California Fiscal Health, Firefox Relay, Pinterest, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 18, 2021


Courthouse News: Auditor Ranks California Cities by Fiscal Health in New Report. “In a checkup of 470 California cities, State Auditor Elaine Howle says 18 face high-risk financial woes due to factors like high debt, spiking pension liabilities and lack of rainy-day savings. Cities from the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and the Central Valley earned the dubious honor of landing on Howle’s first-ever ranking of local governments’ finances. The ranking is part of an interactive state website Howle hopes will help cities identity and manage looming risks.”


The Register: Mozilla sprinkles Firefox Relay with Premium fairy dust . “Mozilla hopes to ramp up the monetisation machine with a paid premium version of its Firefox Relay service, upping the current limit of five email aliases to a near-unlimited number. Firefox Relay hides a user’s real email address behind an alias to both protect the user’s identity and spare their inbox from spam.”

TechCrunch: Pinterest launches TwoTwenty, its own in-house incubator for new projects. “Pinterest today announced a new initiative designed to help the company increase its pace of innovation. The company is introducing an in-house, experimental products team called TwoTwenty — named after the address of Pinterest’s first office. The team is comprised of engineers, designers and other product experts who will research, prototype and test new features and ideas, then identify those that gain traction. Successful products will be handed off to other teams within the company to take to scale.”


Wilson Center: An Online Source Primer for the Study of Cold War India. “During the past year, the National Archives of India was beset by questions of reorganization, access, and the effects these issues would have on writing histories of India. As the National Archives and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library came under scrutiny for ongoing renovations, historians of India began to look elsewhere for archival sources; given the ongoing pandemic, our attention shifted to digitized documents primarily of post-1947 government archives…. I have previously written about the newly launched database Ideas of India, an archive of pre- and post-colonial Indian periodicals. The following is a discussion of archives focused less on the socio-cultural space and more on official documents issued by various government ministries.”


Mashable: Claiming tarot in the age of social media. “‘If you’re seeing this then it’s meant for you’ is a typical caption on TarotTok, a corner of the internet that has manifested more than 14.7 billion views on the app. Many of the videos found on this side of TikTok emphasize the idea that this content — typically a reading — is meant to find you, eschewing algorithmic design for destiny. It’s on your For You Page, after all. The creative formula is rather simple: A Tarot reader presents a scenario, like turbulence in a romantic relationship, and offers advice by way of cartomancy. Stop self-sabotaging, they might say. Learn to practice self control.”

WSFA: WSFA donates decades of film, video and photos to Alabama archives department. “WSFA 12 News and the Alabama Department of Archives and History are proud to announce a partnership that will help preserve and make accessible to the public much of the station’s historic footage, which spans the decades from the 1950s to the early 2000s.”


The Verge: Senate confirms Google critic to lead DOJ antitrust division. “On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Google critic and competition lawyer Jonathan Kanter to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division, marking yet another progressive win in antitrust enforcement under the Biden administration.”

ThreatPost: Fake Ransomware Infection Hits WordPress Sites. “The warning was clearly intended to get targets’ adrenaline pumping, instilling a sense of urgency with that ticking countdown clock. It’s a tried-and-true tool in swindlers’ kits, whether you’re talking romance scams, phoney Amazon package-delivery notices designed to lift credentials or a gazillion other ‘Rush! Rush!’ frauds. But Sucuri researchers who tracked down and analyzed the fake ransomware said they found a whole lot of nothing.”


Phys .org: Researchers develop global timber tree barcoding library. “In a study published in Molecular Ecology Resources, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators constructed a comprehensive barcode library using four commonly used barcodes (rbcL, matK, trnH–psbA, and ITS2), representing 1,550 commercially traded timber species (656 genera across 124 families) from China and internationally.”

European Pharmaceutical News: Social media is transforming our understanding of drug safety. “Here, Daniel Ghinn of discusses the growing role social media analysis is playing in helping to provide pharmaceutical companies and health regulators with real-world evidence on drug safety.” Good afternoon, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply