Endangered Species Australia, Los Angeles Community Histories, Herman Melville, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 13, 2021


ABC News (Australia): Race to save frogs, quokkas, parrots and koalas from extinction helped by new threat database . “Researchers across Australia have spent 18 months forming the database of threats forcing species to the brink of extinction. The list of more than 1,700 species was done to help wildlife warriors and organisations stop foreshadowed declines in flora and fauna populations, and even possible extinctions.”

USC Libraries: New Digital Resources for L.A. Community Histories. “The new digital collections include 15,755 pages of paper records such as broadsides, posters, correspondence, postcards, and ephemera; 1,000 historic photographs; 2,000 video recordings totaling 3,155 hours; and photographs of 95 cultural objects. The archival resources document the lived experiences and perspectives of African American, Asian American, Jewish, and Mexican American communities in Southern California from the late 1800s to the present and are freely accessible online via the USC Digital Library, Calisphere, Digital Public Library of America, and websites maintained by the participating community archives.”

Boise State University: A new research tool for Melville lovers: Melville’s Marginalia Online. “Melville’s Marginalia Online is a virtual archive and electronic edition of the handwritten notes and markings in books read by American author Herman Melville. Melville’s Marginalia Online also tracks and documents the discovery of volumes from Melville’s library, which was dispersed after his death in 1891. Scholars and students of literature will be able to gain insights about influences on Melville including the work works of Homer, Shakespeare, and Melville’s friend and fellow writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne.”


CNET: Zoom is adding live translation services, more hybrid work features. “Upgrades include live, multilanguage transcription and translation for Zoom calls. The platform will use machine learning and natural language processing to first transcribe the spoken language, and then each participant will be able to translate it to their own language, Zoom executives said during a press call. A beta will be available this month, and the feature should be generally available by the end of the year. The list of languages is not yet final, there will be 30 transcription and 12 translation options by the end of 2022, they added.”


CNBC: Facebook shields millions of VIP users from standard moderation protocols, per report. “Every day Facebook users can have their content taken down immediately if the company’s artificial intelligence technologies or contracted content moderators find their posts to be in violation of the company’s rules. Users in the XCheck program, however, may have their content stay live on Facebook’s services before being routed into a separate moderation system. That process is also staffed by better-trained content moderators who are full-time employees, and XCheck users , according to the report.”

Elizabeth City State University: ECSU Works to Digitize and Preserve North Carolina History Thanks to State Library of North Carolina Grant. “Elizabeth City State University’s G.R. Little Library and its staff are working to preserve North Carolina history. Thanks to a $163,991 grant from the State Library of North Carolina (SLNC), the university’s library will be able to assist the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (DHC) in digitizing historic documents and photographs, preserving them for future generations.”

Clevescene: Clevelander Franklin Fantini Is Archiving and Sharing Country Music’s Odd and Forgotten Past With ‘Dollar Country WTFC’ Radio Show. “From a makeshift studio in his suburban Cleveland basement filled with a collection of 1,500 .45 RPM vinyl records, Franklin Fantini — a self-made, DIY purveyor of ten-cent wax — has for the last five years been broadcasting Dollar Country WTFC every week. The hour-long online radio show hosted by Frank — Frank the Drifter, as he introduces himself — features a curated tracklist of 18 songs handpicked from his shelves.”


New York Times: Google Could Be Violating Labor Laws With Pay for Temp Workers. “Google’s decision to not immediately correct the pay rates for all current temps was flagged in June in a whistle-blower complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Google may owe more than $100 million in back salaries over nine years of noncompliance in 16 countries with pay parity laws, according to the complaint. The figure does not include possible fines or legal costs.”


NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights: Fueling the Fire: How Social Media Intensifies U.S. Political Polarization — And What Can Be Done About It. “Determining whether social media plays a role in worsening partisan animosity is important because political polarization has pernicious consequences. We conclude that social media platforms are not the main cause of rising partisan hatred, but use of these platforms intensifies divisiveness and thus contributes to its corrosive effects.”

The Guardian: Fragments of medieval Merlin manuscript found in Bristol library reveal ‘chaster’ story. “Fragments of a medieval manuscript telling the story of Merlin, which were discovered two years ago in a Bristol archive, contain ‘subtle but significant’ variations on the Arthurian legend, academics have found.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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