1930s British Cinema-Going, Tile Trackers, AI-Powered Seinfeld, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, February 21, 2023


Lancaster University: Focus on silver screen stars and cinema-going now open to all. “The Lancaster team worked with experts from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Glasgow to produce the ‘Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive: 1930s Britain and Beyond’ (CMDA)… The starting point for the project focused on materials gathered during the course of ‘Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain’ (CCINTB), a large-scale pioneering nationwide inquiry, conducted in the 1990s, into cinema audiences and film going in the 1930s.”


TechCrunch: Tile takes extreme steps to limit stalkers and thieves from using its Bluetooth trackers. “Apple took a big PR hit as news spread that its item tracker the AirTag was being used for stalking and car thefts, which led the company to retool its software with a closer eye on user safety. AirTag’s competitor Tile is now introducing its own plan to make its device safer, with the launch of a new feature called ‘anti-theft mode,’ which prevents the tracker from being detected by anyone but its owner. But it’s taking things a bit further…”

The Verge: The AI-powered Seinfeld spoof is set to return to Twitch with new guardrails in place. “The AI-generated Seinfeld spoof was suspended for making transphobic remarks, but its makers say there are new content moderation systems in place.”


Irish Examiner: Limerick historian ‘blown away’ by discovery of documents. “‘Utterly breathtaking’ historical documents dating as far back as 1695 may have been lost forever if not for a man who rescued the collection 30 years ago from a skip.”

Washington Post: TikTok loves Gen Z’s true confessions. Colleges and employers, not so much.. “While corporate social media campaigns ‘raised awareness’ around subjects like mental health and body positivity, young people shared their experiences in droves. But as they hit college or the working world, they’re met with a harsh reality: The standard of professionalism among older generations hasn’t changed, and it doesn’t make room for the type of authenticity social media companies tend to encourage.”

InsideHook: Google Maps Incorrectly Directed Drivers to a Residential Driveway. “The next time I’m passing through [Warren, New Jersey], however, I’m going to be a little more aware of where my navigation of choice — in this case, Google Maps — is taking me. Why? Well, because a few Warren residents recently learned that Google Maps believes that their driveways are through streets, and is directing drivers accordingly.”


Search Engine Journal: WordPress Vulnerability: ShortPixel Enable Media Replace Plugin. “National Vulnerability Database published a vulnerability advisory about the ShortPixel Enable Media Replace WordPress plugin used by over 600,000 websites. A high severity vulnerability was discovered that could allow an attacker to upload arbitrary files. The United States Vulnerability Database (NVD) assigned the vulnerability a score of 8.8 out of 10, with 10 being the highest severity.”

BBC: Why TikTok sleuths descended on Nicola Bulley’s village. “I am walking the same route that Nicola Bulley, 45, followed before she disappeared, along the river in the small Lancashire village of Saint Michael’s on Wyre. It’s also the same route that amateur social media sleuths take when they come to look into the case themselves. They have been turning up in their numbers, prompted by rumours, speculation and conspiracy on social media viewed and shared by millions of people who have never been anywhere near this village.”


The Conversation: How Records of Life’s Milestones Help Solve Cold Cases, Pinpoint Health Risks and Allocate Public Resources. “As a family demographer, I use information from these vital records to understand how childbirth, marriage and divorce are changing in the United States over time. The scope and quality of these records reflect remarkable administrative coordination from the local to the national level, but examples from other countries illustrate how much more the records could yet tell us.”

Penn State: Beyond memorization: Text generators may plagiarize beyond ‘copy and paste’. “Students may want to think twice before using a chatbot to complete their next assignment. Language models that generate text in response to user prompts plagiarize content in more ways than one, according to a Penn State-led research team that conducted the first study to directly examine the phenomenon.”

Stanford Daily: Internal review found ‘falsified data’ in Stanford President’s Alzheimer’s research, colleagues allege. “[Marc] Tessier-Lavigne, who became Stanford’s president in 2016, has been under investigation by the Stanford Board of Trustees since late November, after The Daily revealed concerns that several other papers he had co-authored contained altered imagery. But these latest allegations, about a different paper, are more serious because they involve what was once considered a promising treatment target for Alzheimer’s disease — and because people involved in the review allege that Tessier-Lavigne tried to keep its findings hidden.”


Chron: How a vast collection of Mardi Gras history was lost, then found. “… they couldn’t believe their eyes: hand-painted scenes—some 40 feet high—of mountain ranges, ancient cities, exotic castles and whimsical fantasy landscapes, in still-vivid color, with mica accents glittering across waves and windowpanes. They noticed words scribbled on the back of some: Athenians 1929, Osiris 1940, Hermes, and many more. To an outsider these might be cryptic, mystical words, but a New Orleanian instantly recognizes them as the names of Mardi Gras krewes.” Good morning, Internet…

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