Delaware WWII Casualties, Commonwealth Ocean Funding, Facebook, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, May 27, 2021


Delaware Online: He’s telling the stories behind Delaware’s World War II dead, one soldier at a time. “The man who gave him that gift is Lowell Silverman, a Newark resident who has spent the pandemic researching Delaware dead from World War II. A few weeks ago, he created a new website dedicated to the hundreds of Delaware-born soldiers who died with hopes of telling all their stories. He’s off to a fast start.”

Commonwealth of Nations: New funding database for ocean action. “The Commonwealth Secretariat has launched an online database to help member countries be aware of and access more than US$170 million of international funding available for ocean-related projects. Accompanying this new web tool is a handbook containing valuable guidance on how to navigate the database, as well as match and pitch projects to the most suitable funders.”


Variety: Instagram, Facebook Will Now Let You Hide Public Like Counts. “Does seeing the number of ‘likes’ on a post stress you out? Now all users on Instagram (and soon Facebook) will have the option to hide public like counts on their posts — and choose whether or not they see likes on other people’s posts.”

Politico: Facebook no longer treating ‘man-made’ Covid as a crackpot idea. “Facebook will no longer take down posts claiming that Covid-19 was man-made or manufactured, a company spokesperson told POLITICO on Wednesday, a move that acknowledges the renewed debate about the virus’ origins.”


MarketWatch: ‘An organic, social-media phenomenon’: TikTok is driving a surge in demand for young-adult fiction novels. “Some people go on TikTok to see funny clips of dogs popping out of watermelons, learn new dances or discover cooking hacks. Others are there to get book recommendations — using the hashtag #BookTok. These recommendations tend to skew toward young-adult fiction novels — and have contributed to a nearly 70% increase in demand for the year to date through April compared to the previous year, according to data from the NPD Group.”

WisBusiness: BookScape brings the written word to 3D life. “The product has both a mobile application and a browser-based version that takes an excerpt of text and turns it into an illustrative work of art. Once available for purchase, BookScape will be a recurring subscription-based software so users can easily create and store their illustrations online…. The software uses a library of three-dimensional models to build the visualized environment, using artificial intelligence to fill in information gaps.”


NBC News: FAA finally OKs database to track pilot employment records, after 12 years of delays. “Twelve years after Colgan Flight 3407 crashed, the loved ones of the 50 victims finally got from the federal government what they’ve long been demanding — a pledge to create a U.S. database to keep track of bad pilots. But it could be a few more years before that long-awaited database is fully implemented.”

UChicago News: For launching JusticeText, Leslie Jones-Dove and Devshi Mehrotra named to Forbes 30 Under 30. “”In 2019, a pair of undergraduate computer science majors at the University of Chicago set out to complete their capstone for the College course, ‘Entrepreneurship in Technology.’ They never anticipated that their project would later serve public defenders around the country. Shortly after the class ended, Leslie Jones-Dove and Devshi Mehrotra co-founded JusticeText, software that generates automated transcripts of body camera footage, interrogation videos, jail calls and more. JusticeText expedites the pre-trial preparation time and allows public defenders to analyze crucial data.”

New York Times: WhatsApp Sues India’s Government to Stop New Internet Rules. ” WhatsApp sued the Indian government on Wednesday to stop what it said were oppressive new internet rules that would require it to make people’s messages ‘traceable’ to outside parties for the first time.” Baffled this article doesn’t mention that rumors on WhatsApp led to the lynchings of over twenty people in India.


Quartz: Dear India, here’s how to cope with a censored internet, xoxo China. “While bans on foreign platforms may not be imminent as some news reports suggest, the new restrictions are stoking fears that online news and dissent will be increasingly stifled. In China, as similar rules came into play, foreign social media platforms departed or were blocked, leading to the rise of Chinese platforms whose terms of agreement make clear that user communications will be shared with the government in many circumstances. As a result, internet users in China have long had practice circumventing their authorities’ watchful eyes. It might just be time for users in India—or anywhere really—to draw some valuable tips from their experience.”

BetaKit: Biobox Analytics Launches Platform To Help Scientists Analyze Genomic Data. “Founded in 2019 by a trio of University of Toronto graduate students including [Christopher] Li, Hamza Farooq, and Julian Mazzitelli, BioBox offers a subscription-based data analytics platform for scientists working with next-generation sequencing data. The startup’s platform allows researchers to analyze genomic information.”

Poynter: Brand over substance may determine the public’s perception of news articles, study says . “The public’s perception of a news outlet’s trustworthiness may come down to branding rather than content, according to a recently released study from the Knight Foundation and Gallup. The study used data from a specially designed news aggregation platform called NewsLense to test participants’ perceptions and interactions with articles from outlets identified as either ‘sympathetic,’ ‘no lean,’ or ‘adversarial.'” Good morning, Internet….

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