Church of Ireland Gazette, New Mexico Uranium Mines, U.S. Media Index, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, May 19, 2021


Church of Ireland Historical Society: Church of Ireland Gazette Digital Archive Complete (1856-2010). “The Church of Ireland Gazette Digital Archive is complete. All editions of the newspaper, from its foundation in 1856 up to and including 2010, are freely available electronically, allowing the worldwide audience to view and search it using any name, place, or other search term.”

Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department of New Mexico: Mining and Minerals Division launches Uranium Mines Dashboard. This link goes to a PDF file. “The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) Mining and Minerals Division (MMD) announces the launch of the New Mexico Uranium Mines Dashboard, intended to provide the public with quick access to data on legacy uranium mines throughout the state. The dashboard compiles data from a variety of sources into one location, making it easier for the public to find information about legacy uranium mining in New Mexico. Built by MMD staff, the database includes mines that had verifiable uranium production, and that have been abandoned, may no longer be maintained, and are inactive.”

NiemanLab: The U.S. Media Index database shows news consumers who owns what. “If you ever wanted to track down who owns a news outlet, it’s now much easier to do it. The U.S. Media Index database by the Future of Media Project has done the grueling work of compiling that information for us. The databases includes three indices: The U.S. Mainstream Media Index details the 176 parent companies of daily news outlets; the index of emerging nonprofit media and donors lists 231 nonprofit news outlets and who funds them; and an index of the seven owners of daily newspapers is categorized by state.”

Nerdist: This Tool Lets You See World’s 1,000 Most-Polluting Rivers. “One of the biggest environmental disasters that needs to be addressed ASAP is the immense plastic pollution in the oceans. According to the nonprofit organization The Ocean Cleanup Project, the best way to do this is to tackle the incoming plastics at their source: rivers along coasts. With a new tool, the nonprofit allows people to see the 1,000 most-polluting rivers in the world; ones it aims to purify with its autonomous, plastic-collecting drone ships.”

Independent (Ireland): Claddagh reveals ‘treasure trove’ of music and poetry on website. “Claddagh and Universal are in the process of digitally remastering a ‘treasure trove’ of Claddagh material which has been stored in Bank of Ireland vaults for several decades. More than 600 products, including Irish music and poetry, will be available for sale internationally with plans for the Claddagh website to become a ‘go-to’ site for traditional Irish music and sound. ”


MakeUseOf: Rumor: Twitter Will Release Its New Verification Tool in May. “According to a serial Twitter researcher, Twitter might relaunch its tool to request verification in the week beginning May 16. The new tool will allow users to request a blue tick on the platform.”


The Scotsman: New national museum proposed to honour Scots convicted of witchcraft. “The proposed attraction, which is hoped to secure public funding to help get it off the ground, would recall how 3,837 people were accused of witchcraft in Scotland between the 16th and 18th centuries – 85 per cent of them women. It is thought around 2,500 executions were carried out in Scotland under the Witchcraft Act during several waves of ‘satanic panic’ between 1563 and 1736.”

BuzzFeed News: Tumblr Says It’s The Queerest Social Media Platform, But Can It Hold On To That?. “Tumblr has declared itself “the queerest place on the internet” based on data it collected comparing its users to those of other platforms, like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Twitter, and Pinterest. According to Tumblr, the people who use its site are 193% more likely to be LGBTQ compared to those on other platforms. It estimates that 1 in 4 of its users identifies as LGBTQ.”


CNET: Amazon sales of facial recognition software to police on pause indefinitely. “Amazon isn’t ready to begin sales of its facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies when a year-long moratorium expires in June. The company didn’t announce a new deadline, and the suspension of sales of the Rekognition software will stay in place until further notice, as reported earlier by Reuters.”

Yahoo News: Facial recognition, fake identities and digital surveillance tools: Inside the post office’s covert internet operations program. “The post office’s law enforcement arm has faced intense congressional scrutiny in recent weeks over its Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP), which tracks social media posts of Americans and shares that information with other law enforcement agencies. Yet the program is much broader in scope than previously known and includes analysts who assume fake identities online, use sophisticated intelligence tools and employ facial recognition software, according to interviews and documents reviewed by Yahoo News.”


Getty Blog: A Rare Opportunity to Study Van Gogh’s Irises. “For more than 30 years, a wild patch of vibrant blue flowers and undulating greenery has been a landmark of the Getty Museum’s collection, drawing crowds from all over the world who flock to gaze on the distinctive, curling lines and thick impasto of Irises by Vincent Van Gogh…. If the Getty Museum is open, you can expect to see Van Gogh’s Irises. But the unprecedented closure allowed Irises to be moved into the Getty’s laboratory and conservation studio for an in-depth examination.”

MIT Technology Review: Language models like GPT-3 could herald a new type of search engine. “…a team of Google researchers has published a proposal for a radical redesign that throws out the ranking approach and replaces it with a single large AI language model—a future version of BERT or GPT-3. The idea is that instead of searching for information in a vast list of web pages, users would ask questions and have a language model trained on those pages answer them directly. The approach could change not only how search engines work, but how we interact with them.” Gee, like natural language searching? Like MIT sued Ask Jeeves over? Good morning, Internet…

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