Arizona State University Map Collection, A World Of Difference, Machine Learning, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, August 23, 2021


Arizona State University: Mapping the ASU Library map collection. “The 3D Explorer is an interactive 3D web scene that literally maps the ASU Library map collection, the Map and Geospatial Hub. With some powerful search and visualization features, the tool allows anyone, from anywhere in the world, to virtually visit and explore the thousands of maps and other materials housed in the Map and Geospatial Hub as if they were physically located in the space itself.”

Google Blog: Explore our planet’s most unique places and cultures. “Our physical world is changing faster than ever. Climate change and global socio-economic shifts are threatening our magnificent natural landscapes and disrupting small communities. In keeping with this, there is value to be found in confronting and documenting our at-risk environment. For World Photography Day, we invite you to explore A World of Difference, a new online exhibition on Google Arts & Culture offering a perspective of these diverse stories through the lens of Italian photographer Angelo Chiacchio, in collaboration with Art Works for Change.”


The Register: Free machine-learning lessons from The Register – starting with Benford’s distribution . “In our new, free MCubed webcast series, we’ll bring you up to speed with the latest ML development-related tools, libraries, and cloud service news, before jumping into hand-selected expert talks. Through those, practitioners will help you freshen up on the basics, share serviceable advice from their day to day work, and provide insight into the issues they’re trying to solve.”


DigitalNC: Issues from 1951 of the Carolina Times are now on DigitalNC. “Thanks to funding from an IDEA grant from UNC Libraries, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is pleased to now have the full run of 1951 issues of the Carolina Times digitized. The issues from 1951 were never microfilmed, so they were not included in previous projects to digitize the newspaper which were done from film.”

Engadget: Facebook releases Q1 ‘widely viewed content’ report following criticism. “… on Friday, the New York Times published a report saying that it had seen a ‘widely viewed content’ report for Q1 of 2021 and that it showed different trends. For example, the most-viewed link was a story claiming a Florida doctor died from the coronovirus vaccine. Facebook has now confirmed the document’s accuracy and released it directly.”


Wake County, North Carolina: Wake County Register of Deeds and Shaw University Collaborate to Complete Enslaved Persons Project. “The Wake County Register of Deeds Office and Shaw University are partnering on a project to unlock the secrets of dozens of property deeds to help better reveal the human stories of slavery in our area. The Enslaved Persons Project is a massive effort to catalog, transcribe and make public the records from more than 30 deed books containing bills of sale and property exchanges to allow hundreds of people to track the history of their families.”

Rest of World: “We do not feel safe”: A Kabul-based crisis alert app struggles to protect its own employees. “Ehtesab means “accountability” in Dari and Pashto, and the app, formally launched in March 2020, offers streamlined security-related information, including general security updates in Kabul to its users. With real-time, crowdsourced alerts, users across the city can track bomb blasts, roadblocks, electricity outages, or other problems in locations close to them…. Despite the company’s single-minded focus on security, the Ehtesab team was caught off-guard by the sudden collapse of the Afghan government over the weekend.”


Wired: Millions of Web Camera and Baby Monitor Feeds Are Exposed. “A VULNERABILITY IS lurking in numerous types of smart devices—including security cameras, DVRs, and even baby monitors—that could allow an attacker to access live video and audio streams over the internet and even take full control of the gadgets remotely. What’s worse, it’s not limited to a single manufacturer; it shows up in a software development kit that permeates more than 83 million devices, and over a billion connections to the internet each month.”

Politico: Wrangling over Jan. 6 footage could force open congressional records. “Past efforts to use the courts to force disclosure of congressional records like the videos have gotten little traction, but the Jan. 6-related case seizes on an opinion a D.C. Circuit judge issued in June. The new legal fight has the potential to set a new precedent for what kinds of information Congress must disclose, and when — and is squarely aimed at upending decades of law that shielded the institution from public scrutiny.”


Boing Boing: Mindblowing AI pixel art. “AI artist dribnet developed an AI that produces remarkably beautiful (and coherent) pixel art based upon text prompts. He’s established an online notebook where you can make your own.” Very cool.

TechCrunch: A mathematician walks into a bar (of disinformation). “What is disinformation? Does it exist, and if so, where is it and how do we know we are looking at it? Should we care about what the algorithms of our favorite platforms show us as they strive to squeeze the prune of our attention? It’s just those sorts of intricate mathematical and social science questions that got Noah Giansiracusa interested in the subject.”


CNET: NASA rover marks nine years on Mars with glorious 360-degree panorama. “Congratulations, Curiosity, you’ve survived and thrived for over nine years on another planet. NASA’s older Martian rover captured a gorgeous 360-degree panorama in early July and the space agency released it on Tuesday to celebrate the vehicle’s August land-iversary.” Good morning, Internet…

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