Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation, James Webb Space Telescope, Google Image Search, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 11, 2022


Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation: IPLC launches new resource sharing software. “Beginning in the summer of 2022, the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation (IPLC), a partnership of 13 academic research libraries, will launch ReShare Returnables, a new resource sharing software offering enhanced inter-library open sharing capabilities.”


NBC News: Biden to unveil first photo from James Webb Space Telescope. “President Joe Biden will unveil the much-anticipated first full-color image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on Monday, agency officials confirmed. The image, known as ‘Webb’s First Deep Field,’ will be the deepest and highest-resolution view of the universe ever captured, showing myriad galaxies as they appeared up to 13 billion years in the past, according to NASA.”


Futurism / The Byte: Googling “Desk Ornament” Returns Images Of Nazi Paraphernalia. “The saga stared yesterday, when former Cracked editor and scifi author Jason Pargin asked followers if they, too, were getting tons of images of Nazi memorabilia when Googling the phrase ‘desk ornament.’ Turns out a bunch of them were — including Futurism, where we were still experiencing the bizarre results at press time — and the problem is so big it elicited an official response from the company.” This article is over a week old, so I did the search myself to see if I got Nazi imagery in my results. I did. I also got screenshots of articles like this one.

Engadget: Hitting the Books: Modern social media has made misinformation so, so much worse. “In his new book Tyrants on Twitter: Protecting Democracies from Information Warfare, David Sloss, Professor of Law at Santa Clara University, explores how social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have become platforms for political operations that have very real, and very dire, consequences for democracy while arguing for governments to unite in creating a global framework to regulate and protect these networks from information warfare.”


New York Times: Defense Firm Said U.S. Spies Backed Its Bid for Pegasus Spyware Maker. “Spokesmen for L3Harris and NSO declined to comment about the negotiations between the companies. A spokeswoman for Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, declined to comment on whether any American intelligence officials quietly blessed the discussions. A spokesman for the Commerce Department declined to give specifics about any discussions with L3 Harris about purchasing NSO.”

Eater San Francisco: Scammers Are Trying to Extort Bay Area Restaurant Owners With Torrents of One-Star Reviews. “For the last week or so, high-profile restaurants throughout the Bay Area including Nightbird, Acquerello, 3rd Cousin, Sons and Daughters, Californios, and Lucho’s have received a torrent of one-star reviews on Google, accompanied by pleas to send $75 to would-be scammers.” This is happening elsewhere, including in Texas.

Reuters: Brazil police raids gang allegedly using crypto to launder illegal gold mining. “Brazil’s federal police on Thursday carried out an operation against an alleged criminal gang that it said used crypto tokens to launder money made from illegal gold mining. Police arrested five people and served 60 search and seizure warrants in the operation.”


Brookings Institution: How China uses search engines to spread propaganda. “Users come to search engines seeking honest answers to their queries. On a wide range of issues—from personal health, to finance, to news—search engines are often the first stop for those looking to get information online. But as authoritarian states like China increasingly use online platforms to disseminate narratives aimed at weakening their democratic competitors, these search engines represent a crucial battleground in their information war with rivals.”

Creative Commons: CC Supports Internet Archive’s Efforts to Ensure Public Access to Books. “At CC, we believe libraries — and cultural heritage institutions in general — should be empowered to serve as a meaningful access point for publicly funded collections. Free and open access to knowledge stimulates creativity, is essential for research and learning, and constitutes a bedrock principle of free and democratic societies.”


The Guardian: ‘Portals will be as important as the car’: the architects exploring gateways to new dimensions . “Following a period of intensive research during the pandemic, experimental architectural duo Space Popular have unveiled the Portal Galleries, a beguiling immersive exhibition that explores the history and future of portals… Using a combination of virtual reality films and physical exhibits, alongside drawings from the collection, the show charts the role of magical thresholds in fiction, film, television and gaming, and speculates on the fundamental role they will play in the coming virtual world.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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