South Carolina State Museum, Wisconsin Affordable Internet, Google, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, July 28, 2023


South Carolina State Museum: South Carolina State Museum Launches its First-Ever Online Collection Database . “The South Carolina State Museum’s art collection is now available to explore online allowing educators, students, researchers and others to explore portions of the museum’s collection digitally for the first time. The art collection features more than 4,500 pieces of fine and folk art, historic and modern pottery and ceramics, sculptures, contemporary works, and even topiaries.”

State of Wisconsin: State Announces Launch of New Tool to Help Wisconsinites Find Free, Discounted Internet Service. “Gov. Tony Evers today, together with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), announced the launch of the Internet Discount Finder website to help Wisconsin households find and access affordable internet. The new tool can assist in finding free and discounted internet service available to eligible Wisconsin residents.”


Associated Press: Google rebounds from unprecedented drop in ad revenue with a resurgence that pushes stock higher. “Google snapped out of an unprecedented advertising slump during its latest quarter, signaling a return to growth cycle needed to fuel investments in artificial intelligence technology that expected to reshape the competitive landscape.”

The Hacker News: Google Messages Getting Cross-Platform End-to-End Encryption with MLS Protocol. “Google has announced that it intends to add support for Message Layer Security (MLS) to its Messages service for Android and open source an implementation of the specification.”


WIRED: It’s Twilight of the Mods for Bluesky and Reddit. “THESE ARE STRANGE days for people who care about trust and safety on platforms. Historically, many people have suggested that either more effective central moderation (a platform owner intervening directly in policing the content of the platform) or better decentralized moderation (allowing users to curate their spaces through community-driven moderation) could pave the way to a better social media landscape—or, ideally, some alchemically balanced combo of the two. But, in true Silicon Valley fashion, one platform is centralizing in the worst way possible, while the other is decentralizing catastrophically.”

BBC: Google alert failed to warn people of Turkey earthquake. “Google says its alert system can give users up to a minute’s notice on their phones before an earthquake hits. It says its alert was sent to millions before the first, biggest quake. However, the BBC visited three cities in the earthquake zone, speaking to hundreds of people, and didn’t find anyone who had received a warning.”

Sydney Morning Herald: This athlete turned tech bro was chasing a start-up dream. Now he’s accused of faking a PhD. “The start-up world is full of entrepreneurs like [Steven] Leven, striving for dreams that others see as implausible. But while heroically optimistic forecasting and bombastic salesmanship are an accepted part of the industry – which is fond of quoting a 1997 Apple ad that declared “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do” – there are boundaries.”


Los Angeles Times: Police like using Google data to solve crimes. Does that put your privacy at risk?. “After a man was shot dead outside a bank in Paramount in 2019, Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives turned to Google for help identifying suspects. Through a search warrant, detectives directed the tech giant to provide cellphone location data for people who were near places the man visited on the day he was killed. The data Google provided eventually led detectives to two suspects who are now in prison for the murder.”

State of Connecticut: Governor Lamont Commissions Independent Review of Falsified Reporting of Traffic Records by the State Police. “Governor Ned Lamont today announced that, based on a recent audit that revealed a troubling number of erroneous records in the Connecticut State Police records management system and the State of Connecticut’s traffic stop racial profiling database, he is commissioning an independent review to determine how and why this misconduct occurred, why it went undetected for so many years, and what reforms should be implemented to ensure that such misconduct does not reoccur.”


University of Wisconsin-Madison: New maps show antimicrobial resistance varies within Wisconsin neighborhoods. “Led by postdoctoral fellow Laurel Legenza, researchers at UW–Madison’s School of Pharmacy and State Cartographer’s Office worked with colleagues from three Wisconsin health systems to combine antibiotic resistance data from different locations throughout the state to gauge the effectiveness of a pair of common antibiotic treatments for Escherichia coli infections. The combination of data allowed the team to identify neighborhood-level patterns in how well the antibiotics treated E. coli.”

University of Texas at Austin: First Findings Shed Light on Role of Social Media Algorithms in 2020 Election. “The study, co-led by researchers Talia Stroud of The University of Texas at Austin and Joshua Tucker of New York University, found that algorithms have a tremendous impact on what people see in their feeds. Although changing fundamental parts of the algorithm affected the content people saw, it did not affect participants’ political attitudes.”

Cornell Chronicle: Analysis of court transcripts reveals biased jury selection. “In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers used natural language processing (NLP) tools to analyze transcripts of the jury selection process. They found multiple quantifiable differences in how prosecutors questioned Black and white members of the jury pool. Once validated, this technology could provide evidence for appeals cases and be used in real time during jury selection to ensure more diverse juries.” Good morning, Internet…

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