Iowa History, Marine Ecosystems, Laser Strikes on Airplanes, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, October 27, 2021


Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs: State Historical Society of Iowa unveils user-friendly online catalog. “Researching the State of Iowa’s vast collection of historic documents and artifacts, genealogical records, newspapers and images is now easier than ever, with just a few clicks of a button. The State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, recently unveiled a unified, user-friendly online catalog that provides greater access to the state’s collection of more than 200 million pieces of Iowa history, available to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world.”

NOAA Research News: NOAA’s National Marine Ecosystem Status website provides one-stop shop for key marine ecosystem data. “Today, NOAA is announcing a re-launch of its National Marine Ecosystem Status website, a tool that provides easy access to NOAA’s wide range of important coastal and marine ecosystem data. The website provides a starting point for educators, outreach specialists, and the interested public to explore the status of seven major U.S. marine ecosystems and the nation. The re-launch of the site features updated indicator data, new regional coverage for some existing indicators, and a completely new Marine Species Distribution Indicator.”

FAA: Dangerous Laser Strikes Continue Rise in ’21. “Shining a laser at an aircraft is a serious safety threat that continues to rise. As of Oct. 14, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received 7,186 laser strike reports for 2021, exceeding the 2020 total of 6,852. This marks the highest number or reports since 2016…. To identify laser strike trends, the FAA developed a visualization tool, using the Tableau software platform that shows laser strike data from 2010 to 2020 and highlights trends by geographic area, per capita data, time of day and year.”

WTOL (Ohio): New web portal connects survivors of domestic violence with legal support. “Survivors can go to [the site] to fill out the forms online, starting and stopping as they need to. It’s accessible not only on a computer, but also a phone and tablet….The site also has information about local shelters and advocates who can help survivors with safety planning.” This site is specific to Ohio and is not nationwide.


CNN: The Facebook Papers consortium is growing, and reporters are gaining access to more documents. “Last week the number of American news outlets with access to internal Facebook documents supplied to the SEC by Frances Haugen stood at 17. Those outlets — from CNN to Politico, Washington Post to WIRED — agreed to a Monday morning embargo, which is why more than 50 stories all came out on the same day. There are many more stories in the works — and there are more newsrooms joining the consortium.”


Gizmodo: Hey, Kid, Wanna See Some Leaked Facebook Docs?. “What we want to do is give folks outside of the consortium—and outside of journalism, more generally—access to the same material we’re seeing. Other folks have pointed out that researchers in fields like tech ethics and misinformation deserve this access, as do regulators and everyone else who’s concerned about Facebook’s outsized power. We agree and will release everything we can, as fast as we can.”


Axios: Exclusive: Billionaires back new media firm to combat disinformation. Oh boy, more billionaires. What could possibly go wrong? “A new public benefit corporation backed by billionaires Reid Hoffman, George Soros, and others is launching Tuesday to fund new media companies and efforts that tackle disinformation. Why it matters: Good Information Inc. aims to fund and scale businesses that cut through echo chambers with fact-based information. As part of its mission, it plans to invest in local news companies.”

New York Times: Cambodia Says the Met Museum Has Dozens of Its Looted Antiquities. “The country’s culture minister cites new evidence, including the account of a reformed looter, to assert that numerous artifacts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art were stolen from ancient sites.”

TechCrunch: Hera is a new calendar app for people with a lot of virtual meetings. “Meet Hera, a new calendar app that wants to turn the calendar into the main work interface. Hera helps you schedule meetings more easily with natural language processing and lets you share availabilities in an email or any messaging app. The startup is also going to build integrations with your other work tools so that you can surface important information before a meeting and extract information after a meeting.”


Politico: Justice Department announces 150 arrests from dark web drug crackdown. “The roughly 10-month initiative — dubbed Operation Dark HunTOR, after the encrypted internet tool — was conducted in partnership with international counterparts and also yielded 234 kilograms of seized drugs. Of those arrested, 65 were in the United States and the rest were in a handful of European countries including Germany, France and the United Kingdom.”

Reuters: EU tech rules should curb cloud computing providers, study says. “Draft EU rules to curb the power of Amazon AMZN.O, Apple AAPL.O, Alphabet GOOGL.O unit Google and Facebook FB.O should also tackle providers of cloud computing services for possible anti-competitive practices, a study said on Tuesday. The report comes amid concerns that some EU lawmakers who are reviewing the Digital Markets Act (DMA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager may be lenient towards cloud computing companies.”


Wales Online: Social media gambling adverts ‘more appealing to children than adults’ – research. “A study carried out by the University of Bristol found that disguised gambling marketing and adverts for esports betting proved particularly enticing for under 25s, as they triggered positive emotions. More than 650 children, young people and adults across the UK were surveyed between May and July 2021, with the vast majority of the adults stating they felt wary or annoyed by gambling adverts, whereas children mainly reacted positively.” Good morning, Internet…

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