Texas Flooding, Twitter, Tennessee Unclaimed Property, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 8, 2021


USGS: Online tool updated with new features to help Texans during flooding. “An interactive online tool that can help Texans prepare and respond to flooding events has ­newly added capabilities to help inform state and local flood management decisions that can help protect life and property. Emergency managers and the public across Texas now have access to near real-time information on statewide reservoir and traffic conditions at one convenient location to help assess flood risks and identify evacuation routes as a flooding event is occurring.”


CNET: Twitter ‘Communities’ feature lets people form groups to tweet about topics. “Twitter is testing a new tool, Communities, which lets users publicly tweet in a group about specific topics. The experiment builds on Twitter’s efforts to make it easier for its users to find tweets about topics they’re interested in.”

WGNS: $1.2 billion in Unclaimed Property – Tennessee Treasury launches enhanced, mobile-friendly claims portal. “The Unclaimed Property Division is a consumer protection program of the Tennessee Department of Treasury that works to reunite the millions of missing dollars turned over every year with its rightful owners. Treasury estimates that one in six Tennesseans could have missing money.”

Google Blog: All the ways to print your memories with Google Photos. “Now we’re rolling out larger photo print sizes, a new option to get your prints delivered right to your door and new canvas print sizes, so there are even more ways to print your favorite pictures. And because Google Photos helps you keep your photos organized and searchable, it’s easy to find what you want to print even if you’re looking for a shot from years ago.”


Digital Inspiration: How to Delete Blank Rows from Tables in your Google Documents. “How to remove all blank rows from one or more tables in a Google Docs document with Google Apps Script. You may also delete blank rows from tables in Google Slides.”


Penn Today: Archiving empire. “A long-unseen archive centered on an 18th-century Mughal woman will soon be publicly accessible, thanks to the work of religious studies professor Megan Robb and a team of Penn students.”

TechCrunch: Playbyte’s new app aims to become the ‘TikTok for games’. “A startup called Playbyte wants to become the TikTok for games. The company’s newly launched iOS app offers tools that allow users to make and share simple games on their phone, as well as a vertically scrollable, full-screen feed where you can play the games created by others. Also like TikTok, the feed becomes more personalized over time to serve up more of the kinds of games you like to play.”


The Guardian: Revealed: LAPD officers told to collect social media data on every civilian they stop . “Copies of the ‘field interview cards’ that police complete when they question civilians reveal that LAPD officers are instructed to record a civilian’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts, alongside basic biographical information. An internal memo further shows that the police chief, Michel Moore, told employees that it was critical to collect the data for use in ‘investigations, arrests, and prosecutions’”, and warned that supervisors would review cards to ensure they were complete. The documents, which were obtained by the not-for-profit organization the Brennan Center for Justice, have raised concerns about civil liberties and the potential for mass surveillance of civilians without justification.”

Krebs on Security: Microsoft: Attackers Exploiting Windows Zero-Day Flaw . “Microsoft Corp. warns that attackers are exploiting a previously unknown vulnerability in Windows 10 and many Windows Server versions to seize control over PCs when users open a malicious document or visit a booby-trapped website. There is currently no official patch for the flaw, but Microsoft has released recommendations for mitigating the threat.”


Education Technology: Are we entering the era of ‘Netflix and skill’?. “This generation is being built on-demand. We want things efficiently and with a click of a button. With all the smart technology that surrounds us, we have become somewhat spoilt in terms of being offered a ‘unique online experience’. Our YouTube suggestions will be personalised, and our Facebook ads are specially targeted; whether you agree with it or whether it freaks you out, we can’t deny that it’s handy as it has streamlined many everyday processes, from shopping to watching TV.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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