Invasive JavaScript, Covid-19 Government Records, Silicon Valley Elections Policies, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, August 22, 2022


The Verge: This site exposes the creepy things in-app browsers from TikTok and Instagram might track. “Did you know you’re potentially being tracked when you load an in-app browser on iOS? A new tool reveals exactly how, showing how applications like TikTok and Instagram can potentially use JavaScript to view sensitive data, including your address, passwords and credit card information, without your consent.”

The Intercept: Laying Bare The Secrets Of The Pandemic. “Led by historians and transparency advocates, the Covid-19 Archive, as the project is called, will be a broad, interactive repository of records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and other open records laws. The project launched last week with Fauci’s early 2020 emails, including the one in which he addressed the rumors of his muzzling, and will be expanded by adding local, state, and federal public health records over the coming months.”


Washington Post: In new election, Big Tech uses old strategies to fight ‘big lie’. “For months, activists have urged tech companies to fight the spread of falsehoods purporting that the 2020 presidential election was stolen — warning that such disinformation could delegitimize the 2022 midterms, in which all seats in the House of Representatives and more than a third of the Senate is up for grabs. Yet social media giants are pushing forward with a familiar playbook to police misinformation this electoral cycle, even as false claims that the last presidential election was fraudulent continue to plague their platforms.”


Hongkiat: 15 Online Presentation Tools to Win Over Your Audience. “Using these online tools, you can create and design interactive yet beautiful presentations directly in a web browser that makes your audience go wow. Let’s check out the following list.”

MakeUseOf: 5 Exceptional Free Tutorials to Learn No-Code Development. “In case you didn’t know, no-code tools are a new type of software and online apps that make it easy for non-techies to build tech products without any programming or coding knowledge. This ranges from simple websites and landing pages to complex databases and SaaS. And it’s surprisingly easy too. All you need is a little guidance to get started, which these online experts offer for free.”


Wall Street Journal: How Data Is Changing the College Experience. “In the real world, Pounce is a fuzzy game-day presence, rooting on the university’s athletes. In the virtual world, the mascot is a chatbot enhanced with artificial intelligence. The virtual version was introduced in the summer of 2016 to incoming freshmen, who could text questions to Pounce 24/7 and in just seconds get answers about financial aid, registration, housing, admissions and academic advising. Three years later, Pounce was rolled out to the entire student body, with broader capabilities—able not only to answer questions but also to initiate interactions on its own. For example, the chatbot can intervene when a student is determined to be at risk of failing a class or dropping out of school.”

Tubefilter: ‘Cult of the Lamb’ gets viewers into the game with Twitch integration. “The roguelike game, developed by Massive Monster and published by Devolver Digital, arrived on seven different consoles on August 11. From a content creation standpoint, the most interesting thing about Cult of the Lamb is its unique set of Twitch integrations. By installing a PC extension (not today, Mac users), Cult of the Lamb players can give some in-game power to their streaming audiences.”


The Marshall Project: See If Police in Your State Reported Crime Data to the FBI. “Nearly 40% of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. failed to report crime data to the FBI’s national database in 2021 after the transition to a new collection system. The transition creates huge gaps in national crime stats sure to be exploited by politicians in this election year.”

New York Times: A Dad Took Photos of His Naked Toddler for the Doctor. Google Flagged Him as a Criminal.. “Because technology companies routinely capture so much data, they have been pressured to act as sentinels, examining what passes through their servers to detect and prevent criminal behavior. Child advocates say the companies’ cooperation is essential to combat the rampant online spread of sexual abuse imagery. But it can entail peering into private archives, such as digital photo albums — an intrusion users may not expect — that has cast innocent behavior in a sinister light in at least two cases The Times has unearthed.”

Associated Press: Immigration advocates sue LexisNexis over personal data. “Data broker LexisNexis Risk Solutions allegedly violated Illinois law by collecting and combining extensive personal information and selling it to third parties including federal immigration authorities, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by immigration advocates.”


Natural History Museum (UK): Natural History Museum celebrates pioneering digital and scientific collaboration with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum of the National University of Singapore. “The Natural History Museum today celebrated its partnership with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) of the National University of Singapore. Representatives from both parties met in the Museum’s world-renowned galleries to launch an international digitisation collaboration which will mobilise a wealth of data on the scientific, geological and environmental history of Singapore.”

USGS: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law helps map underground geology across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. “This study will cover a vast, 27,500 square-mile area, covering parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia where geophysical data has not been collected for more than 45 years. The study will be funded by and conducted through the USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI), a partnership between the USGS and state geological surveys to modernize understanding of the nation’s fundamental geologic framework through new mapping and data collection.” Good morning, Internet…

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