Louisiana Funeral Programs, Nursing Home Vaccinations, Algorithm Evolution, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, September 22, 2021


The Advocate: Segregation erased generations of Black history. This Louisiana funeral home is rediscovering it. “The [Janie Bell] Williams pamphlet is one of 300 included in a new archive at Southeastern University and recreated online on [Dr. Antoinette] Harrell’s website. The archive holds funeral programs amassed over generations by a single funeral home built to serve Black residents of this rural part of the Florida Parishes east of Baton Rouge. It’s a continuation of Harrell’s years-long mission to assemble historical records in a pocket of the Deep South rich with Black history, but where racism and segregation left generations with few resources beyond oral storytelling to preserve it.”

ABC News: Consumers get online tool to check nursing home vaccine data. “Families and patients have a new online tool to compare COVID-19 vaccination rates among nursing homes, Medicare announced Tuesday, addressing complaints from consumer groups and lawmakers that the critical data had been too difficult to find.”

MIT News: How quickly do algorithms improve?. “In total, the team looked at 113 ‘algorithm families,’ sets of algorithms solving the same problem that had been highlighted as most important by computer science textbooks. For each of the 113, the team reconstructed its history, tracking each time a new algorithm was proposed for the problem and making special note of those that were more efficient. Ranging in performance and separated by decades, starting from the 1940s to now, the team found an average of eight algorithms per family, of which a couple improved its efficiency. To share this assembled database of knowledge, the team also created”


British Library Endangered Archives Blog: New online – August 2021. “This month’s round-up of newly available collections features archives from India, Mauritius, and Bulgaria.”

Berkeley SafeTREC: NEW! SWITRS Statewide Summary Tool on TIMS. “The SWITRS Statewide Summary(link is external) is a tool for accessing and mapping statewide crash and injury data from the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS).”

Axios: Facebook says Apple’s ad changes are hurting its business. “Facebook said Wednesday that changes to Apple’s new privacy terms will continue to cause headwinds for its ads business in the third quarter. Why it matters: Facebook doesn’t typically provide these types of updates outside of earnings calls. The update signals to investors that the company is seeing numbers in the current quarter that reinforce previous warnings about impact from Apple’s changes.”


New York Times: No More Apologies: Inside Facebook’s Push to Defend Its Image. “Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, signed off last month on a new initiative code-named Project Amplify. The effort, which was hatched at an internal meeting in January, had a specific purpose: to use Facebook’s News Feed, the site’s most important digital real estate, to show people positive stories about the social network.”

Bellingcat: Bellingcat Can Now Access Specialised Satellite Imagery. Tell Us Where We Should Look. “Our team has purchased a subscription to Planet Labs, a private company whose satellites can capture 50cm resolution imagery of anywhere on Earth within a few days of a tasking request. Just a few years ago, satellite imagery of this quality was largely unavailable to the non-profit and independent researchers who play a key role in Bellingcat’s work. We intend to regularly collect suggestions for where this tasking should be directed, then publish the resulting image for all to access and analyse.”

Getty: Wupatki National Monument in Arizona Receives $1.3 Million Conservation Grant. “Once home to the ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, Yavapai, Havasupai, Hualapai, and several bands of Apache and Paiute, the Wupatki National Monument in Northern Arizona holds a precious record of migration, trade, and other practices dating back to the 11th century. The Center for Architectural Conservation at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design has received a $1.3 million grant from Getty to develop a conservation and management plan and professional training program for the site, which faces a variety of threats.”


CNET: Twitter to pay $809.5M to settle 2016 lawsuit over growth projections. “Twitter on Monday said it has agreed to pay $809.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit that accused the social network of violating securities laws by misleading investors about its prospects for growth.”


TechRadar: Google has more cross-site trackers than other popular websites. “After Google recently revealed that it had delayed its plan to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome, pCloud used the Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) feature in Safari to collect data on the number of trackers blocked on 88 different websites as well as the number of trackers each company has across all websites to compile its new ‘The Web’s Most Invasive Cookies’ study.”

University of Colorado Colorado Springs: Immersive Global Middle Ages institute will recreate worlds that no longer exist. “The project, called Immersive Global Middle Ages, aims to create new ways of experiencing medieval history on a global scale, even though these societies have faded from existence. Supported by a $250,000 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities, the project will teach participants to use advanced computer modeling and virtual reality tools to reconstruct global societies from 500-1500 C.E.” Good morning, Internet…

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