Texas Right of Way Records, YikYak, Microsoft Windows, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, January 21, 2022

Many apologies for not getting the newsletter done. I’m still unwell, but it’s still not covid so there’s that.


Texas State Library and Archives Commission: Texas State Library and Archives Commission Digitizes and Makes Available Nearly 80,000 Department of Transportation Records. “The State Archives, part of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, has announced the digitization of 79,608 Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Right of Way records dating from 1913 to 2017…. The Right of Way Division coordinates the acquisition of land to build, widen, or enhance highways, provides relocation assistance when needed, and coordinates utility adjustments, as well as the disposition and leasing of surplus real property owned by TxDOT. The TxDOT Right of Way records include conveyances, maps, and titles for property.”


Michigan Daily: Yik Yak is back, but where is it going?. “Overall, the relaunched version of Yik Yak has not come close to the level of insensitivity that caused its original demise. While many of the posts have been raunchy or petty, there have not been any outstanding issues with violent targets aimed toward any specific individuals. There have undoubtedly been mean-spirited posts about certain groups, but not with intent to cause harm toward that group. If Yik Yak’s claim to being a strong anti-bullying platform is true, at the first instance of violence or bullying, I expect they will launch into action to address that issue.”

The Register: Microsoft patches the patch that broke VPNs, Hyper-V, and left servers in boot loops. “Microsoft has patched the patch that broke chunks of Windows and emitted fixes for a Patch Tuesday cock-up that left servers rebooting and VPNs disconnected. There was a time when out-of-band updates from Microsoft were considered a rarity. Not so much these days.”


CNN: More than 80 fact-checking organizations call out YouTube’s ‘insufficient’ response to misinformation. “A group of more than 80 fact-checking organizations from around the world has called YouTube ‘one of the major conduits of online disinformation and misinformation worldwide’ and wants the platform to do more to address the problem.”

Ars Technica: Hark back to the late 1990s with this re-creation of the dialup Internet experience . “We all found our coping strategies for riding out the pandemic in 2020. Biomedical engineer Gough Liu likes to tinker with tech—particularly vintage tech—and decided he’d try to recreate what it was like to connect to the Internet via dialup back in the late 1990s. He recorded the entire process in agonizing real time, dotted with occasional commentary.”

UC Santa Cruz: Grant supports project to digitize, preserve materials at Biblioteca Amazónica. “In 2011, Amanda M. Smith, assistant professor of literature at UC Santa Cruz, was regularly haunting the stacks of the Biblioteca Amazónica, an archive located in Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, as she researched what would become her first book, Mapping the Amazon: Literary Geography after the Rubber Boom (Liverpool University Press, 2021). And during one of her visits, the librarian Julio Ramírez beckoned her to a room at the back of the building.”


MakeUseOf: How Are NFTs Used for Wash Trading & Money Laundering?. “There is little doubt about it: NFTs are controversial. One thing levied at NFTs is their role in money laundering. NFTs make it easier than ever to launder money from a criminal enterprise, helping criminal organizations around the world clean their ill-gotten gains. So, how are NFTs used for money laundering?”

CTech: Israel police uses NSO’s Pegasus to spy on citizens. “Israel police uses NSO’s Pegasus spyware to remotely hack phones of Israeli citizens, control them and extract information from them, Calcalist has revealed. Among those who had their phones broken into by police are mayors, leaders of political protests against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former governmental employees, and a person close to a senior politician. Calcalist learned that the hacking wasn’t done under court supervision, and police didn’t request a search or bugging warrant to conduct the surveillance.”


UPI: Marijuana advertising on social media targets kids, study shows. “Some recreational pot shops are using tricks from the old playbooks of alcohol and tobacco companies to target underage users on social media, a new study reports.”

University at Buffalo: Social media use tied to poor physical health. “Social media use has been linked to biological and psychological indicators associated with poor physical health among college students, according to the results of a new study by a University at Buffalo researcher.”

Public Radio of Armenia: AUA Library launches ‘Digitizing Armenian Linguistic Heritage’ project. “Funded by the French National Research Agency, the project aims to build the first-ever open-access and open-source unified digital linguistic platform for the whole spectrum of the Armenian language variations. In particular, annotated corpora will be compiled for Classical Armenian and Modern Western Armenian, as well as a pilot corpus for Middle Armenian, three pilot corpora for dialects, and an updated Modern Eastern Armenian corpus on the basis of the existing one.”

UNC Libraries: Grant will expand University Libraries’ use of machine learning to identify historically racist laws. “Since 2019, experts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s University Libraries have investigated the use of machine learning to identify racist laws from North Carolina’s past. Now a grant of $400,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will allow them to extend that work to two more states. The grant will also fund research and teaching fellowships for scholars interested in using the project’s outputs and techniques.” Good evening, Internet…

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