Inca Khipus, Food Recalls, Venmo, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, July 22, 2021


Google Blog: Explore the undeciphered writing of the Incas. “‘Khipus,’ which means ‘knots’ in the Quechua language, are the colorful, intricate cords made by the Incas, who inhabited some parts of South America before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. These knotted strings are still an enigma waiting to be unraveled. What secrets are hidden in these colorful knots dating back centuries? What messages from the Incas echo in these intricate cords? Could the ancestral knowledge they hold inform us about our future?

Fresh Plaza: Searchable database of FDA/USDA food recalls launched. “The Food Industry Counsel, LLC launched its ‘FIC Recall Reporter™’ business tool, a new, searchable database of all FDA and USDA published Class I, Class II and Class III food and beverage recalls since 2000.” Absolutely free, believe it or not.


Bloomberg: Venmo Curbs Visibility on Payments So Strangers Can’t See Them. “Venmo is ditching its global social feed, making it so users can no longer see payments between people they don’t know. The app, owned by PayPal Holdings Inc., will continue to allow users to see transactions among their friends, according to a blog post Tuesday. The move comes after Venmo has seen its customer base swell to 70 million during the pandemic.”

CNET: Chrome 92 blocks phishing attacks faster and gets 3 other security protections. “A new version of Google Chrome, released Tuesday, blocks phishing attacks 50 times faster and uses less battery power in the process. It’s one of several new security abilities built into Chrome 92 as part of its effort to squelch the risks of going online.”

Hypebeast: You Can Now Translate Instagram Stories Into 90+ Languages. “Instagram on Wednesday unveiled a new feature that allows users to effortlessly translate Stories into over 90 languages. The feature, aimed at better connecting global audiences, currently only works for text and not audio.”


Wired: How to Watch the 2021 Summer Olympics . “Read on for the specific timing of some of the biggest events. NBC hasn’t yet indicated when it will replay most of the events, so these are all live times. Also, the times are likely to change as the actual games play out. You can find the full schedule of events on the official Olympics website. For all the events in Eastern time, use NBC’s official schedule.”


University of New Orleans: History Professor Mary Niall Mitchell Collaborates With New Orleans Teachers, Others on Pilot Project Using Freedom on the Move Data. “University of New Orleans history professor Mary Niall Mitchell is collaborating with New Orleans public school teachers, museum directors and other community leaders to develop a K-12 curriculum using Freedom on the Move’s (FOTM) database of advertisements seeking runaway enslaved people. The digital database, which Mitchell is a lead historian, is the largest digital collection of newspaper advertisements for people escaping from North American slavery. Culled from 18th- and 19th-century U.S. newspapers, the ads, placed by enslavers, are used to document the lives of people escaping bondage.”


Reuters: EU court to rule on Google’s $2.8 billion EU antitrust fine on Nov. 10 – sources. “Europe’s second-top court will rule on Alphabet unit Google’s challenge against a 2.4 billion euro ($2.8 billion) EU antitrust fine on Nov. 10, the first of a trio of cases, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.”

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Proposes Raising Penalty for Hospitals That Don’t Publish Prices. “The Biden administration on Monday proposed sharply higher penalties for larger hospitals that don’t make their prices public. The proposal would also clamp down on the use of special coding embedded in hospital webpages that prevents Alphabet Inc.’s Google and other search engines from displaying price pages in search results.”


GCN: Outside reviews can limit bias in forensic algorithms, GAO says. “While technology can curtail subjective decisions and reduce the time it takes analysts to reach conclusions, it comes with its own set of challenges. In a follow-up to a May 2020 report on how forensic algorithms work, the Government Accountability Office outlined the key challenges affecting the use of these algorithms and the associated social and ethical implications.”

Yale School of Medicine: Virtual Reality Game Is an Effective Tool for Vaping Prevention Among Teens. “Yale researchers have developed an immersive, virtual reality video game that helps teens learn about the dangers of e-cigarettes and practice strategies for refusing them. E-cigarette use among youth is on the rise—they are the most popular smoking product used by middle and high school students in the U.S. Approximately half of teenagers between 14-18 years old have tried an e-cigarette at least once, while about 10% of teens vape regularly. However, many teens are unaware of the long-lasting effects nicotine can have on a developing brain.”

PubMed: Google Trends Data: A Potential New Tool for Monitoring the Opioid Crisis. “Inexpensive, publicly accessible, real-time GT data could supplement and strengthen the monitoring of opioid overdose epidemic if used in conjunction with the existing official data sources.” Good morning, Internet…

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