Investigative Journalism Foundation, California Driving, Michigan Mental Health, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, January 16, 2023


NiemanLab: “Canada’s ProPublica” is sharing the databases behind its hard-hitting stories. “A week after launching, [Investigative Journalism Foundation] has shown some political leaders have been breaking their party’s pledge to stop allowing lobbyists to attend cash-for-access fundraisers, taken a sobering look at the country’s public-housing system in partnership with The Walrus, and cataloged, alongside the National Observer, a lobbying blitz by Canada’s largest oil and gas group.”

StreetsBlog Cal: New Tool Helps Planners and Public Visualize Vehicle Miles Traveled. “Fehr & Peers has developed a new tool to help planner and the public ‘see’ how much driving people do, both locally and regionally, in California. This is useful for planning, for grant applications, for estimating traffic impacts from projects, and for estimating greenhouse gases from transportation.”

State of Michigan: State Launches New Workplace Mental Health Hub, Upcoming Webinar Series. “To further support mental health and wellbeing for more Michiganders, the state of Michigan launched, a centralized workplace mental health hub to share resources and strategies aimed at helping employees and employers across the state address mental health in the workplace.”


ReviewGeek: YouTube Tests Out Ad-Supported Free TV Channel Streaming. “At this point, it’s pretty clear that Google is going all-in on YouTube’s video streaming initiative. It’ll have the NFL Sunday Ticket starting next season, and now we’re hearing YouTube is testing a hub where it’ll offer cable-TV channels for free, but with ads.”


Lifehacker: This App Uses AI to Generate Custom Playlists. “PlaylistAI is an app that uses AI to help you create playlists easily, and it is compatible with Spotify and Apple Music. It lets you specify the kind of music you’re looking for and creates custom playlists for you. Here are a few ways you can use PlaylistAI to expand your musical horizons.”


Globe and Mail: Canadian companies inadvertently finance conspiracy-theory sites through ads placed on Google. “Google has placed ads from a host of Canadian companies – including airlines, banks, clothing and food stores – as well as public bodies such as Quebec City tourism – on sites that have raised alarm bells with groups tracking pro-Russian coverage and misinformation. The Globe found more than a dozen ads for Canadian companies appearing on American and French sites including for companies such as Scotiabank, Jetlines, Mattress Mart and Farm Boy.”

SWI: Swiss cinema adapts to energy crisis.”Cinémathèque Suisse has also developed scenarios to anticipate possible power cuts and enable it to continue its activities. Priority has been given to the ‘physical’ film collections, which must be stored at a certain temperature and humidity level, as well as to the digital archives stored on different servers.”


Bleeping Computer: Fake OnlyFans dating sites abuse UK Environment Agency open redirect. “Threat actors abused an open redirect on the official website of the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to direct visitors to fake OnlyFans adult dating sites. OnlyFans is a content subscription service where paid subscribers get access to private photos, videos, and posts from adult models, celebrities, and social media personalities.”

BBC: US farmers win right to repair John Deere equipment. “Tractor maker John Deere has agreed to give its US customers the right to fix their own equipment. Previously, farmers were only allowed to use authorised parts and service facilities rather than cheaper independent repair options. Deere and Co. is one of the world’s largest makers farming equipment.”

The Print (Pakistan): Pakistan National Assembly bans entry of YouTubers, TikTokers, social media influencers into premises. “The Pakistan National Assembly Secretariat has banned the entry of YouTubers, TikTokers and other social media influencers into its premises, ARY News reported. The decision has been taken after an incident of misbehaviour with lawmakers by some unauthorised YouTuber/social media influencers at Gate No 1 of Parliament House on December 23 last year, as per the ARY News report.”


Brookings Institution: ChatGPT: Educational friend or foe?. “In our own test, the first author (Kathy) gave the bot a complicated essay question that she asks her Honors psychology students to answer. It did a respectable job. Yet—the bot produced no more than a B- or C+ essay. Why? To date, the bot cannot distinguish the ‘classic’ article in a field that must be cited from any other article that reviews the same content. The bot also tends to keep referencing the same sources over and over again. These are issues that can be easily resolved in the next iteration. More centrally, however, is that the bot is more of a synthesizer than a critical thinker.”

WIRED: It’s Time to Teach AI How to Be Forgetful. “Intelligent forgetting is just one dimension of psychological AI, an approach to machine intelligence that also incorporates other features of human intelligence such as causal reasoning, intuitive psychology, and physics. In 2023, this approach to AI will finally be recognized as fundamental for solving ill-defined problems.” Good morning, Internet…

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