County-Level Weather Risks, Iowa Libraries, Shadows on Stone, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, September 30, 2023


US Department of Health and Human Services: HHS Launches Climate and Health Outlook Portal to Identify Counties at Risk of Climate-Related Hazards . “The Portal, hosted on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Geospatial Portal, builds on an OCCHE publication known as the Climate and Health Outlook, which links seasonal weather and hazard forecasts to health impacts. This beta version of the Climate and Health Outlook Portal features interactive maps showing county-level extreme heat, wildfire, and drought forecasts for the current month, along with county-level data on individual risk factors that may make people more vulnerable to negative health outcomes from these climate hazards.”

State Library of Iowa: New “Find My Local Library” Interactive Map Tool from the State Library. “The ‘Find My Local Library’ tool displays an interactive and informational map of all the public libraries in the state. Users can filter data by county, population size, and library district. When a location is clicked, a pop up appears with library information, including address and phone number as well as links to the library website and detail page in the Iowa Library Directory.”

Fordham University: Crowd-Sourced History Project Seeks to Humanize the Incarcerated . “From 1865 to 1925, nearly 50,000 people passed through the gates of Sing Sing prison, just 20 miles north of New York City. Very little is known about who they were. Shadows on Stone, a new crowd-sourced digital history project that began in a Fordham history class, seeks to fill in that gap and, in doing so, help restore the humanity of a group of people who have historically been dismissed as irredeemable.”


The Verge: Google adds a switch for publishers to opt out of becoming AI training data. “Google just announced it’s giving website publishers a way to opt out of having their data used to train the company’s AI models while remaining accessible through Google Search. The new tool, called Google-Extended, allows sites to continue to get scraped and indexed by crawlers like the Googlebot while avoiding having their data used to train AI models as they develop over time.”

CBS News: Boston Public Library opens e-book access to teens across US. “Ahead of Banned Books Week (Oct. 1-7), the Boston Public Library is joining the Book Unbanned initiative…. Anyone ages 13-26 who lives in the U.S. can sign up for a free e-card to access the library’s entire collection of e-books and e-audiobooks.”

TechCrunch: Zapier launches Canvas, an AI-powered flowchart tool. “Zapier today announced the launch of Canvas, a new tool that aims to help its users plan and diagram their business-critical processes — with a fair bit of AI sprinkled in there to help them turn those processes into Zapier-based automations. Canvas is now in early access.”


1 News New Zealand: Experts alarmed as truck drivers livestream on social media. “Experts are sounding the alarm over a social media trend that sees truck drivers livestreaming their drives on TikTok. Users on the social media platform can go live once they have 1000 followers, and it has seen some drivers sharing their trips around New Zealand.” The alarm is less about the livestreaming and more about the drivers interacting with viewers when they’re supposed to be driving.

Business Insider: X owner Elon Musk largely runs the social media giant from his iPhone, employees say. “Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, runs the social media giant from his iPhone and expects staff to send emails in a format that’s easy for him to read on his phone, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. Several former and current X employees told the FT that Musk steers the ship from his iPhone and if staff want to get his attention, their emails needed to be sent in a specific format. This includes no attachments, documents, or spreadsheets within the email. Instead, Musk wants all information to be within the body of the email, per the FT.”

New York Times: European Central Bank Is Experimenting With a New Tool: A.I.. “The European Central Bank said on Thursday that it was exploring ways to use artificial intelligence to better understand inflation and support its oversight of big banks, but stressed that these efforts were still in the early stages.”


How-To Geek: Update LibreOffice Now to Fix a Security Flaw. “Earlier this month, a security vulnerability in the popular libwebp software library was discovered, affecting everything from web browsers to email clients. The Document Foundation, the developers behind the free and open-source LibreOffice suite, has now released an emergency update for LibreOffice that includes the fix. You should update as soon as possible if you have LibreOffice installed.”

Bloomberg: Microsoft Says Apple Used Bing as Google ‘Bargaining Chip’. “A Microsoft Corp. executive complained that when it came to the search-engine wars with Alphabet Inc.’s Google, the company’s Bing was never more than a bargaining chip to Apple Inc.”


Carnegie Mellon University: Addressing Copyright, Compensation Issues in Generative AI. “Recent work by Carnegie Mellon University researchers tackles the thorny issues of copyright and compensation for generative AI models that create new images. A team in the School of Computer Science’s Generative Intelligence Lab collaborated with Adobe Research and the University of California, Berkeley, to develop two algorithms to help generative AI models take important steps on these issues. The first algorithm prevents these models from generating copyrighted materials, while the second develops a way to compensate human creators when models use their work to generate an image.” Good morning, Internet…

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