New York Unemployment Statistics, Multilingual Picture Database, Google Play, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 23, 2022


State of New York: Governor Hochul Announces Launch of New Online Dashboards to Expand Access to Unemployment Data. “The Local Area Unemployment Statistics dashboard, a joint effort between New York State and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides monthly and annual employment, unemployment, labor force, and unemployment rate data for New York State, labor market regions, metropolitan areas, counties, workforce investment regions, and municipalities of at least 25,000 people. The Unemployment Insurance dashboard contains weekly data on benefits paid, beneficiaries, and initial claims sorted by region, industry, and program.”

Scientific Data: The Multilingual Picture Database . “In this paper we present the Multilingual Picture (Multipic) database, containing naming norms and familiarity scores for 500 coloured pictures, in thirty-two languages or language varieties from around the world. The data was validated with standard methods that have been used for existing picture datasets. This is the first dataset to provide naming norms, and translation equivalents, for such a variety of languages; as such, it will be of particular value to psycholinguists and other interested researchers. The dataset has been made freely available.”


The Verge: Google’s adding the app permissions section back to the Play Store after removing it. “Google says it’s rolling back its decision to remove a section from the Play Store that listed which permissions an app uses. The company had more or less replaced that info with its Data Safety section, which is supposed to give you an idea of what data apps are collecting and how that data is used. The problem, as several commentators pointed out, is that the information in the Data Safety section came from developers, whereas the app permissions section was generated by Google.”


Mashable: The 22 most useful free iPhone apps, according to Reddit . “Redditors are providing an online public service by recommending extremely helpful iOS apps that are absolutely free. There are adventure apps, sleep apps, education apps, sleep apps, mental health apps, food apps, sleeeep apppppps. Yeah, you get the point. Check out our compilation of the best free iPhone apps that Redditors love.”


NiemanLab: YouTube hit Channel 5 News is “reporting for people who don’t watch the news”. “Since hitting the road in 2019, [Andrew] Callaghan’s work has evolved beyond a parodic presentation of small-town news. He recently reported from Ukraine, interviewing the mayor of Lviv and refugees in the country and across the border in Poland. Much of the money that Channel 5 brings in is spent on operating costs for the traveling production, and the rest is split evenly between Callaghan and two collaborators.”

Poynter: Sri Lanka’s protests faced an information war. “Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa absconded via military aircraft to Singapore last week following protracted countrywide protests by Sri Lankans frustrated with what they saw as years of rank corruption, government overreach and economic mismanagement by the country’s ruling family. Rajapaksa’s resignation was the culmination of a financial crisis, mounting public criticism, hundreds of days of protests and an information war, in which state-sponsored media cast doubt on the legitimacy, viability and safety of the protests, at times under the guise of support.”


New York Times: Twitter Worker Accused of Spying for Saudi Arabia Heads to Trial. “While working at Twitter from 2013 to 2015, Ahmad Abouammo was responsible for helping celebrities, journalists and other notable figures in the Middle East promote their Twitter accounts. He handled requests for Twitter’s coveted blue verification badges and arranged tours of the San Francisco headquarters. But the Justice Department says he misused his access to Twitter user data, gathering the personal information of political dissidents and passing it to Saudi Arabia in exchange for a luxury watch and hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

CNN: Justice Department seizes $500K from North Korean hackers who targeted US medical organizations. “The US Justice Department seized approximately half a million dollars that North Korean government-backed hackers had either extorted from US health care organizations or used to launder ransom payments, deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Tuesday as she touted an aggressive US strategy to claw back money for victims of ransomware attacks.”


Brigham Young University: Unboxing videos on YouTube: What parents need to watch for. “Videos of a child influencer opening a toy and demonstrating how to play with it have become wildly popular on YouTube, many garnering tens of millions of views from children around the globe. In fact, Walmart has a line of toys based on the reviews of a prominent kid YouTuber, Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World. Unbeknownst to child viewers, however, is the fact that many of the toys shown in unboxing videos are paid for or provided by a brand, with the goal of influencing children.”

BBC: Blake Lemoine: Google fires engineer who said AI tech has feelings. “Last month, Blake Lemoine went public with his theory that Google’s language technology is sentient and should therefore have its ‘wants’ respected. Google, plus several AI experts, denied the claims and on Friday the company confirmed he had been sacked.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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