University of Michigan Black Student Database, COVID-19 Government Policies, Snapchat, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, June 18, 2022


University of Michigan: U-M Black student database through 1970 is now public. “A new public database of African American students created by the University of Michigan documents students who attended U-M between 1853 and as recently as 1970. A comprehensive compilation of this nature did not previously exist at the university and remains very rare for universities across the country. In the process, hundreds of compelling stories have been uncovered surrounding segregated housing, relocation after slavery and ‘segregation scholarships,’ which originated in the 1920s.”

EurekAlert: Massive dataset reveals which governments have best responded to COVID-19 pandemic. “[Olga] Shvetsova’s lab compiled a massive database comparing pandemic-related governmental policies in 82 countries on both the national and subnational levels, as part of the COVID-19 Protective Policy Index (PPI) project. The data covers the entire year of 2020, and is publically available for researchers’ use.”


The Verge: Snap is working on a paid subscription called Snapchat Plus. “Snap is doing internal tests of a paid subscription called Snapchat Plus, which will apparently give users early access to features, as well as other abilities.”

Genealogy’s Star: MyHeritage adds 1.3 BILLION historical records in 37 collections in April and May. “Yes, you did read that right. did add an additional 1.3 billion records in April and May, 2022.”


MakeUseOf: How to Find Public Google Docs (and Slides, Forms, Sheets, and Drawings too). “Similarly, you can easily find public Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Drawings, and Sheets using some easy but Advanced Search operations and tools. In this article, we’ll show you some simple tricks to help you find public Google Drive files including Slides, Forms, Sheets, and Drawings.” Joy Okumoko does it again. I didn’t know about Heystack.


WKSU: The Cleveland Press folded 40 years ago. Can the history in its pages be preserved?. “The Plain Dealer is still printed a few days each week, and its archive is also online. But The Cleveland Press is mostly offline. That’s a problem, said Kristen Hare, who is part of the local news faculty at the Poynter Institute. ‘I don’t know how future generations will understand us if they’re just looking at our TikToks,’ she said. ‘That’s not going to be enough.'”


WIRED: Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists. “POLICE FORCES AROUND the world have increasingly used hacking tools to identify and track protesters, expose political dissidents’ secrets, and turn activists’ computers and phones into inescapable eavesdropping bugs. Now, new clues in a case in India connect law enforcement to a hacking campaign that used those tools to go an appalling step further: planting false incriminating files on targets’ computers that the same police then used as grounds to arrest and jail them.”

Axios: Sweeping reporting failures may compromise the FBI’s 2021 crime data. “Nearly 40% of law enforcement agencies nationwide, including the New York City Police Department and Los Angeles Police Department, failed to report their 2021 crime data to the FBI, according to data provided to Axios Local from a partnership with The Marshall Project.”


FTC: FTC Report Warns About Using Artificial Intelligence to Combat Online Problems . “The use of AI, particularly by big tech platforms and other companies, comes with limitations and problems of its own. The report outlines significant concerns that AI tools can be inaccurate, biased, and discriminatory by design and incentivize relying on increasingly invasive forms of commercial surveillance.”

Brown University: Brown Library, Together with Emory University, Releases Report on Digital Scholarly Publishing. “Report presents key findings of a summit on digital monographs; calls for an increase in access, equity, and inclusion in the digital development and dissemination of humanities scholarship.”

Newswise: Spending Time Online Can Boost Children’s Well-Being – Depending on Their Social Framework . “The concern that media access may be harmful to children and adolescents has been a topic of public debate since long before the existence of the smartphone.This debate has picked up pace with the increased use of digital technology. The researcher Jean Twenge, for example, wrote a book in 2014 that would become very influential, in which she argued that smartphones contribute towards lowering the quality of life of adolescents. A new study indicates that this is incorrect.”


Amateur Photographer: Brian May Reveals Plans For First International Stereoscopy Day. “The event is planned to be a new international celebration of the birth of stereoscopic 3D. It will celebrate the inventor of stereoscopy, the British genius and polymath Sir Charles Wheatstone (who revealed his stereoscope in 1838), its early pioneers and their successors up to the present day.” Good morning, Internet…

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