Laos Bombings, Pepperdine Libraries, UFO Hearings, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, May 17, 2022


NBC News: Preserving the history of America’s ‘secret war’ in Laos. “A new initiative is aimed at raising awareness about a dark and often forgotten chapter of U.S. history: the secret bombing of Laos during the Vietnam War. Nearly half a century later, most Americans — and even many young Laotian Americans — know little about the clandestine, nine-year, CIA-led military campaign informally called the ‘secret war.’…The mission of the Legacies Library, a project of the Washington, D.C.-based group Legacies of War, is to keep the secret war from being lost to time.”

Pepperdine University: Pepperdine Libraries Adds Leigh Wiener and Frederick R. Weisman Museum Collections to Digital Collections. “Pepperdine Libraries has announced the addition of two new digital collections to its growing list of online resources. Scholars worldwide can now easily access photos from influential twentieth-century photographer Leigh Wiener and a selection of digitized artworks previously displayed at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art.”


CNET: Congress’ First Public Hearing on UFOs in 50 years Is Tuesday: How to Watch. “Few things capture the public imagination quite like UFOs and sci-fi suggestions that aliens might be vacationing on our humble little planet. And on Tuesday, May 17, the US House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee plans to shed some light on UFOs — more formally known as unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAP — with an open hearing.”

Search Engine Journal: Edge Browser Will AI Improve All Web Images. “Microsoft Bing announced a new AI technology that will bring 4K image experience to websites through Microsoft Edge, automatically enhancing website images. The technology, called Turing Image Super-Resolution, makes images display at a high resolution, no matter how poor the original image is.”

Digital Trends: A new Twitter feature could separate the lurkers from the super-users. “According to a screenshot tweeted on Thursday by Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter has yet another in-progress feature — this time, it’s a tiny bit of text located just under the Tweets tab on a user’s profile page. But this text tells everyone something you may not want others to know, which is how often you tweet.”


Make Tech Easier: 7 of the Best RSS Readers for Windows. “While RSS readers might not be as popular as they once were, they’re still invaluable tools for pulling together all the various content you like to read from numerous sources into a single feed. As you may expect, RSS readers don’t all work the same (find out what is RSS here). That’s why you have to compare and find the best RSS reader for Windows for your needs.”


The National Archives (UK): The National Archives and Arts Council England embark on a new three-year collaboration. “The National Archives and Arts Council England are pleased to announce that they have signed a collaboration agreement until 2024, building on a long history of mutual support. Archives, libraries and museums are closely connected in their work and our two organisations have many shared values and goals.”

WA Today: The Google Maps route that leads WA tourists into the forest. “If you’re planning to visit the Valley of Giants treetop walk in Western Australia’s Great Southern region, your intention is likely to walk atop the forest, not end up in your humble sedan accidentally off-roading through it. But for the 140,000 people who travel to the tourist attraction each year, many are finding their satellite navigation is leading them astray.”


CBC: Google warns online news bill could make it subsidize biased news outlets. “Google is warning that the federal government’s online news bill could force it to subsidize non-authoritative or biased news sources, such as the Russian state-sponsored news agency Sputnik. But the organization representing Canada’s news media industry says the wording of the bill is tight and specifically excludes outlets that promote the interests of an organization.”

Lawfare Blog: How to Fight Foreign Hackers With Civil Litigation. “Since 2010, Microsoft alone has won court orders to seize command and control (C2) servers and sinkhole malicious traffic in 24 cases, seizing a total of more than 16,000 malicious domains. Mechanically, these cases work a lot like the Justice Department’s botnet takedowns: Both entities compile evidence that particular domains are being used to control botnets and use that evidence to obtain court orders requiring U.S.-based domain registries to redirect those domains to servers controlled by the entity that sought the order, among other possible court-authorized remedies.”


City Journal: Big Data Can Save Kids. “The Carnegie Mellon researchers’ work raises an interesting question about algorithms: Why would we want to judge their success on any metric besides accuracy? Isn’t it the goal of predictive analytics to give us a better sense, in this case, of which kids are most at risk, rather than which decisions will make people feel better about racial outcomes? This isn’t to argue that we should make decisions based on algorithms alone.”

GIM International: Creating a 3D Model of the Famous Budapest Chain Bridge. “Two Hungarian companies designed a three-step data collection workflow to overcome the challenges in this urban surveying project, which included the use of UAVs and remote-controlled boats for Lidar and photogrammetry data. The result: a digital 3D BIM-compatible model of Budapest’s iconic bridge over the River Danube to assist in preparations for restoration and renovation work.” Good morning, Internet…

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