Technology Improvements, Irish Famine Memorial, New Jersey African-American Cemeteries, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, August 12, 2021


Fast Company: MIT built a Google search to spot the most important tech innovations of the future . “Is there any way to predict the improvements coming to other technologies, ranging from displays, to electric motors, to farming equipment? Now there is, thanks to researchers at MIT. They’ve built the equivalent of a Google search for innovation. Using their online search engine, you can type in one of 1,757 different technologies, and get one sharp number, which is its expected rate of improvement each year.”

IrishCentral: The shocking story behind an Irish Famine memorial in Quebec. “Located along the banks of the Gatineau River in western Quebec, just north of Canada’s National Capital Region, a sleepy rural community still holds deep Irish roots. It is here, in Low, Quebec, where a unique memorial stands in testament to the survivors of Ireland’s Great Hunger who settled this area in the 1800s.”

North Jersey: New database maps African American cemeteries in New Jersey. “Across New Jersey, numerous African American burial sites contain prominent figures and regular folks, freed and enslaved peoples. Like others across the United States, these grounds are a treasure trove ripe for discovery, connecting family and American histories. But where are they all? Researchers and genealogists would have a tough time finding a guide. There is no official database. At last count, more than 40 have been identified in New Jersey.”


BBC: Instagram launches ‘limits’ to hide abusive messages. “Instagram has announced new features designed to restrict abusive messages during ‘sudden spikes’. Its new ‘limits’ feature automatically hides comments and messages from people who do not follow – or just started following – users who switch it on.”

Google Blog: Best Trends forever: 15 years of Google Trends. “What were you doing in 2006? Maybe you were going through your emo phase. Maybe you were loving low rise jeans. Maybe you were mourning Pluto’s (temporary) demotion from planet to dwarf planet. Maybe you were checking out these trends — and plenty of others — on Google Trends, which went live in the summer of 2006. Though the tool’s data goes back to 2004, it became available two years later. This summer, Google Trends turns 15, so we thought it would be the perfect time to look back on trends of yesteryear and compare what people were searching for back in 2006 to today.”


Mashable: 10 free audiobook sites for discovering your next literary obsession. “Great literature is closer than you think, and you don’t even need to visit a bookstore or pick up your e-reader to find it. If you haven’t got time to sit down with a book — or if you just like being read to — check out one of these sites, which allow access to thousands of free audiobooks. There’s the perfect one for you in the mix!”


New York Times: How Facebook Failed to Stem Racist Abuse of England’s Soccer Players. “In May 2019, Facebook asked the organizing bodies of English soccer to its London offices off Regent’s Park. On the agenda: what to do about the growing racist abuse on the social network against Black soccer players…. A few months later, Facebook provided soccer representatives with an athlete safety guide, including directions on how players could shield themselves from bigotry using its tools. The message was clear: It was up to the players and the clubs to protect themselves online.”

University of Oxford: African Poetry Digital Portal: an online archive for the continent’s poetry. “An ambitious international project to establish a portal and archive for African poetry from across the continent has won $750,000 in backing from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. The African Poetry Digital Portal, based at the University of Nebraska, involves poets and librarians from across the African continent and will also be supported by others, including Oxford’s English Faculty and the Bodleian library.”

The Guardian: Why Instagram’s creatives are angry about its move to video. “The social media platform was once a favourite of artists and photographers, but a shift towards TikTok-type videos and shopping could leave them looking for a new home online.”


Bleeping Computer: One million stolen credit cards leaked to promote carding market. “A threat actor is promoting a new criminal carding marketplace by releasing one million credit cards stolen between 2018 and 2019 on hacking forums. Carding is the trafficking and use of stolen credit cards. These credit cards are stolen through point-of-sale malware, magecart attacks on websites, and information stealing trojans.”


University of Georgia: Why people snub their friends with their phone. “Smartphones have made multi-tasking easier, more understandable, and at times compulsive. But in social settings, these devices can lead to a form of contemporary rudeness called phone snubbing, or phubbing, the act of ignoring one’s companions to pay attention to a phone. While it may be commonplace, snubbing one’s friends (Fphubbing) can have serious repercussions on relationships, and there are a variety of factors that may drive individuals to ignore their friends in favor of an electronic screen, according to a new University of Georgia study.”

Michigan Daily: Texts from the void. “I collect text messages. I’ve done this for as long as I’ve had a smartphone. I know I will probably never look at many of these little screenshots of contextless conversations again. However, I still feel a responsibility to memorialize conversations that could easily be forgotten in our fast-paced, digitally evolving world. When I look back on these conversations, they bring me more joy or make me laugh harder than most in-person conversations. More often than not, though, I do not look back on these conversations at all. They end up in the ever-growing but hardly checked ‘screenshots’ folder of my phone, to be forgotten.” Good morning, Internet…

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