McKinsey Opioid Consulting, Forensic Research Library, Smartphone AI, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, July 5, 2022


Johns Hopkins University: New documents show McKinsey’s role in fueling opioid epidemic. “The Opioid Industry Documents Archive, a project of Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, San Francisco, today released more than 114,000 documents related to McKinsey & Company’s work as a management consulting firm for the opioid industry over a 15-year period. The documents show how McKinsey advised opioid makers Purdue Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, and Mallinckrodt to help them increase sales, despite the growing public outcry over the opioid epidemic.”

Big thanks to Jeffrey T for bringing this to my attention. Florida International University: FIU launches open-access Forensic Research Library. “Florida International University (FIU) has launched a first-of-its-kind resource for forensic science practitioners, students, researchers, and the general public. The Research Forensic Library provides access to thousands of articles and reports in the scientific literature, a critical step in the forward momentum required of forensic science and its varied applications.”


New York Times: Use That Everyday A.I. in Your Pocket. “Virtual assistants usually hog the spotlight when it comes to talk of artificial intelligence software on smartphones and tablets. But Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby and company aren’t the only tools using machine learning to make life easier — other common programs use the technology, too. Here’s a quick tour through some common A.I.-driven apps and how you can manage them.”

MakeUseOf: 6 Truly Free Online Image Editors for Photoshop Effects (No Limitations). “Plenty of free image editors online do wondrous things like remove backgrounds from photos or upscale picture sizes. But usually, these have some restrictions. You’ll find limitations like only editing five images in the free account or exporting images at a really low resolution. So we set out to find free online image editors with no restrictions or limitations that don’t affect a normal user.”


Washington Post: One woman dominated a local fair’s food contest. The internet went looking for her. “The competition at the Virginia-Kentucky District Fair began innocently enough when a woman named Linda Skeens entered her many baked treats, canned goods and other items for the judged contest. Then she won — and she won huge. The fair posted a list of winners on Facebook showing that Skeens dominated the June 13 competition, winning more than 25 of 80 contest categories. That’s when things took on a life of their own. Her online fans wanted to find her.”

Houston Chronicle: Chinese posed as Texans on social media to attack rival companies. “An English-language social media propaganda effort that previously criticized Hong Kong protesters and other foes of the Chinese government and has been linked to China has taken the rare step of going after private companies in a strategic industry, researchers said Tuesday.”


Reuters: Google targeted in fresh EU consumer groups’ privacy complaints. “Alphabet unit Google has been targeted by a French consumer group and its peers in complaints to privacy watchdogs over its vast trove of users’ personal data harvested via their Google accounts, European consumer organisation BEUC said on Thursday. In addition to the French consumer group, others in Greece, the Czech Republic, Norway and Slovenia have taken their gripes to their data protection authorities, BEUC said.”

Springfield News-Leader: Missouri court documents will be available online to anyone starting next summer. “Rule changes announced by the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday will allow anyone to access public court records through the state judiciary’s online database,, starting on July 1, 2023. Currently, only summaries of cases are available online; to access documents and other filings, you need to find a public access terminal at your nearest courthouse.”

KPVI: Open records bill would mean major changes for Pennsylvania ‘state related’ universities. “Senate Bill 488 would require state-related universities (University of Pittsburgh and Temple, Penn State, and Lincoln universities) to disclose salary, budget, and contract information in a user-friendly online database. Donor privacy would be unaffected and remain confidential. The bill passed first consideration in the Senate State Government Committee on Tuesday. If it’s signed into law, it would align Pennsylvania’s transparency rules with the majority of other states.”


CNET: Twitter Could Take These Steps to Slow Viral Misinformation, Researchers Say. “Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are rife with misinformation that can easily go viral. One study looked at millions of tweets and found that a handful of steps could be taken to slow the spread of false information on Twitter.”

NASA: NASA Selects 5 Proposals to Provide New Insights from Openly Available Data in the Physical Sciences Informatics System. “Researchers will investigate important problems with existing data from NASA’s Physical Sciences Informatics (PSI) system. The online database contains data from completed physical science reduced-gravity flight experiments conducted on the International Space Station, Space Shuttle flights, free flying spacecraft, commercial cargo flights to and from the space station, or from related ground-based studies.”

TechXplore: Study finds toxicity in the open-source community varies from other internet forums. “A team of researchers from the Institute for Software Research (ISR) in Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science recently collaborated with colleagues at Wesleyan University to take a first pass at understanding toxicity on open-source platforms like GitHub.” Good morning, Internet…

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