UFO Sightings, Google Search, Building Permit Visualization, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, August 24, 2021


Dazed: This website allows you to track UFO sightings. “As scientists at Harvard University continue their search for alien life, a new website allows you to track and record UFO sightings across the USA. UFO Discovery features sightings of unidentified flying objects dating back to the 1960s. With over 70,000 recorded sightings, users can search the site by city, state, shape of ‘aircraft’, year, and duration.”

Google Blog: Helping people and businesses learn how Search works. “Today, we’re launching a fully-redesigned How Search Works website that explains the ins and outs of Search — how we approach the big, philosophical questions, along with the nitty-gritty details about how it all works.” Well, maybe a little nitty-gritty, but I wouldn’t be expecting too much.


US Census Bureau: How You Can Leverage Census Bureau’s New Building Permit Visualization Tool. “The Census Bureau’s new visualization and extraction tool empowers users to engage this rich, sub county-level source of information about the critical first step in construction – the building permit. This webinar will demonstrate how anyone – academic researchers, builders, contractors, mainstream media – can engage this tool to understand building permit trends across one or multiple markets.”


RiotACT: Key National Archives reforms on the backburner. “The National Archives of Australia may have won funding to cover the backlog of at-risk records in need of digitisation but its greater ambitions to take a more commanding role in preserving and protecting documents across government will have to wait.”

The Verge: Google plans to customize Play Store app ratings for users’ country and device. “In place of one rating for an entire app, which can come in a variety of forms and levels of relative goodness depending on the device, Google plans to break things down with specific ratings for the country your device is registered in and specific ratings for the form factor of the device you’re using to browse the Play Store.”


Route Fifty: The Plantation and the Pizza Hut: A Suburban County Reconsiders Its History. “The United States is in the midst of an awakening about its history, especially when it comes to issues of race. That’s playing out at the national level, in state capitals, at county and municipal government offices, and at sites like Oak Hill and another historic community nearby whose centerpiece was eventually replaced by a Pizza Hut. Fairfax County officials have pledged to add more Black voices to its story. That won’t be easy, and will require a new approach to how its history is researched and interpreted.”

Manila Bulletin: For its 134th anniversary, National Library pivots with a digital library initiative. “Among the key plans of the NLP is to continue the enhancement of its building and at the same time procure necessary equipment which would be vital in the development of its online facilities, among others, as part of its vision to focus on enhancing services and facilities contributing to the social and cultural development of Filipino society.”

CNN: Kickstarter: ‘We were wrong’ about men’s guide to women. “‘We were wrong.’ With that, Kickstarter said Friday that it had erred in not moving quickly to remove from its website a request for money for a book that critics described as a guide for would-be rapists.”


Al-Monitor: Turkey’s plans for new social media restrictions threaten five years in prison for spreading fake news . “Proposals due to be put before parliament when it returns in October include punishment of one to five years for disseminating fake news, while those convicted of online insults would face up to two years in jail, the pro-government Turkiye newspaper reported.”


Aju Business Daily: S. Korea’s agricultural ministry to establish microbiome resource center to create database . “South Korea’s agriculture ministry will build a microbiome resource center to create a database of microorganisms by collecting resources and genetic information. The database will be shared with various sectors including the medical and food sectors to help enterprises beef up their capabilities.”

TechCrunch: TikTok is building its own AR development platform, TikTok Effect Studio. “Both Facebook and Snap offer tools that allow developers to build out augmented reality (AR) experiences and features for their own respective family of apps. Now, TikTok is looking to do the same. The company recently launched a new creative toolset called TikTok Effect Studio, currently in private beta testing, which will allow its own developer community to build AR effects for TikTok’s short-form video app.”


San Antonio Express-News: Wash and Learn: Libraries Without Borders uses laundromats to expand internet access in San Antonio. “When Lisa Alvarenga was a child, she spent weekends lugging plastic bags filled with clothes to and from the laundromat with her mother….Alvarenga, the San Antonio project coordinator for Libraries Without Borders, is now a part of the Wash and Learn Initiative. Through the program, laundromats are equipped with tablets and pre-loaded computers with educational portals and curated databases for all ages.” Good morning, Internet…

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