Snow Science, PrivaSeer, Farmed Animal Law, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, October 15, 2021


Nevada Today: Key parts of the James Edward Church Papers Digitized. “Dr. Church was integral to the development of modern snow science through his development of the Mt. Rose snow sampler. At the University Libraries we hold Dr. Church’s papers, including the records he generated during his groundbreaking snow studies. Up until now, these materials have been available for viewing onsite. This project expands the reach of his work, exposes the longitudinal data sources held in the archives, and presents his records and journals for renewed study and worldwide access.”

Penn State News: Search engine could help researchers scour internet for privacy documents. “In a study, the researchers said that the search engine, which they dubbed PrivaSeer, uses a type of AI called natural language processing — NLP — to identify online privacy documents, such as privacy policies, terms of service agreements, cookie policies, privacy bills and laws, regulatory guidelines and other related texts on the web.”

EIN Presswire: Jeremy Coller Foundation Announces New Database for Farmed Animal Law and Policy: CALF (PRESS RELEASE). “The Jeremy Coller Foundation today announces the launch of the Coller Animal Law Forum (CALF), an interactive database that collates and analyses laws and policies that impact farmed animals.”

Google Blog: Explore impossible exhibitions in 3D. “Since we launched our first Pocket Gallery in 2018, the culturally curious from all across the globe have used augmented reality to step inside our ever-growing collection of virtual galleries created with the help of our partners from around the world. From the original Pocket Gallery that united all of Vermeer’s artworks for the first time in history, to the virtual construction of lost Bauhaus buildings, Pocket Gallery has brought numerous previously-impossible exhibitions to your AR-enabled smartphone. Today, we are making the entire series of Pocket Galleries available to anyone on the web, meaning they can now be explored on desktop and on mobiles with or without AR capabilities.”


PR Newswire: NASA Invites Media to Briefing on New Water Data Platform. “NASA will hold a virtual media briefing at 1:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 21, to share a powerful, new, web-based platform to help those who rely on water resources across the drought-stricken western U.S. Building on more than two decades of research, OpenET puts NASA data into the hands of farmers, water managers, conservation groups, and others to accelerate improvements and innovations in water management.”


New York Times: Facebook clamps down on its internal message boards.. “Many Facebook employees join online discussion groups on Workplace, an internal message board that workers use to communicate and collaborate with one another. In the announcement on Tuesday, the company said it was making some groups focused on platform safety and protecting elections, an area known broadly as ‘integrity,’ private instead of public within the company, limiting who can view and participate in the discussion threads.”


NL Times: Digital archive of WWII forced laborers in the works. “If you want to know where a family member or other acquaintance had to work during the Second World War, it will soon be a lot easier to get this information from the National Archives. The organization is working on making data on forced laborers available digitally. According to the National Archives, approximately 500,000 Dutch people had to work in Germany or countries occupied by Germany during the Second World War.”


I feel compelled to comment that I find this reprehensible, disgusting, and disqualifying. Missouri Independent: Missouri governor vows criminal prosecution of reporter who found flaw in state website. “On Tuesday, a reporter with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch alerted the state that Social Security numbers of school teachers and administrators were vulnerable to public exposure due to flaws on a website maintained by Missouri’s department of education. The newspaper agreed to hold off publishing any story while the department fixed the problem and protected the private information of teachers around the state. But by Thursday, Gov. Mike Parson was labeling the Post-Dispatch reporter a ‘hacker’ and vowing to seek criminal prosecution.”

Washington Post: Facebook whistleblower eyes state AGs, expanding regulatory threat beyond Washington . “State attorneys general played a critical role in curtailing the power of the tobacco industry. Now lawyers representing Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen are targeting attorneys general in states like California and Massachusetts in the hopes they could play a similar role in imposing limits on the social network.”

Associated Press: Judge: Kansas Election Database Function Not Public Record. “Kansas’ Republican secretary of state did not violate the state’s open records law by ordering the removal of an election database function that generates a statewide report showing which provisional ballots were not counted, a judge ruled.”


Mississippi State University: MSU scientist building pollen database to improve bee nutrition asks citizens to assist. “Priyadarshini Chakrabarti Basu, assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, is building a pollen database to catalogue the nutrition profiles of over 100 bee-pollinated plants. Her work, in partnership with colleagues at Oregon State University, is funded by a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative….She notes that while the team has collaborators collecting pollen throughout the U.S. and Canada, the researchers also are asking citizen scientists to assist with collection.”

University at Buffalo: Data mining the past: New algorithm searches historic documents to discover noteworthy people. “Old newspapers provide a window into our past, and a new algorithm co-developed by a University at Buffalo School of Management researcher is helping turn those historic documents into useful, searchable data. Published in Decision Support Systems, the algorithm can find and rank people’s names in order of importance from the results produced by optical character recognition (OCR), the computerized method of converting scanned documents into text that is often messy.” Good morning, Internet…

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