Local Government Federal Assistance, Florida Redistricting, Google Advertising, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, September 23, 2021


Route Fifty: A Free Tool to Help Cities Take Full Advantage of Federal Aid. “The Covid Federal Assistance e311 site, a partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, gives cities free access to a searchable database of questions and answers about the rules and regulations governing the use of federal coronavirus relief dollars. The resources are also available to county leaders, as the rules dictating use of the funds are similar for both types of governments.” The writeup makes it sound like the information is restricted, but it’s not. I was able to search the database and view questions and answers without any problem.

Florida Politics: With public website live, Florida’s redistricting process kicks into gear. “‘I would say it’s going to be difficult to do a roadshow like anything you have seen in the past,’ said Rep. Tom Leek, the Ormond Beach Republican chairing the House redistricting effort. But the new website does mean more data and tools will be available to the public. The website includes baseline maps of the current districts, including how much population must be gained or lost to reach ideal population counts.”


Google Blog: Giving users more transparency into their Google ad experience. “To give users of our products even more transparency, we are enhancing ad disclosures with new advertiser pages. Users can access these disclosures in our new ‘About this ad’ menu to see the ads a specific verified advertiser has run over the past 30 days. For example, imagine you’re seeing an ad for a coat you’re interested in, but you don’t recognize the brand. With advertiser pages, you can learn more about that advertiser before visiting their site or making a purchase.”

Popular Science: Slack’s new video tool is @here—and you might already be able to use it. “Video updates and cross-company digital chats in the place of meetings are part of the vision Slack has for the future of hybrid working. The messaging platform announced these new features, among others, on Tuesday at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference.”

The Verge: Facebook names a new CTO with a major focus on hardware. “Facebook is serious about being a long-term player in hardware. On Wednesday, the company promoted Andrew Bosworth, the current head of its hardware division that makes Oculus and other consumer devices, to the role of chief technology officer, replacing outgoing CTO Mike Schroepfer when he becomes a senior fellow next year.”


Advanced Television: BBC opening digital archive for formal education. “Next year, the entire digitised BBC broadcast archive is being made available to students in formal education in the UK. It includes millions of TV and Radio programmes, including interviews and features with almost every major cultural, artistic, political and sporting figure of the last 100 years, as well as iconic dramas and landmark comedy programmes.”

Museums Association: AHRC unveils digital collections research plan. “The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has announced details of five projects that will explore the digital future of the UK’s cultural and heritage collections. The projects, which have been awarded a total of £14.5m, are part of Towards a National Collection, a five-year research programme that is funded through an £18.9m investment by UK Research and Innovation’s Strategic Priorities Fund and delivered by the AHRC.”


SecurityWeek: OpenOffice Vulnerability Exposes Users to Code Execution Attacks. “A buffer overflow vulnerability in Apache OpenOffice could be exploited to execute arbitrary code on target machines using malicious documents. Tracked as CVE-2021-33035 and discovered by security researcher Eugene Lim, the bug affects OpenOffice versions up to 4.1.10, with patches deployed in the 4.1.11 beta only, meaning that most installations out there are likely vulnerable.”

Reuters: U.S. court orders Facebook to release records of anti-Rohingya content for genocide case. “A U.S federal judge has ordered Facebook FB.O to release records of accounts connected to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar that the social media giant had shut down, rejecting its argument about protecting privacy as ‘rich with irony’.”


Washington University in St. Louis: $11.8 million award renews planetary geosciences data effort. “Washington University in St. Louis will continue to archive and distribute digital data related to the study of the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial planetary bodies under a five-year cooperative agreement notice with NASA, with a value to the university projected at $11.8 million. The space agency recently renewed its agreement with scientists in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences.”

BioSpectrum Asia: Korea to establish national digital library on health and genome data by 2028. “The second pilot project will analyze the genetic makeup of 12,500 donated DNA samples from Korean patients living with a rare disease. Over the next year, the resulting data will be used by the Illumina-backed consortium to prepare for the main project in analyzing and comparing the genes of 1 million Koreans to advance the country’s medical technology and improve future public health.”

University of Connecticut: History Professor Uncovers Missing Parts of a Prominent Life. “Cornelia Dayton, a professor of history at UConn, has helped uncover some missing pieces in the life story of Phillis Wheatley, author of the first volume of poetry published by an African American. In a prize-winning research paper recently published in the New England Quarterly, Dayton describes her findings on the later parts of Wheatley’s life.” A Web site showcasing the research is underway. Good morning, Internet…

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