Data Journalism Course-In-A-Box, Ireland Genealogy, Google Drive, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, August 12, 2023


University of California San Francisco: COVID Tracking Project Archive Launches Open-Source Data Journalism “Course-in-a-Box”. “The Data Journalism Course-in-a-Box uses publicly available materials from the COVID Tracking Project Archive, housed at the University of California, San Francisco Archives and Special Collections, as a guide to teach the conceptual foundations of data journalism. The open-source set of five modules contains lecture materials, class exercises, technical walkthroughs, pacing guides, and other content that can be taught from start to finish in a stand-alone course or integrated into an existing course.”

Irish Central: 17th-century records of those who settled in Ulster now available online. “A valuable biographical and historical digital resource, the database makes innovative use of historical data relating to the English and Scottish men and women who settled in Ulster in the period between 1609 and 1641 along with the Gaelic Irish inhabitants who they interacted with.”


The Verge: Google Docs and Drive are getting support for eSignatures. “Google is adding native support for eSignatures to Docs and Drive in an attempt to make it easier for users to request signatures and sign documents from within its cloud-based productivity software, the company has announced. Google is now releasing the ability to request and leave eSignatures in beta, after more than a year of testing the feature in alpha.”

The Daily Beast: Lil Tay’s Crypto-Hawking Ex-Manager Blames Bonkers Death Hoax on Her Brother. “The Wednesday post on Tay’s Instagram announced the unexpected deaths of both Lil Tay and her brother. But Tay, who rose to fame largely off the back of transparently-staged scandals, seemingly came forward 24 hours later, issuing a statement saying she was very much alive and had been hacked by a ‘3rd party.’ However, her ex-manager, Harry Tsang, who recently started touting a cryptocurrency coin in Tay’s name, said he didn’t think it was a hack at all.”


The Hill: Elon Musk auctioning Twitter signs, memorabilia . “X owner Elon Musk will auction off Twitter signs and other memorabilia starting next month, including the sign hung on the outside of the company’s headquarters.”

New York Times: Sweden Is Not Staying Neutral in Russia’s Information War. “Facing a tsunami of disinformation about the treatment of Muslims that has in recent months fueled protests from Stockholm to Baghdad, Sweden decided it needed to fight back. It turned to the Psychological Defense Agency, a part of the Ministry of Defense that its government created last year. The agency has become the first line of defense for a country facing a sustained information attack from abroad.”

The Guardian: ‘Our history is rotting away’: the newspaper archivists preserving Nigeria’s past. “Coups, civil wars, dictators, democracy … all the headlines that tell the country’s story since independence in 1960 are to be saved for posterity by an ambitious archive project.”


Reuters: Court skeptical of Biden admin’s bid to reverse curbs on social media contacts. “A federal appeals court on Thursday appeared skeptical of the Biden administration’s bid to reverse a court order sharply limiting its ability to ask social media companies to remove content that it considers to be misinformation.”

Engadget: Hack left majority of UK voters’ data exposed for over a year. “The UK’s Electoral Commission has revealed that some personal information of around 40 million voters was left exposed for over a year. The agency — which regulates party and election finance and elections in the country — said it was the target of a ‘complex cyberattack.’ It first detected suspicious activity on its network in October 2022, but said the intruders first gained access to its systems in August 2021.”

Boston Herald: Massachusetts police disciplinary records database could come next week, POST says. “State regulators plan to release a trove of law enforcement disciplinary records as early as next week, a move that would offer the public a detailed look at the backgrounds of their local cops, a top official at the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission said Thursday.”


University of Florida: Incentivized online reviews inflate product ratings, sales, even when disclosed. “New research based on thousands of reviews posted on Amazon shows that when people received free products in exchange for reviews, their ratings were significantly inflated — and product sales were stronger — even though reviewers disclosed that they received the product for free.”

WIRED: By Seizing @Music, Elon Musk Shows He Doesn’t Know What Made Twitter Good. “The confiscation is entirely within X’s terms of service. As the company tries to turn itself into an everything app, from music to video to finance, it’s likely it will need to stake a claim to handles related to its new business lines. But unilaterally taking a popular handle off a user could be bad business and another demonstration of how X under Musk is stripping away the things that made Twitter, Twitter.” Good morning, Internet…

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