France WWI Military Casualties, Native American Boarding Schools, CIA World Factbook, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, September 1, 2023


Vox EU: New scores on old sores: The Morts Pour la France database on WWI fatalities in France. “As the war in Ukraine demonstrates, accurate numbers of those killed or injured in combat are hard to come by. This column describes the ‘Morts pour la France’ database, which contains individual-level data on the 1.3 million French fatalities during WWI. The database improves our grasp of geography (rural, poorer, less industrialised areas were harder hit), of battle-specific violence (the deadliest day in French history took place during the Second Battle of Champagne), and of conflict technology (the share of infantry decreased over time while the share of artillery increased).”

New York Times: ‘War Against the Children’. (This link is to a gift article; you should not encounter a paywall.) “The Native American boarding school system was vast and entrenched, ranging from small shacks in remote Alaskan outposts to refurbished military barracks in the Deep South to large institutions up and down both the West and East coasts. Until recently, incomplete records and scant federal attention kept even the number of schools — let alone more details about how they functioned — unknown. The 523 schools represented here comprise the most comprehensive accounting to date of institutions involved in the system.”


Space: The CIA knows a lot about other nations’ space programs. You can too with its new ‘World Factbook’ update . “The United States Central Intelligence Agency, better known as the CIA, has released a new entry in its World Factbook that catalogues the programs and milestones of NASA, as well as other space agencies around the world. Over 90 countries and the European Union are represented in the new Space Programs section of the agency’s factbook, spanning from Algeria to Zimbabwe.”

Mashable: YouTube star KSI shares how little he’s made from X monetization. “KSI is a YouTuber with more than 24 million subscribers on his channel. He has turned his online fame into a career in music and boxing. Along with YouTuber and WWE Superstar Logan Paul, he is a co-founder of the Prime sports and energy drink company. He posts on X regularly and his tweets receive millions of views. So, how much did KSI make from Musk’s platform over the past month? $1,590.”

Search Engine Land: Bing Chat now works on Chrome, Google’s browser. “Bing Chat now works in Chrome, Google’s web browser. Microsoft initially launched Bing Chat to work only on its own browser, Edge. Then Microsoft began testing Bing Chat support on other browsers, such as Chrome and Safari, but it was not fully available to all users.”


Associated Press: Google to invest another $1.7 billion into Ohio data centers. “Google will invest an additional $1.7 billion to support three data center campuses in central Ohio, the company announced Monday. The tech giant now operates a center in New Albany and announced in May that it would build additional centers in Columbus and Lancaster to help power its artificial intelligence technology and other tools.”

CNBC: Google to begin selling maps data to companies building solar products, hopes to generate $100 million in first year. “Google is planning to license new sets of mapping data to a range of companies to use as they build products around renewable energy, and is hoping to generate up to $100 million in its first year, CNBC has learned. The company plans to sell access to new APIs (application programming interfaces) with solar and energy information and air quality, according to materials viewed by CNBC.”


Washington Post: Ignored by police, twin sisters took down their cyberstalker themselves. “Some pictures landed in her father’s Instagram messages, while marketing clients told her about the nude images that came their way. Madison was at a friend’s party when she got a panicked call from the manager of a hotel restaurant where she had worked: The photos had made their way to his inbox. After two years, hoping a new Florida law against cyberharassment would finally end the torture, Madison walked into her local Melbourne police station and shared everything. But she was told that what she was experiencing was not criminal.”

University of Copenhagen: Puff bars: New project will take the steam out of illegal online selling. “With funding from TrygFonden, sociologists will map the illegal sale of disposable e-cigarettes, the so-called puff bars, and develop new interventions targeting the illicit online market. The use of puff bars has grown rapidly, especially among young people.”


RFI: Studies criticise big tech firms over Russian disinformation. “Tech titans, including TikTok and Twitter, failed to effectively tackle Russian disinformation online during the first year of the war in Ukraine, according to a study published Wednesday by the EU. A separate study points at the ways TikTok has been profiting from pro-Russian related narratives. The EU study comes after tougher rules under the Digital Services Act (DSA) kicked in this month for the world’s biggest online platforms.”

Cornell University: ‘Smart’ glasses skew power balance with non-wearers. “Currently, most work on AR glasses focuses primarily on the experience of the wearer. Researchers from the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science and Brown University teamed up to explore how this technology affects interactions between the wearer and another person. Their explorations showed that, while the device generally made the wearer less anxious, things weren’t so rosy on the other side of the glasses.”

Stanford Medicine: New AI tool for pathologists trained by Twitter (now known as X). “The most impressive uses of artificial intelligence rely on good data – and lots of it. Chatbots, for example, learn to converse from millions of web pages full of text. Autonomous vehicles learn to drive from sensor data recorded on millions of road trips. For highly technical tasks, like understanding medical images, however, good data sets are harder to find. In a new study, Stanford Medicine researchers have trained an AI-powered algorithm on a treasure trove of high-quality, annotated medical images from a surprising source – Twitter, now known as X.”

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