Family History Month, Christiansburg Institute, Los Angeles Indigenous History, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, October 25, 2023


National Genealogical Society: Celebrate Family History Month with New Resources from NGS!. “Whether you’re curious about old photos and hoping to scan them, looking to record family members’ memories, or aiming to write stories that are part of your family’s legacy, this is the moment to begin or restart a project. It’s easy to put off these tasks, thinking there’s always tomorrow. But as we’re often reminded, the best time is now. NGS created three resources to inspire you this month with steps to help make projects successful.”

Cardinal News: Virginia Tech helps Christiansburg Institute preserve Black history archives. “For 100 years, Christiansburg Institute battled white discrimination by serving as a model of Black education and culture tucked away in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Today, the battlefield has transferred to a digital arena as the nonprofit that carries its name strives to preserve it for future generations.”

USC Dornsife: Mapping project reveals LA’s Indigenous past, aims to inform the city’s future. “Blending insight from representatives of local Indigenous communities, extensive archival research and contemporary technologies such as spatial analysis and modeling, the long-running project headed by the Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences has developed the first systematic map of L.A.’s natural ecology. ‘Mapping Los Angeles Landscape History’ offers a comprehensive view of the region’s natural environment and how Indigenous people interacted with the land and each other in a sustainable way before the arrival of European settlers.”


Poynter: Fact-checkers and the social media misinformation tsunami: A Q&A with Lucas Graves. “Not so many years ago, fact-checking went hand-in-hand with elections reporting and political journalism. With the rise of social media, though, fact-checkers have spent more and more time debunking online misinformation, viral memes and other hoax content. That shift has raised an important question for those who analyze and follow the work of fact-checkers: Has online misinformation reduced the amount of attention from fact-checkers to elections fact-checking and the fact-checking of government?”

Tubefilter: TikTok comes “Out Of Phone” to advertise at airports, gas stations, and movie theaters. “TikTok is complementing its digital advertising business with a real-world push. The video app has debuted a product it has dubbed Out Of Phone: An IRL media operation that will distribute vertical videos across locations like airports, gas stations, and movie theaters.”

PR Newswire: LensCrafters Creates Its Own Immersive Experience on Roblox to Drive Awareness on Proper Vision Health (PRESS RELEASE). “LensCrafters, one of the largest optical retail brands in North America, launched its first virtual experience, LensCrafters Eye Odyssey on Roblox, a global immersive platform where millions of people connect and communicate daily. LensCrafters Eye Odyssey, one of the first online edutainment experiences with an optical retailer on Roblox, offers an engaging and educational way to promote healthy eye care habits, while providing an entertaining and immersive experience for young people.”


Bloomberg: Japan Investigates Google Over Alleged Antitrust Violations. “Japan’s antitrust watchdog has begun an investigation into whether Alphabet Inc.’s Google abuses its market position to block rival services, compounding scrutiny of the internet leader’s business practices across the globe.”

Associated Press: Thousands of remote IT workers sent wages to North Korea to help fund weapons program, FBI says. “Thousands of information technology workers contracting with U.S. companies have for years secretly sent millions of dollars of their wages to North Korea for use in its ballistic missile program, FBI and Department of Justice officials said.”

Ars Technica: Rapper Pras’ lawyer used AI to defend him in criminal case—it did not go well. “[Prakazrel “Pras”] Michel was represented at trial by defense counsel David Kenner, who is accused of failing to provide a cogent defense and misattributing two songs to the Fugees. The allegations about Kenner’s use of AI are reminiscent of a previous incident in which a lawyer admitted using ChatGPT to help write court filings that cited six nonexistent cases invented by the artificial intelligence tool.”


New York Times: Silence on Social Media Is Not Complicity. “I think the pressure to say something publicly really comes from the fear we face when we’re confronted with horrors like this. What we want is a simple binary where there’s a good side and an evil side and we can easily identify heroes and villains. And social media kind of lends itself to making very binary statements. It’s really hard to do nuanced analysis in a format that really only allows for 280 characters at a time.”

Cornell Chronicle: Research repository arXiv receives $10M for upgrades. “Cornell Tech has announced a total of more than $10 million in gifts and grants from the Simons Foundation and the National Science Foundation, respectively, to support arXiv, a free distribution service and open-access archive for scholarly articles.”

Stanford News: OpenCap: Sophisticated human biomechanics from smartphone video. “With synchronous video from a pair of smartphones, engineers at Stanford have created an open-source motion-capture app that democratizes the once-exclusive science of human movement – at 1% of the cost.” Good morning, Internet…

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