Police Union Web Sites, APRA-Funded Broadband Projects, Spotify, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, September 4, 2021


Cornell Chronicle: Police union websites preserved by library archive. “Spearheaded by the library’s Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives in Catherwood Library, in the ILR School, the Police Unions and Associations archive features a curated collection of 165 public safety organizations’ websites, from the Alliance of Hispanic Law Enforcement to the Vulcan Society, a fraternal organization of Black New York City firefighters. Each represents one of four constituencies: labor unions, professional associations, minority law enforcement organizations and police accountability organizations.”

Telecompetitor: New Database Outlines ARPA Funded Broadband Projects. “At least 98 counties and cities are planning or considering broadband projects to be funded, at least in part, through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), according to a new database from the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR).”


Mashable: Philips Hue smart lights can now react to your Spotify songs. “On Wednesday, Signify — a Philips spinoff that manufactures lighting products — announced that Philips Hue lightbulbs are now integrated with Spotify. This includes an algorithm that analyzes the metadata of each song you play on the music streaming platform, in real time, in order to make the lights ‘dance’ to the music.”


City of Boston: Mayor Janey Launches Chatbot To Connect To Food Resources; Food Donations Platform. “Mayor Kim Janey and the Mayor’s Office of Food Access (OFA) today announced the launch of the food resources SMS chatbot and the online food donations platform. Both initiatives respond to goals included in Boston’s Food Access Agenda, aiming to strengthen the citywide food access network by efficiently connecting existing programs and resources to better serve the community.”

Ohio University News: University Libraries’ extraordinary legacy as the first library in the world to catalog online. “t can be said that online cataloging as it is today began on Aug. 26, 1971, when Ohio University’s Vernon R. Alden Library, using a dedicated phone line, was the first in the world to generate an electronic library record. That online cataloging system, created by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), became a pioneer in networking library materials. Fifty years later, the world and OHIO still celebrate the anniversary of this historic moment.”

The Guardian: Reddit reportedly hires bankers and lawyers as it aims for $15bn IPO. “Reddit is seeking to hire investment bankers and lawyers for an initial public offering in New York, two people familiar with the matter told the Reuters news agency. Reddit was valued at $10bn in a private fundraising round last month. By the time the IPO would take place early next year, the online message board company is hoping it will be valued at more than $15bn, one of the sources said.”


Reuters: Japan’s new digital chief in copyright gaffe. “The chief of Japan’s Digital Agency, which launched this week to propel creaking government infrastructure into an online future, apologised on Friday after posting an image in breach of copyright rules.”

FTC: FTC Bans SpyFone and CEO from Surveillance Business and Orders Company to Delete All Secretly Stolen Data. “Today, the Federal Trade Commission banned SpyFone and its CEO Scott Zuckerman from the surveillance business over allegations that the stalkerware app company secretly harvested and shared data on people’s physical movements, phone use, and online activities through a hidden device hack. The company’s apps sold real-time access to their secret surveillance, allowing stalkers and domestic abusers to stealthily track the potential targets of their violence.”

Reuters: Google locks former Afghan government accounts amid Taliban push for emails: reports. “Google has temporarily locked down an unspecified number of Afghan government email accounts, according to a person familiar with the matter, as fears grow over the digital paper trail left by former officials and their international partners.”


USC Viterbi School of Engineering: Is it A Horror Film or a Rom-Com? AI Can Predict Based Solely on Music.. “[Professor Shrikanth] Narayanan and team’s study was the first to apply deep learning models to the music used in a film to see if a computer could predict the genre of a film based on the soundtrack alone. They found that these models were able to accurately classify a film’s genre using machine learning, supporting the notion that musical features can be powerful indicators in how we perceive different films.”

Ohio State News: Groundbreaking ideas from women scientists get less attention. “Researchers used a novel way of tracing the flow of ideas to find that even some of the most well-known breakthroughs in biomedical research from 1980 to 2008 had a more difficult road to adoption when research teams were dominated by women. Specifically, the five-year adoption rate of new ideas from female-majority teams was 23% lower than that of male-majority teams – even among the top 0.1% of ideas.”

Science Friday: How Imperfect Data Leads Us Astray. “Datasets are increasingly shaping important decisions, from where companies target their advertising, to how governments allocate resources. But what happens when the data they rely on is wrong or incomplete? Ira talks to technologist Kasia Chmielinski, as they test drive an algorithm that predicts a person’s race or ethnicity based on just a few details, like their name and zip code, the Bayseian Improved Surname Geocoding algorithm (BISG). You can check out one of the models they used here. The BISG is frequently used by government agencies and corporations alike to fill in missing race and ethnicity data—except it often guesses wrong, with potentially far-reaching effects.” A podcast with transcript available. Good morning, Internet…

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