Black Progress Index, Utah Judges, Ice Bucket Challenge, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, October 3, 2022


Brookings Institution: The Black Progress Index: Examining the social factors that influence Black well-being. “In the spirit of [W.E.B.] Du Bois and others who have pursued truth and justice, the NAACP and the Brookings Institution have partnered to develop tools and resources that will empower communities with data and information. The partnership’s primary project is the Black Progress Index, which provides a means to understand the health and well-being of Black people and the conditions that shape their lives.”

KSL: Not sure how to vote for Utah judges? This new website can help. “Unlike political leaders, judges don’t face challenges from opponents in elections, they instead face a simple retention vote at the end of each term. As each judge nears the end of their term, the performance commission conducts a retention evaluation and votes to decide whether they meet the minimum performance standards. The results are then posted… along with details about the judge’s record, survey results from attorneys, and scoring breakdowns to compare judges to their peers in various categories.”


NPR: The Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t just for social media. It helped fund a new ALS drug. “The ALS Association said that $2.2 million of funds that were raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge went into funding the development and trial of the new drug that the Food and Drug Administration approved this week for treatment of ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

BBC: Bruce Willis denies selling rights to his face. “Bruce Willis’s agent has denied reports that the film star has sold the rights to his face. Last week, it was widely reported that Willis, in the first deal of its kind, had sold his face to a deepfake company called Deepcake. However, a spokesperson for the actor told the BBC that he had ‘no partnership or agreement’ with the company. And a representative of Deepcake said only Willis had the rights to his face.” I passed this one on too. My bad!


Liliputing: Google Japan designed a gigantic, single-row Gboard keyboard as a joke (but you can build one if you want) . “Google may have stopped putting out dozens of April Fools’ videos every year, but Googlers in Japan still love a good joke – and the latest is ridiculous keyboard that they’re called Gboard Bar Version. It’s a single-row keyboard with every key laid out end-to-end in a highly impractical way.”

WIRED: How Bots Corrupted Advertising. “WHEN ALEKSANDR ZHUKOV went on trial last year, he stood accused of defrauding US companies, including The New York Times and pet care brand Purina, out of millions of dollars. According to the court, the then 41-year-old set up a company that promised to show online adverts to humans, but he instead placed those adverts on an elaborate network of fake websites where they were seen only by bots. Yet Zhukov’s defense did not center around his innocence or his remorse. Rather, he said he was giving the online economy exactly what it wanted: cheap traffic, whatever the source.”

The Register: Google Translate dropped in mainland China . “Google has discontinued its China-based Google Translate app and site,, allegedly because no one was using it. Beginning last Saturday, users seeking to visit the mainland China version of Google Translate were instead presented with a redirection to the Hong Kong page.”


Financial Times: Celsius Network founder withdrew $10mn ahead of bankruptcy. “Celsius Network founder Alex Mashinsky withdrew $10mn from the crypto lender just weeks before the company froze customer accounts as it spiralled towards bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Citizen Lab: New Pegasus Spyware Abuses Identified in Mexico. “Mexican digital rights organization R3D (Red en los Defensa de los Derechos Digitales) has identified Pegasus infections against journalists and a human rights defender taking place between 2019-2021.”


CogDogBlog: Heard? Google CC Image Search Now 433% Better (and still sad). “It’s time to toss the Google Image CC search, its’ not only broken, the information provided is wrong. The license info is not derived from the image, but somehow extracted from the page it is contained in.”

NewsWise: Widening participation in STEM requires an attitude change. “New research from the University of Reading has found a social hierarchy in STEM, as well as narrow but differing views on the ideal or typical student in each discipline. These views are held by STEM students and are informed by wider societal opinions.”

University of Arkansas: Social Media Use Linked to Developing Depression Regardless of Personality. “Researchers in public policy and education recently found that young adults who use more social media are significantly more likely to develop depression within six months, regardless of personality type.” Good morning, Internet…

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