Tampa Bay Black History, Google Maps, Siri, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, February 28, 2022


University of South Florida: New web portal documents and catalogues the Black experience in Tampa Bay. “The USF Institute on Black Life (IBL) has created a new web portal to better document Tampa Bay’s historic and contemporary African American communities. The African American Neighborhood Project portal offers a multitude of resources accessible to the community, including oral histories, heritage sites, archival photographs and research addressing anti-Black racism.”


Reuters: Google temporarily disables Google Maps live traffic data in Ukraine. “Alphabet Inc’s Google confirmed on Sunday it has temporarily disabled for Ukraine some Google Maps tools which provide live information about traffic conditions and how busy different places are. The company said it had taken the action of globally disabling the Google Maps traffic layer and live information on how busy places like stores and restaurants are in Ukraine for the safety of local communities in the country, after consulting with sources including regional authorities.”

The Verge: Siri gets a new voice in iOS 15.4 beta. “The latest beta of iOS 15.4 adds a fifth American voice for its Siri voice assistant. Apple’s user-facing interface simply calls it ‘Voice 5,’ but iOS developer Steve Moser reports that its filename refers to the new voice as ‘Quinn.’ The voice has arrived a little under a year after Apple added its last two American Siri voices, and stopped defaulting to using a female-sounding voice.”


NBC News: Facebook, Twitter remove disinformation accounts targeting Ukrainians. “Facebook and Twitter removed two anti-Ukrainian ‘covert influence operations’ over the weekend, one tied to Russia and another with connections to Belarus, the companies said. One of the operations, a propaganda campaign featuring a website pushing anti-Ukraine talking points, was an offshoot of a known Russian disinformation operation.”

Mashable: A bot named Ashley is ruining playlists on Spotify. “The latest internet villain just reared its head and it isn’t a corporate mega-billionaire, wayward politician, or Twitter troll, but rather an unassuming Spotify bot named Ashley. Multiple users have complained that their public, collaborative playlists — designed to allow Spotify users and their friends to curate songs in real time together — have been commandeered by bots masquerading as normal users, primarily one account simply named ‘Ashley.'”

Reuters: Google, Facebook, Twitter must combat Ukraine fake news – Polish, Baltic leaders. “Alphabet unit Google and its subsidiary YouTube, Facebook and Twitter must do more to tackle disinformation related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the premiers of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia said.”


Ukrainian Truth: Russian invaders burn down Ivankiv Museum. Maria Prymachenko’s artwork destroyed. “The Ivankiv Museum of Local History in Kyiv region was burned down. The museum housed valuable artwork by the Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko.”

The Guardian: Hundreds of US geographic sites to be renamed to eliminate offensive words. “US officials have come up with a list of potential replacement names for hundreds of geographic sites in three dozen states that currently include an offensive word, kicking off a public comment period that will run through late April.”

TorrentFreak: Google Punishes Pre-Release Piracy Sites Harder in Search Results. “Google’s voluntary anti-piracy measures have gradually expanded over the years, resulting in some unique responses. When Google removes an allegedly copyright-infringing URL from its search engine, it will disable ads on this URL as well. In addition, the search engine has added a ‘still-in-theaters/prerelease’ tag for DMCA notices, so reported sites can be punished more severely.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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