Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Navigator, Trinidad & Tobago Girmityas, Georgia Land Conservation, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, May 31, 2022


GovTech: McKinsey Offers Tool to Help Explore Infrastructure Spending. “The free online tool, called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Navigator, is an interactive wheel filled with dots, where the outside of the wheel represents the current year and the innermost region represents 2027. The color-coded dots represent deadlines for programs and spending on the various projects included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The tool also contains filters to help those in the public sector — or those in the private sector interested in performing the work funded by the IIJA — narrow down projects. One could, for example, use the tool to display only competitive grants related to public transit.”

Trinidad & Tobago Guardian: Foundation launched to preserve legacies of Indian indentureship. “The Girmitya Foundation, which is a non-governmental organisation registered in T&T, was officially launched last week Sunday at The Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Cooperation. Founder Nutan Ragoobir stated that Indian immigrants were made to sign a Girmit (agreement) as part of their bonding to hard labour and as such were called Girmityas. Ragoobir stated that the foundation was able to successfully achieve its first goal of creating and implementing a digital library dedicated to Indian history—Girmitya Archives.” If “Girmitya” sounds a little familiar, it’s because on May 15th I indexed an article about Girmityas arriving in Fiji.

PRWeb: Georgia LandCAN, a New Resource to Conserve Farms, Forests, Ranches (PRESS RELEASE). “Whether the need is for information, technical assistance, training, grants, or other support, the Georgia Land Conservation Assistance Network… helps individuals navigate the overwhelming patchwork of resources provided by federal and state agencies, county and regional governments, professional organizations, and nonprofits—all in one easily searchable location.”


TechRadar: Microsoft takes on Wix, Squarespace with new website builder filled with goodies. “Previously, Power Pages existed as a feature within the Power Apps platform, which enables users to create mobile apps that run on Android, iOS, and Windows. However, Microsoft has now relaunched Power Pages as a standalone offering to help make it easier for developers to design, manage and publish sites for desktop and mobile.”


MakeUseOf: 15 Relaxing Websites to Help When You Feel Overwhelmed. “Life gets overwhelming for us all. Even browsing the internet can be taxing, with the vitriol of social media or the depressing news. Occasionally, we just need to step back, take a deep breath, and relax. What’s the best way to do that? One way to help yourself is to use relaxing websites. We’ve rounded up some of the most relaxing corners of the web; sites designed for nothing more than clearing your mind and being present.”

PC World: This obscure Firefox tool is a must-use for privacy buffs. “I’ve seen other people online who say they sandbox their social media accounts in Edge, work email and services in Firefox, and personal stuff in Chrome (for example)…. Maybe you’ve been wanting this kind of tidy, privacy-friendly setup too, but just don’t want to learn a new browser. Or your taskbar has precious little real estate. I’ve got great news for you: With the Firefox Multi-Account Containers add-on, you can achieve the same effect in just one browser.”


Hyperallergic: You’ve Heard of Wordle, But Have You Tried “Artle”?. “You want to get in on the Wordle craze but you just hate letters. Visual learners and those hoping to put their art history degree to some kind of use, rejoice! A new game, Artle, launched by the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, DC, invites art lovers to guess the artist in four attempts using visual prompts from their oeuvre.”

The Scotsman: Photographer gifts one million images that help tell the story of Scotland . “Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert has gifted his work to St Andrews University, with the acquisition doubling its photographic archive which dates back to the first half of the 19th Century. Everyday moments of ordinary people and their environments regularly feature in his collection as do the realities of industry – from North Sea fishing to coal mining – as he searches for the stories of our times.”


WIRED: Good Luck Not Accidentally Hiring a North Korean Scammer . “Last week, the US Treasury, State Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation jointly issued a 16-page alert warning businesses to guard against a particular scam in which North Korean IT workers apply for freelance contracts—often with wealthy North American, European, and East Asian firms—to generate revenue for their country. The workers pose as IT workers of other nationalities, pretending to be remote workers from South Korea, China, Japan, Eastern Europe, or the US. The alert notes that there are thousands of North Korean IT workers taking on such contracts.”

NBC News: Parents accuse online sellers of price gouging on baby formula. “Parents struggling to find baby formula amid a nationwide shortage are reporting that price gougers are selling bottles and cans marked up by as much as 300 percent or more on websites like eBay, OfferUp, Amazon and Craigslist, and inside Facebook communities. But in many cases, they’re finding that the platforms are doing little to punish the predatory sellers.”


TechCrunch: OpenAI: Look at our awesome image generator! Google: Hold my Shiba Inu. “The AI world is still figuring out how to deal with the amazing show of prowess that is DALL-E 2’s ability to draw/paint/imagine just about anything… but OpenAI isn’t the only one working on something like that. Google Research has rushed to publicize a similar model it’s been working on — which it claims is even better. Imagen (get it?) is a text-to-image diffusion-based generator built on large transformer language models that… okay, let’s slow down and unpack that real quick.”

New York Times: Accused of Cheating by an Algorithm, and a Professor She Had Never Met. “A Florida teenager taking a biology class at a community college got an upsetting note this year. A start-up called Honorlock had flagged her as acting suspiciously during an exam in February. She was, she said in an email to The New York Times, a Black woman who had been ‘wrongfully accused of academic dishonesty by an algorithm.’ What happened, however, was more complicated than a simple algorithmic mistake. It involved several humans, academic bureaucracy and an automated facial detection tool from Amazon called Rekognition.” Good morning, Internet…

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