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Category Archives: Internet

The COVID Racial Data Tracker

“The COVID Racial Data Tracker advocates for, collects, publishes, and analyzes racial data on the pandemic across the United States. It’s a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. This project began when Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research, wrote a series of essays in The Atlantic about the urgent need to gather racial and ethnic demographic data to understand the outbreak and protect vulnerable communities. On April 12, 2020, we started collecting race and ethnicity data from every state that reported it. On April 15, we launched that dataset as the first iteration of the COVID Racial Data Tracker. We update this data twice per week…”

“COVID-19 is affecting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color the most. The COVID Racial Data Tracker is a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Together, we’re gathering the most complete and up-to-date race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the United States…”

Audit Finds Facebook’s Decisions Were ‘Setbacks for Civil Rights

The New York Times – “An independent audit faulted the social network for allowing hate speech and disinformation to thrive — potentially posing a threat to the November elections. Auditors handpicked by Facebook to examine its policies said that the company had not done enough to protect people on the platform from discriminatory posts and… Continue Reading

Study – Google, Amazon funnel at least $25 million to coronavirus conspiracy sites

Why is ad tech paying US$25 million to COVID-19 disinfo sites? – Household brands are inadvertently funding disinformation sites to spread COVID-19 conspiracies, thanks to ad tech companies that do not effectively screen the sites to which they provide ads services.  New research from the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) shows that Google, Amazon and other… Continue Reading

NIST Kick-Starts ‘Threshold Cryptography’ Development Effort

Establishing the emerging technique’s building blocks is a near-term focus – “A new publication by cryptography experts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) proposes the direction the technical agency will take to develop a more secure approach to encryption. This approach, called threshold cryptography, could overcome some of the limitations of conventional… Continue Reading

Teachers face threats, books are banned as China pushes party line in Hong Kong schools

Washington Post: “As China’s Communist Party dismantles Hong Kong’s freedoms, teachers are facing pressure to toe Beijing’s line. Schools are emerging as ideological battlegrounds as officials seek to transform freethinking students into patriots loyal to the motherland through punishment, coercion, surveillance and propaganda-style education. “I feel like we have suddenly been put on the front… Continue Reading

How Google Docs became the social media of the resistance

MIT Technology Review – “Facebook and Twitter might have the bells and whistles, but the word processing software’s simplicity and accessibility have made it a winning tool… In just the last week, Google Docs has emerged as a way to share everything from lists of books on racism to templates for letters to family members… Continue Reading

Covid-19 Shows That Scientific Journals Need to Open Up

Bloomberg Opinion via MSN: “One big change brought on by Covid-19 is that virtually all the scientific research being produced about it is free to read. Anyone can access the many preliminary findings that scholars are posting on “preprint servers.” Data are shared openly via a multitude of different channels. Scientific journals that normally keep their articles behind… Continue Reading

As COVID-19 cases spike in US, mask misinformation also spreads

Agence France Presse Fact Check – “Social media posts shared thousands of times in the United States contain multiple false or misleading claims about face masks used to stop the spread of COVID-19, including that they violate federal standards for oxygen supply, cloth masks “do not filter anything” and trap carbon dioxide, surgical masks spread germs,… Continue Reading

Millions of Americans Depend on Libraries for Internet. Now They’re Closed

The MarkUp: “Libraries are still just about the only place in America anyone can go and sit and use a computer and the internet without buying anything. All over the country, library closures during the pandemic have highlighted just how many people have no dependable source of internet on their own. According to a Pew… Continue Reading

Supreme Court says generic domains like booking.com can be trademarked

ars technica: “The US Patent and Trademark Office erred by finding the term booking.com was too generic for trademark protection, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. Trademark law prohibits anyone from registering generic terms that describe a class of products or services. Anyone can start a store company called “The Wine Company,” but they can’t… Continue Reading