Missouri Vital Records, Little Case Bots, African Fact-Checking Awards, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, October 17, 2023


Reclaim the Records: A Million New Records From Missouri. “The Missouri Birth Index has been updated with 588,542 new records from 1910-1919 and 2016-2022, for a total of 8,090,516 records covering 1910-2022. The Missouri Death Index has been updated with 482,900 new records from 2016-2022, for a total of 3,081,382 records covering 1968-2022.”

Free Law Project: Rise of the Little Case Bots! . “Each of these bots is professionally curated by a legal observer in the particular field. For example, writers at The Verge follow numerous court cases in the tech field, the folks at the American Economic Liberties Project follow antitrust cases, and so forth. With the launch of these bots, you can now easily ride on their coat tails. To do so, simply click the links above, and then follow their bots on Twitter or Mastodon.”


Africa Check: Work on police brutality, inauthentic online campaigns and workers’ rights the big winners at 2023 African Fact-Checking Awards. “Moussa Ngom of La Maison Des Reporters and Laureline Savoye of Le Monde Afrique were this year’s winners in the ‘Fact Check of the Year by a Working Journalist’ category at the African Fact-Checking Awards ceremony held in Mauritius on 6 October. The two Senegalese journalists were recognised for their work on the infiltration of security forces during political demonstrations in March 2021 and June 2023.”


Ars Technica: Ubuntu 23.10 is a Minotaur that moves faster and takes up less space. “Ubuntu 23.10, codenamed Mantic Minotaur, is the 39th Ubuntu release, and it’s one of the three smaller interim releases Canonical puts out between long-term support (LTS) versions. This last interim before the next LTS doesn’t stand out with bold features you can identify at a glance. But it does set up some useful options and upgrades that should persist in Ubuntu for some time.”

NiemanLab: Elon Musk took the headlines away from Twitter — but you can bring them back with this one weird trick. “It’s a browser extension named Control Panel for Twitter. (Yes, Twitter, not X.) Control Panel offers lots of little tweaks to the Twitter user interface — some of which amount to personal preferences, but others that reverse bad choices the Musk-era company has made. (It can even replace that cheap Unicode X with the old familiar blue bird.)” I installed it. It’s really nice. It replaces the tab icon as well, so you can see a pleasant blue bird instead of that big weird x.

TechCrunch: TikTok’s Effect Creator Rewards fund now has lower eligibility requirements, an updated payout model and more. “TikTok is updating its Effect Creator Rewards program with lower eligibility requirements, a revamped payout model, reduced payout increments and a lower threshold to start collecting rewards. The $6 million fund, which launched in May, rewards creators for the effects they make through TikTok’s AR development platform, Effect House.”


Lifehacker: You Can Automatically Make Your iPhone Less Addicting at Bedtime. “Switching to grayscale mode is one of the most effective ways to reduce your screen time. It’s easy to enable on your smartphone, and when all the bright colors are gone, you’ll notice that it’s much easier to put your phone away. I’ve found this hack to be very effective, but I’ve always ended up disabling grayscale mode within a week. This time though, I discovered a clever but effective way to make it stick—automation.”


Bloomberg: Google Ad Changes Leave Marketers Flying Blind, Expert Says. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google quietly made changes to its advertising platform that significantly limits the amount of information marketers have about where their spending is going, according to an expert called on behalf of the federal government in an ongoing antitrust trial against the search giant.”

New York Times: ‘Start-Up Nation’ Is Tested as Israel’s Reservists Leave Their Desks. “Israel’s defense forces have called up about 360,000 reservists for duty. Such numbers will test the resilience of the technology community that contributes about 20 percent of the country’s economy — and a significant portion of global activity in cutting-edge areas including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and semiconductors.”

The Verge: YouTube is the latest large platform to face EU scrutiny regarding the war in Israel. “European Commissioner Thierry Breton sent a letter to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai reminding him of the company’s obligations under the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) as a large online platform to keep illegal content and disinformation from being shared on YouTube surrounding Israel’s war with Hamas.”


CNBC: YouTube passes Netflix as top video source for teens. “Teens polled by the bank said they spent 29.1% of their daily video consumption time on Google-owned YouTube, beating out Netflix for the first time at 28.7%. Time on YouTube rose since the spring, adding nearly a percentage point, while Netflix fell more than two percentage points.”


Smithsonian Magazine: This New Hand-Painted Video Game Takes Place Inside Claude Monet’s Eyeball. “Australian designer and developer Pat Naoum spent seven years creating the game… To progress in the game, players must solve puzzles while running along green vines and through scenes depicted in some of Monet’s paintings. In doing so, they also help Monet complete his works. Naoum hand-painted the entire game, a process that took over 2,000 hours. He then learned to code so he could digitize his artwork and make it interactive—all while holding down a day job as a web designer.” Good morning, Internet…

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