Meroë Pyramids, US Military Budgeting, EU Energy-Efficient Products, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, May 19, 2022


Google Blog: Step into the Meroë pyramids with Google. “Today, you can explore these stunning pyramids, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site, on Google Arts & Culture. Over 200 pyramids were constructed in Meroë, the third and final capital of the Kushite Kingdom, an ancient African civilization that ruled the lands of Nubia for over 3000 years. Now you can take a virtual walk through the Pyramids of Meroë and explore the inscriptions using Street View’s panoramic imagery.”

Congressional Budget Office: CBO Releases an Improved Interactive Tool for Analyzing the Military’s Forces and Resources . “The enhanced tool allows users to alter the overall defense budget (annually or in total for 10 years) to see the possible effects on military forces; or to add or subtract brigades, ships, aircraft squadrons, and other units to see the effects on the defense budget; or to explore any combination of those approaches. It shows estimated effects on the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) costs and on the size of the military.”

European Commission: Commission launches EPREL database to help consumers on energy efficient products. “A new EU-wide public database enabling consumers to compare the energy efficiency class and other data about different household products has been launched by the European Commission this week. With detailed information on well over 1 million products, the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling (EPREL) breaks new ground in helping EU consumers become more energy efficient.”


Creative Commons: Virtual Workshop Recap: Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage. “We are developing our first ever CC Open Culture Guide for Policymakers to address the copyright barriers to universal access and reuse of knowledge and culture faced by GLAMs. To initiate this process, we held an interactive virtual workshop for policy experts and open culture enthusiasts to explore key policy issues and gather insights into how to effectively engage policy makers in our work.”


NPR: The military’s UFO database now has info from about 400 reported incidents. “A database of reports of UFOs now includes about 400 incidents, up from 143 assessed in a report released about a year ago, a Navy intelligence official told lawmakers at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.”

WordPress: WordPress 6.0 Release Candidate 3 (RC3) Now Available for Testing. “WordPress 6.0 is scheduled for release next week on May 24, 2022! This RC3 release is the final opportunity for you to test and help contribute to making the 6.0 release great.”


Associated Press: Thai archival find may resolve fate of missing WWII US flyer. “In 2011, massive floods that hit the country inundated Thailand’s Air Force Museum in Bangkok. There was concern its archives might be damaged by mold. Retired Thai Air Chief Marshal Sakpinit Promthep, who indulged his passion for Second World War history by working part-time in the archival section, spent months afterward going through its files one by one to check their condition. That’s how he found himself looking at a faded document from a musty, dusty folder. It was a handwritten police officer’s report dated November 1944. It detailed the crash of a U.S. P-38 plane, reported to have been struck by lightning during a storm.”

Reuters: Twitter’s account of deal shows Musk signing without asking for more info. “Twitter Inc published its account on Tuesday of its deal negotiations with Elon Musk, showing he opted out of asking the questions about the social media company’s business he has now cited in declaring the $44 billion acquisition is ‘on hold.'”


The Quint World: Anonymous Attempts To Help Sri Lankans but Instead Leaks Data of Thousands. “Accounts connected with the group have since claimed to have targeted the websites of the Sri Lanka Police, the Ceylon Electricity Board, and the Health Ministry, primarily using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. While their campaign against the government has largely been ineffective, they have released data of thousands of ordinary Sri Lankan citizens that could leave them vulnerable to cybercrimes.”

Motherboard: Data Marketplace Selling Info About Who Uses Period Tracking Apps. “To be clear, data for sale on Narrative does not include specific information about women’s menstrual cycles. It is information on what devices downloaded a specific app. If a third party wanted to identify who used a certain family planning or period tracking app, the data for sale on Narrative would be a potential first step towards doing that.”


Library of Congress: Datasets as Primary Sources, Part II. “This post was written by Peter DeCraene, a 2021-22 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the Library of Congress. This is part 2 of an ongoing occasional series about using datasets as primary sources.”

SparkToro: SparkToro & Followerwonk Joint Twitter Analysis: 19.42% of Active Accounts Are Fake or Spam. “From May 13-15, 2022, SparkToro and Followerwonk conducted a rigorous, joint analysis of five datasets including a variety of active (i.e. tweeting) and non-active accounts. The analysis we believe to be most compelling uses 44,058 public Twitter accounts active in the last 90 days. These accounts were randomly selected, by machine, from a set of 130+ million public, active profiles. Our analysis found that 19.42%, nearly four times Twitter’s Q4 2021 estimate, fit a conservative definition of fake or spam accounts (i.e. our analysis likely undercounts).” Good morning, Internet…

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