US Drought Portal, Farmworker Oral Histories, Twitter, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 6, 2023


NIDIS: Expanded Tool Visualizes Historical Drought Conditions by County, State. “The U.S. Drought Portal’s Historical Data and Conditions Tool allows users to visualize historical drought data for their state or county through an interactive map and time series graph. Recently, NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) partnered with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) to expand and improve this interactive tool—making it easier to visualize and share historical data for use in communications, research, or decision-making.”

California State University Northridge: Farmworker Oral Histories Dramatized, Posted on YouTube By CSUN Students & Faculty to Explore History of UFW. “They were the foot soldiers in the early days of the United Farm Workers, then known as the National Farm Workers Association. Their actions laid the foundation for much of the Chicano movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. The oral histories 0f Bobby de la Cruz, Carmen Hernández, María and Antonia Saludado, Jose Serda and Richard Chávez were collected decades ago and are part of the archives of California State University, Northridge’s Tom & Ethel Bradley Center. Those very personal stories have been turned into dramatizations by CSUN students available on YouTube for a new generation to learn from.”


BBC: Twitter fired us then ghosted us – Africa staff. “Sacked staffers told the BBC their treatment by X had harmed their mental health and their family finances. They said they were initially told that, although their contracts were being terminated, they would be paid to work for one more month. But they were immediately locked out of their emails and no further salary payments were made. Since then, the staff said they have been involved in a frustrating year-long struggle with X for compensation.”

Carscoops: Google Is Exploring Using AI To Write About Cars, It’s Worse Than You Could Imagine. “When you search for a car on Google, you’ll be treated to lots of ads, links, and an information box providing details about the vehicle. That could change in the future as the search giant is looking at using artificial intelligence (AI) to write short summaries. The effort was revealed by Google Opinion Rewards and it provides a possible glimpse into the next-generation of search. However, it’s a clunky and incorrect future judging by the example.”


Hongkiat: Generate Strong Passwords with 40+ Online Tools. “In this article, we’ll introduce you to over 40 online tools that can quickly generate a strong password for you, especially if you’re not already using a password manager, or implemented passkey to your account.”


The Post-Star: Fort Ticonderoga helping with genealogy . “The Ticonderoga Soldiers Project is a multi-phase initiative to make it easier for people around the world to connect with their family’s history at Ticonderoga. The fort’s museum staff are scouring recently-digitized archival documents including military orders, returns, court documents, letters, and diaries to identify and document the thousands of individuals who were stationed at the fort from 1755 to 1783, according to Fort Ticonderoga.”

National Post: Vast digital trove of off-the-cuff remarks from Canadian literary lions nears completion. “After six years of work, SpokenWeb is in its final year. When it’s done in early 2024, students can study writers’ remarks, scholars can track changes in the performance of a particular piece and literature lovers can savour their favourite works in the voices of those who penned them — all from a single, searchable online portal.”


TechCrunch: Android’s new real-time app scanning aims to combat malicious sideloaded apps. “Google initially launched the Play Protect update in India, with plans to soon expand internationally. TechCrunch tried the feature out for ourselves by loading a phone with a variety of malicious and bad apps to see what would make it through.”

Bleeping Computer: Google Play adds security audit badges for Android VPN apps. “Google Play, Android’s official app store, is now tagging VPN apps with an ‘independent security reviews’ badge if they conducted an independent security audit of their software and platform.”


Cornell University: Digitizing books can spur demand for physical copies. “Their paper, ‘Digitization and the Market for Physical Works: Evidence from the Google Books Project,’ published Oct. 31 in American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. Their main findings: Digitization can boost sales of physical books by up to 8% by stimulating demand through online discovery. The increase in sales was found to be stronger for less popular books and even spilled over to a digitized author’s nondigitized works.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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