WWII Alderney, Green Bay Estuary, Project IDX, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, August 9, 2023


BBC: Website set up for Alderney Nazi death camp review. “A dedicated website has been launched, external to share the latest research as part of a review into the number of deaths in Alderney during World War Two. The island – along with the rest of the Channel Islands – was occupied by Germany and housed four forced/slave labour sites, including the concentration camp Lager Sylt.”

University of Wisconsin Green Bay: Green Bay Estuary digital archives collection launch. “UW-Green Bay is the state lead for the designation of a Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). As a part of that designation process, UW-Green Bay and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources partnered to create the Green Bay Estuary Digital Archives Collection, which includes original materials related to the region’s water history, science, and cultural impact from the UW-Green Bay Archives collections. The digital collection seeks to tell the story of the Green Bay Estuary through photographs, postcards, maps, oral history interviews, and historical records.”


TechCrunch: Google launches Project IDX, a new AI-enabled browser-based development environment. “Google today announced the launch of Project IDX, its foray into offering an AI-enabled browser-based development environment for building full-stack web and multiplatform apps. It currently supports frameworks like Angular, Flutter, Next.js, React, Svelte and Vue, and languages like JavaScript and Dart, with support for Python, Go and others in the works.”

Mashable: OpenAI launches webcrawler GPTBot, and instructions on how to block it . “OpenAI has launched a web crawler to improve artificial intelligence models like GPT-4. Called GPTBot, the system combs through the Internet to train and enhance AI’s capabilities. Using GPTBot has the potential to improve existing AI models when it comes to aspects like accuracy and safety, according to a blog post by OpenAI.”


Washington Post: Fleeing Elon Musk’s X, the quest to re-create ‘Black Twitter’. “Prominent Black users are now moving to other sites, attempting to re-create Black Twitter on a dizzying array of emerging services, from Mastodon to Meta’s just-launched Threads. Smaller apps also have cropped up or gained users, including the safety-focused Spoutible and Black-owned Fanbase and Somewhere Good. The latest entrant is Spill, a Twitter alternative launched in June by a Black Twitter executive — one of many fired by Musk.”

Mexico News Daily: The Herculean task of digitizing Mexico’s vast Indigenous history. “The challenge of the 21st century is how to convert over a century of audio, video, text and more into digital formats before it is too late. In the thick of this for Mexico’s National Institute of Indigenous People (INPI) is head archivist Octavio Murillo Álvarez de la Cadena and his staff, who say that their work is particularly important because ‘Indigenous peoples have been historically marginalized,’ not to mention that many Indigenous cultures are threatened with disappearing or complete assimilation.”

Gyrovague: On the trail of the mysterious guerrilla archivist of the Internet. “Do you like reading articles in publications like Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal or the Economist, but can’t afford to pay what can be hundreds of dollars a year in subscriptions? If so, odds are you’ve already stumbled on, which provides easy access to these and much more: just paste in the article link, and you’ll get back a snapshot of the page, full content included.”


University of Maryland: UMD Researchers Uncover Privacy Risks in Cellphones Won at Police Auctions. “Their recent study found that many of the phones sold at police property auction houses—which sell devices seized in criminal investigations or that have gone unclaimed from lost-and-found inventories—are not properly wiped of personal data. The study, conducted over two years with cellphones bought from the largest police auction house in the U.S., uncovered troves of personal information from previous owners that potentially put them at risk of harm from identity theft to blackmail.”

New York Times: Eight Months Pregnant and Arrested After False Facial Recognition Match. “Porcha Woodruff thought the police who showed up at her door to arrest her for carjacking were joking. She is the first woman known to be wrongfully accused as a result of facial recognition technology.”

The Hill: Georgia Republicans eyeing legislation requiring parents’ permission for kids’ social media accounts. “A duo of Georgia Republicans have announced a legislative push to require children to have their parents’ permission to use certain social media accounts. In a news conference Monday, Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones (R) and state Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R) said they plan to introduce the bill during the state’s 2024 legislative session.”


Financial Mirror (Cyprus): Digital reunification of Swedish Archaeological Mission. “Academics from Cyprus and Sweden intend to digitally reconnect the findings of the Swedish Archaeological Mission, undertaken on the island from 1927 to 1931, but the items are held in separate collections. According to the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), half of the Cypriot archaeological finds are exhibited in Stockholm and the other half in Nicosia since the mission took place.”

North Carolina State University: A New Weapon in the War on Robocall Scams. “The new tool, SnorCall, essentially records all robocalls received on the monitored phone lines. It bundles together robocalls that use the same audio, reducing the number of robocalls whose content needs to be analyzed by around an order of magnitude. These recorded robocalls are then transcribed and analyzed by a machine learning framework called Snorkel that can be used to characterize each call.” Good morning, Internet…

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