Investigative Journalism Tools, Metra Train Tracker, TED-Ed, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 15, 2023


Inside AFP: Fighting disinformation: AFP shares tools in videos. “From finding the origin of a video online to using archives to identify old versions of web pages, reading foreign languages with a smartphone or using mapping tools, these videos demonstrate tools used by AFP journalists around the world in their investigations. A dozen videos are already available in English and French on AFP’s YouTube channels and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, sharing key tips for online verification.” Every video I looked at was thoroughly capitioned.

Railfan & Railroad Magazine: Metra Rolls Out New Online Train Tracker. “[The site] was launched on Tuesday and now lets users check train departures from specific stations and look at trains on a real-time map to see where exactly they are.”


Larry Ferlazzo: TED-ED Animated Videos Are Now In Five Languages. “Over the years on this blog, I’ve shared a fair number of both English and Spanish-language TED-Ed animated videos. They’ve just announced an expansion to three other languages, and now have five separate channels.”


The Verge: How to use your phone to find hidden cameras. “Want to make sure your privacy is being respected? There are a couple of ways you can kinda, sorta find out if there are any hidden cameras in your space.” The one comment at this writing offers a third method.


Library of Congress: Library of Congress Awards Second Round of More than $500,000 to Support Contemporary Cultural Field Research within Diverse Communities. “The Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center is pleased to announce the second recipient cohort of the Community Collections Grant program. Launched by the Library’s Of the People: Widening the Path initiative, this series of grants is awarded to individuals and organizations working to document cultures and traditions of Black, Indigenous and communities of color historically underrepresented in the United States and in the Library’s collections.”


Politico: DOJ antitrust chief cleared to oversee Google probes. “The Justice Department has cleared antitrust chief Jonathan Kanter to oversee investigations and litigation involving Google, potentially paving the way for him to lead a federal antitrust case challenging the search giant’s dominance of the online advertising market, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.”

Motherboard: Researchers Could Track the GPS Location of All of California’s New Digital License Plates. “A team of security researchers managed to gain ‘super administrative access’ into Reviver, the company behind California’s new digital license plates which launched last year. That access allowed them to track the physical GPS location of all Reviver customers and change a section of text at the bottom of the license plate designed for personalized messages to whatever they wished, according to a blog post from the researchers.”


Locus Magazine: Commentary: Cory Doctorow: Social Quitting. “In some ways, this shouldn’t surprise us. All the social networks that preceded the current generation experienced this pattern: SixDegrees, Friendster, MySpace, and Bebo all exploded onto the scene. One day, they were sparsely populated fringe services, the next day, every­one you knew was using them and you had to sign up to stay in touch. Then, just as quickly, they imploded, turning into ghost towns, then punchlines, then forgotten ruins.”

PR Newswire: Mars Petcare and the Broad Institute create open-access database of dog and cat genomes to advance preventive pet care (PRESS RELEASE). “Mars Petcare is partnering with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a world leader in the genetic and molecular analysis of diseases, to create one of the largest open access cat and dog genome databases in the world. Genomes from 10,000 dogs and 10,000 cats enrolled in the MARS PETCARE BIOBANK™ initiative will be sequenced over the next 10 years. Insights from the open access database can help advance individualized pet health care for future generations of dogs and cats.”


This is Colossal: Hapless Hangups and Silly Spoofs Abound in the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. “In this year’s juried contest, 5,000 entries from 85 countries amounted to fierce competition, showcasing ‘seriously funny’ images in an effort to highlight the diversity of the world’s wildlife and raise awareness of the need for conservation. In partnership with the Whitley Fund for Nature, the contest contributes 10% of revenue toward conservation efforts in countries across the Global South.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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