Chabad-Lubavitch Library Manuscripts, Boston Rental Market Metrics, Ukraine Disinformation, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, February 24, 2022


Chabad-Lubavitch Library: Trove of Newly Digitized Jewish Texts Reveal Untold Historical Treasures. “In a move that is making waves in academic and lay circles, the Chabad-Lubavitch Library has created a new site with high-quality, full-color scans of a vast collection of thousands of precious manuscripts that have never been seen by the public—until now…. ‘This collection contains almost 3,000 volumes of manuscripts,’ says Rabbi Shalom Dovber Levine, the library’s director.”

EIN: Boston Pads Now Providing Free Real-Time Apartment Data to Public (PRESS RELEASE). “Boston Pads has recently launched 32 free public-facing apartment data pages on their website. These reports provide both current and historical insights into important rental market metrics like vacancy rates, availability rates, and average rent prices for all of Boston’s core neighborhoods.”

Bellingcat: Documenting and Debunking Dubious Footage from Ukraine’s Frontlines. “With every alleged provocation a potential pretext for conflict, Bellingcat has decided to track and detail such claims as well as the circumstances surrounding them. We will share what we find via this public spreadsheet that will continue to be updated in the days ahead. While the volume of videos and claims over recent days has been significant, Bellingcat will look to add entries when incidents have been verified, debunked or if claims contained within videos or images are inconsistent with other open source evidence or contextual data.”


Nextdoor: Nextdoor publishes first annual 2021 transparency report. “This inaugural report provides insight into Nextdoor’s unique community moderation model, data on the speed that these community moderators removed reported content, and the Government requests received.”

The Verge: Reddit’s new Discover tab pushes the app into the modern social media era. “Reddit today introduced a new Discover tab feature for the official Reddit iOS and Android apps. The new feature curates pictures, GIFs, and videos in a scrollable grid to help Reddit users find new content and communities that they may be interested in, in a way that’s reminiscent of Instagram’s explore page or Pinterest.”

CNET: ‘The Batman’ Swings Into Google Search, Thanks to Easter Egg. “A new Batman movie flies into theaters next week, and Google is getting into the spirit with a Caped Crusader-inspired Easter Egg.”


New York Times: Fed Up With Google, Conspiracy Theorists Turn to DuckDuckGo. “For a glimpse at what conspiracy theorists encounter when they search online, The New York Times reviewed the top 20 search results on Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo for more than 30 conspiracy theories and right-wing topics. Search results can change over time and vary among users, but the comparisons provide a snapshot of what a single user might have seen on a typical day in mid-February. For many terms, Bing and DuckDuckGo surfaced more untrustworthy websites than Google did, when results were compared with website ratings from the Global Disinformation Index, NewsGuard and research published in the journal Science.”

Techdirt: Video Game History Foundation: Nintendo Actions ‘Actively Destructive To Video Game History’. “We just discussed Nintendo’s forthcoming shutdown of the 3DS and Wii U stores, and what that meant for digital games that Nintendo indicates it is not planning on selling anywhere else. Well, the Video Game History Foundation released a statement on that action and, well, hoo-boy…”


Search Engine Journal: Nine WordPress Plugins Expose Over 1.3 Million Sites To Exploits. “Nine WordPress plugins, including popular ad management, malware firewall and database managers were found to have vulnerabilities affecting over 1.3 million websites.”

EFF: The Worst Timeline: A Printer Company Is Putting DRM in Paper Now. “Dymo’s latest generation of desktop label printers use RFID chips to authenticate the labels that Dymo’s customers put in their printers. This lets Dymo’s products distinguish between Dymo’s official labels and third-party consumables. That way, the printers can force their owners to conduct themselves in the ways that serve the interests of Dymo’s corporate owners – even when that is to the owners’ own detriment.”

The Daily Swig: Google Groups unsubscribe feature abused to remove members without consent. “A flaw in Google Groups has netted a security researcher $3,133 after he discovered that the unsubscribe feature could be abused to remove members without their consent.”


SingularityHub: People Trust Deepfake Faces Generated by AI More Than Real Ones, Study Finds. “The proliferation of deepfake technology is raising concerns that AI could start to warp our sense of shared reality. New research suggests AI-synthesized faces don’t simply dupe us into thinking they’re real people, we actually trust them more than our fellow humans.”

UConn Today: App Supporting Archival Research Continues Development with Community Partnerships. “The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $805,000 to the UConn team behind Sourcery, a software designed to simplify archival document requests. This new funding will allow the team to develop Sourcery with input from partners at diverse collecting institutions. The team will work with the Hartford Public Library, Northeastern University, UConn Archives and Special Collections, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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