Georgia City Directories, Astronomers Without Borders, Reddit, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 9, 2023


Georgia Public Library Service: Historical city directories from across Georgia are now freely accessible online. “Georgia Public Library Service has completed a two year-long project to digitize 214 city directories, which document 17 different Georgia communities across nearly 100 years. The directories, contributed by 12 public library systems, are now full-text searchable and freely available in the Digital Library of Georgia.”

Space: Hold the annular solar eclipse in your hand with new ‘One Eclipse’ app from Astronomers Without Borders. “With the interactive eclipse map, users are able to pinpoint the perfect viewing spot for observing the upcoming eclipse and the handy countdown timer lets you see the exact moment when you can expect to experience the moon’s shadow. The eclipse simulator lets you see what the eclipse will look like from any location on Earth, from start to finish.”


TorrentFreak: Reddit Sees Copyright Takedowns Peak While Subreddit Bans Drop. “Reddit’s latest transparency report shows a modest increase in DMCA takedown notices. The number of copyright infringement-related user- and subreddit bans has declined, however. The latest data follows a hectic period at Reddit, where protests over an API policy change triggered a ‘dramatic’ 1169% increase in user data requests.”

Mashable: Snapchat’s Bitmoji update upsets users. “Snapchat users are once again frustrated with an update to the social media platform. This time it involves the once delightful, now disquieting Bitmoji. Last week, Snapchat’s cartoon avatars underwent a makeover that startled users, as part of the company’s effort to bring Bitmoji further into 3D.”


MakeUseOf: Raspberry Pi 4 vs. Raspberry Pi 5: 14 Key Differences. “Launching in late October, the Raspberry Pi 5 offers numerous hardware upgrades compared to the Pi 4. Wondering which board to choose for your next project? Read on for a detailed comparison of these two single-board computers’ specifications and capabilities.”


ABC News (Australia): How a soap opera star pushed a conspiracy theory linking the Voice to Parliament to a UN takeover. “In the past few weeks, a conspiracy theory suggesting the Voice is a secret plot devised by the UN to strip Australians of their private property and sovereignty has spread like wildfire. Since early August, versions of a social media video promoting the baseless accusation have recorded nearly twice as many shares on Facebook as any content published by either the official Yes or No campaign.”


New York Times: A Giacometti for a Cezanne: Jeffrey Epstein’s Role in a Pricey Art Deal. “Mr. Epstein helped the billionaire Leon Black defer capital gains taxes from the swap. A Senate committee is scrutinizing some of Mr. Black’s art deals as it looks into tax avoidance schemes.”

South China Morning Post: ‘Gold-digger’: China blogger jailed over fake news claiming woman’s grandpa was tycoon husband, attracting 470 million views online. “A man in China who spread fake news online about a ‘gold-digger’ marrying an ageing tycoon, alongside photos of a young woman with her grandfather, has been jailed for a year. The perpetrator, surnamed Wu, was sentenced by Dongguan No 1 People’s Court in southeastern Guangdong province, for ‘fabricating facts that defamed’ and which resulted in ‘serious consequences that jeopardised the social order’.”


Brigham Young University: AI-powered chat assistance elevates online conversation quality, BYU study finds. “Check the comments section of many social media and digital news platforms, and you’re likely to find a cesspool of insults, threats and even harassment. In fact, a Pew Research Center survey found that 41% of American adults have personally experienced online harassment, and one in five adults say they’ve been harassed online for their political views. But researchers at BYU and Duke University say derisive online conversations don’t have to be the norm. A joint paper between the two universities found that artificial intelligence can be used to improve conversation quality and promote civil dialogue in online interactions.”

Northwestern: Instant evolution: AI designs new robot from scratch in seconds. “A team led by Northwestern University researchers has developed the first artificial intelligence (AI) to date that can intelligently design robots from scratch. To test the new AI, the researchers gave the system a simple prompt: Design a robot that can walk across a flat surface. While it took nature billions of years to evolve the first walking species, the new algorithm compressed evolution to lightning speed — designing a successfully walking robot in mere seconds.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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