Minnesota Data Dashboards, Flipboard, Snapchat, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, March 3, 2023


KSTP: Minnesota Department of Health introduces new tool to track violent death. “The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) introduced the Minnesota Violent Death Reporting System (MNVDRS) dashboard on Wednesday, a comprehensive tool used to observe trends in violent death county by county. The dashboard uses information about violent deaths including suicide, homicide, unintentional firearms, law enforcement intervention or other violent deaths between 2015 and 2020.”


TechCrunch: Flipboard joins the Fediverse with a Mastodon integration and community, plans for ActivityPub . “Magazine app Flipboard is joining the Fediverse — the group of interconnected servers powering a range of open source, decentralized applications, including the newly popular Twitter alternative Mastodon. Starting today, the Flipboard app for iOS will include a beta feature that will allow Mastodon users to visually flip through their timeline to view posts from the people they follow, much like they’ve been able to do with Twitter.”

The Verge: Snapchat is releasing its own AI chatbot powered by ChatGPT. “The ‘My AI’ bot will initially only be available to paying Snapchat Plus subscribers. CEO Evan Spiegel says it’s just the beginning for the company’s generative AI plans.”

Daring Fireball: Tweetbot and Twitterrific Face the Cliff. “The obvious problem for developers of such clients, of course, is that Twitter clients are useless without the ability to connect to Twitter. A less obvious but no less serious problem is that the leading clients, Tapbots’s Tweetbot and The Iconfactory’s Twitterrific, were monetized through annual subscriptions. That left each company with thousands and thousands of customers with months left on those subscriptions, but no functionality.”


Motherboard: How Shock Sites Shaped the Internet. “To talk about shock sites is to talk about the internet, understanding how the latter couldn’t exist in its modern form without the former. And they’re far from a relic of the past. Shock site creators, meme historians, and psychologists say they’ve reshaped pop culture, defined the modern era of the internet, and informed how we use it today.”

FedScoop: National Archives allocates $600,000 to transfer digitized veterans’ records from the VA. “The National Archives and Records Administration has allocated $600,000 to transfer digitized veterans’ records from the Department of Veterans Affairs as it continues to work through a backlog of document requests, according to details set out in a strategic plan.”

Armenian Mirror-Spectator: Musicians on Mission to Fund Digitization of Armenia’s National Music Library. “Victoria Avetisyan and Nuné Hakobyan are on a mission for the preservation and proliferation of the legacy of Armenian classical music and they are doing it through music: a concert on March 18 in Bedford.”


Balkan Insight: Europe Toughens Rules on Large Search Engines and Online Platforms. “Online services businesses, from hosting service providers to search engines such as Google or social networks like Meta and Twitter, will need to change the way they work in the European market when two new acts published in the EU Official Gazette, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, enter into effect. The first will regulate how providers manage the content published through them while the second focuses on their market behaviour, and their relations with competitors, users and the businesses operating through their platforms.”

National Post (Canada): ‘Unacceptable level of risk’: Canada bans TikTok from federal government devices. “The federal government is banning Chinese-owned social media app TikTok from all government mobile devices on Feb. 28 because it presents an ‘unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security’ and the company’s data collection methods create vulnerabilities to cyber attacks.”


Stanford University: AI’s Powers of Political Persuasion. “Researchers at Stanford University wanted to see if AI-generated arguments could change minds on controversial hot-button issues. It worked.”

Syracuse University: ‘The Barriers Have Been Removed!’ New Research Explores the Rise of Digital Music-Making in Schools During COVID-19. “New research by David Knapp, assistant professor of music education in the School of Education and College of Visual and Performing Arts, sets out to assess the extent to which creating, arranging and storing digital music online has increased in music education classrooms, especially during and after the coronavirus pandemic that sent learning online in 2020-2021.”

Ars Technica: Microsoft unveils AI model that understands image content, solves visual puzzles. “On Monday, researchers from Microsoft introduced Kosmos-1, a multimodal model that can reportedly analyze images for content, solve visual puzzles, perform visual text recognition, pass visual IQ tests, and understand natural language instructions.” Good morning, Internet…

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