, Chrome OS devices do everything from helping people get things done to entertaining them while they unwind. But we want to do more to provide a powerfully simple computing experience to the millions of people who use Chromebooks. We’re celebrating 10 years of Chromebooks with plenty of new features to bring our vision to life. ”


Mashable: We all hate Facebook. So why aren’t we deleting our accounts?. “More than three billion people use Facebook every month — and nearly 2.6 billion are active users who log onto the platform every day, according to Facebook. That leaves about 400 million people who have Facebook accounts but don’t log on often. It’s not so much that they love the platform itself, but it’s that Facebook has become such a staple in our lives on the internet that deleting it completely doesn’t feel like an option if you want to remember birthdays, log onto other platforms, or keep up with far-flung acquaintances.”

The New York Times: Epoch Media Casts Wider Net to Spread Its Message Online. “Epoch Media, which is affiliated with the Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong, regularly publishes anti-Chinese Communist Party content as well as conspiracy theory-laden articles about QAnon and unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.”

Macleod Gazette: Project creates digital home for Blackfoot items. “Mootookakio’ssin, at its simplest description, is a project to create detailed images of historical Blackfoot objects housed in British museums. At its most complex, it is creating a virtual home for Indigenous objects, a place to reactivate the Blackfoot relations within them and transfer that knowledge all the way from Britain back to their peoples in southern Alberta. After two years of research, construction and creation, this collaborative project between University of Lethbridge and UK researchers, led by Blackfoot advisors and elders, is coming to fruition, culminating in presentations, exhibitions, workshops, and the launch of the digital object microsite in summer 2021, to be housed in the Blackfoot Digital Library.”


Federal News Network: A new agency to officially take over the .gov domain. “Any agency wanting a brand new website will have to go through a new provider. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is taking over the management of the dot-gov domain. The General Services Administration controlled the dot gov domain since the 1990s. But in 2020 Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed the DOTGOV Act into law.”

The Verge: Democrats are gearing up to fight for net neutrality. “A new bill to bring back net neutrality is on its way, supported by one of the open internet’s most fervent advocates. At an advocacy event last month, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) announced that he would be introducing a measure in the next few ‘weeks’ that would engrave the no throttling, block, or paid fast lanes rules into law.”

Ars Technica: Critical 0-day that targeted security researchers gets a patch from Microsoft. “Microsoft has patched a critical zero-day vulnerability that North Korean hackers were using to target security researchers with malware. The in-the-wild attacks came to light in January in posts from Google and Microsoft. Hackers backed by the North Korean government, both posts said, spent weeks developing working relationships with security researchers. To win the researchers’ trust, the hackers created a research blog and Twitter personas who contacted researchers to ask if they wanted to collaborate on a project.”


The Next Web: AI generates trippy music video inspired by 50,000 album covers. “A Spanish artist has created a trippy music video by training a deep-learning algorithm on thousands of album covers. Bruno López produced the video by using a combination of Spotify data, Python scripts, and Generative Adversarial Networks.” Good morning, Internet…

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