Rosenwald Schools, Turkish Manuscript Seals, Narrative Device, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, February 20, 2022


Associated Press: ‘Architecture as an artifact’: Auburn professors scan 3D digital reconstructions of historic Rosenwald Schools. “Even with the trusses exposed, and roofs caving in, the Rosenwald Schools from the segregation era still have a lesson to teach. As the ashy paint that clings to the outside of the buildings across Alabama peel more and more with every passing year, two Auburn University professors saw the value in preserving what is left of the 40 remaining Rosenwald schoolhouses before it’s too late. Gorham Bird and Junshan Liu are using drones, 360-degree photography, photogrammetry and laser scanners to create 3D digital reconstructions to keep these buildings “standing” in an online archive.”

Daily Sabah: New database offers insight into 802 historical seals. “Carrying out works on various elements of manuscripts, the Presidency of Turkey Manuscripts Institution (TYEKB) has prepared a new database on seals for researchers and history enthusiasts. With the seal database, TYEKB aims to present the data of all seals that the manuscripts and printed works in its collections feature with their images and detailed evaluations. The platform also intends to analyze data on seals and publish research articles prepared by experts on the subject.”

Sprudge: Artificial Intelligence Can Now Write Stories About Coffee. “Narrative Device is the work of Rodolfo Ocampo, a Mexican-born PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales in Australia, that explores ‘creative augmentation using AI and human-AI creative collaboration,’ per the website. Using text data from across the internet, the AI has been ‘trained’ to create an opening paragraph based on any two inputs it receives.” A lot of fun but also a timesink, be warned.


CNET: YouTube Eyes New Ways to Stop Misinformation From Spreading Beyond Its Reach . “YouTube outlined on Thursday new efforts it plans to undertake to tackle misinformation. Stopping misinformation before it goes viral, limiting cross-platform sharing of misinformation and better addressing misinformation in languages other than English are three areas of focus, YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mohan, said in a blog post.”

KnowTechie: Twitter is finally giving people a better way to sort DMs. “Twitter is on a self-improvement spree lately, with the latest new feature being something we’ve all wanted for a while. Rolling out now is the ability to pin Twitter DMs to the top of your inbox. Now you’ve got a chance of keeping your messy direct inbox in line. The new feature launched Thursday, so you should see it sliding into your DMs any minute now.”


Armenpress: Hovhannes Tumanyan’s private library to be digitized. “The digitization of the private library of renowned Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan and the creation of e-library will be fulfilled by the funds saved as a result of the operation of the solar power station installed in the Tumanyan Museum.”

HuffPost: Google Has Made Millions Advertising Phony Government Handouts. “The ad caught Gordon Turner’s eye immediately. It was an official-looking online video encouraging viewers to apply for the “Senior Booster Program,” which entitled those 65 and older to government-issued payments of $1,728. For Turner, a 77-year-old Texan on disability benefits who lives alone and financially supports his elderly mother, that kind of cash could go a long way. So he clicked the ad’s link right away to input his personal information, and he waited. Unfortunately for Turner — and the more than 10 million others who’ve viewed this video — no such program exists, and no check will be coming in the mail.”

BBC: The amateur historians chronicling Delhi’s past on Instagram. “Mr [Umair] Shah, now 27, lives in Delhi where he works in digital marketing for fashion brands. But he’s also Sikkawala, or coin collector – that’s his moniker on Instagram where he documents fragments of history. To take to Instagram isn’t to reduce history to a mere snapshot. Mr Shah’s lyrical captions are steeped in facts and read like excerpts from an exciting story – where we learn about dead emperors, malevolent djinns and of rebellions that dissolved empires – in about 300 words.”


This is just for Ohio, of course, but it’s such a good idea that I wanted to index the article. Ohio Court News: Online Forum to Assist Courts With Technology Questions. “The IT Leaders Forum, which has already drawn 180 members, opens an online channel for Ohio’s court technology leaders to communicate directly with each other individually or as a group. Participants can pose questions, post answers, and circulate documents. [Robert] Stuart likens the group to the existing associations that connect court leaders in different roles, such as judges, magistrates, clerks of court, court administrators, and court reporters.”

Department of Justice: Justice Department Announces First Director of National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team . “The NCET was established to ensure the department meets the challenge posed by the criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, and comprises attorneys from across the department, including prosecutors with backgrounds in cryptocurrency, cybercrime, money laundering and forfeiture. The NCET will identify, investigate, support and pursue the department’s cases involving the criminal use of digital assets, with a particular focus on virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, infrastructure providers, and other entities that are enabling the misuse of cryptocurrency and related technologies to commit or facilitate criminal activity.”


The Guardian: De-extinction puzzle: how decoding numbat DNA could help resurrect the Tasmanian tiger. “Researchers at DNA Zoo Australia have mapped the genome of the numbat for the first time. The milestone is notable in its own right, motivated by a desire to improve conservation efforts for the endangered termite-eating marsupial, which is now found only in small pockets of Western Australia. But in announcing the development last week, scientists also had a more extraordinary suggestion: that the numbat’s DNA could be used as a blueprint to bring its extinct cousin, the thylacine, back from the dead.”

Stanford Internet Observatory: Final Projects from the Stanford Internet Observatory’s Online Open Source Investigation Course . “In fall 2021, the Stanford Internet Observatory offered the fourth iteration of its Online Open Source Investigation course. The class covers strategies for investigating content on social media, cryptocurrency transactions, and more. Throughout the quarter students work on an open source investigation into the topic of their choosing. In the downloadable report we are publishing five student projects from the fall 2021 quarter.” Good morning, Internet…

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