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Vermont Campaign Finance, Black Lives Matter Protests, Indie Game Festival, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 29, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

VTDigger (Vermont): VTDigger launches campaign finance database. “Our campaign finance portal shows readers the top contributors to each campaign, how candidates rank over time and how they compare to each other, along with the raw data that powers the state’s database. This is only the beginning of the tool. Candidates must file new campaign reports on a monthly basis, and we’ll keep adding them along with new insights and features for our readers.”

Winston-Salem Journal: The Syllabus: UNCG’s new Black Lives Matter protests archive. “The latest addition to UNCG’s collections is an archive of materials from area Black Lives Matter protests. The university is now seeking photos, videos, flyers, posters, protest signs, clothing and anything else from the beginning of the BLM movement in 2013 or from the recent local protests over the death of George Floyd. These items will be part of the library’s new Triad Black Lives Matter Protest Collection.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Blog: The Indie Game Festival announces its nine winners. “The talent of independent and small game developers shines this year at Google Play’s Indie Games Festival, a celebration of the creativity of game developers. We received hundreds of submissions for the three competitions in Europe, Japan and South Korea. This year’s winning games have something for everyone, from a food-themed puzzle game with cats to a Mars Survival Project.”

CNET: Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google CEOs lay out their antitrust defenses in remarks to Congress . “The CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google on Tuesday evening released opening remarks that cast their companies as icons of American ingenuity as they gear up for a highly anticipated antitrust hearing with legislators on Wednesday.”

USEFUL STUFF

PCWorld: How to back up your Google Photos library and keep your metadata. “Google Photos is one of the best ways to sync and store the picture you take on your phone, but getting them out of your library is another story—especially if you want to keep your metadata (date, time, caption, etc.). Since Photos no longer includes an option to sync with Google Drive, keeping a rolling backup of your photos is going to take some work. Here and your options are for creating a backup that keeps your photos and metadata intact.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Guardian: Yaël Eisenstat: ‘Facebook is ripe for manipulation and viral misinformation’. “Yaël Eisenstat was a CIA officer for 13 years and a national security adviser to vice president Joe Biden. Between June and November 2018, she was Facebook’s global head of elections integrity operations, business integrity.”

San Diego Jewish World: Museum of the Hebrew Language planned in Jerusalem. “The museum will supplement the [Academy of the Hebrew Language]’s ongoing activities of writing a historical dictionary of Hebrew, covering the language’s development from approximately the 12th Century BCE, and also serving as an Internet resource for people who want to know how a word from a foreign language can be translated into Hebrew. Questions may be asked of the Academy’s volunteer experts via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

BetaNews: New Chrome extension provides security check on open source code. “Developers frequently make use of open source components in order to speed up projects and save them having to reinvent tasks. But this can lead to the introduction of hidden security risks. Now though open source marketplace xs:code is launching a new, free Chrome extension, xs:code Insights, which provides users with intuitive, in-depth analytics on open source repositories, including repository score, security analysis, maintenance and activity status, reviews, ratings and more.”

TechCrunch: New York legislature votes to halt facial recognition tech in schools for two years. “The state of New York voted this week to pause for two years any implementation of facial recognition technology in schools. The moratorium, approved by the New York Assembly and Senate Wednesday, comes after an upstate school district adopted the technology earlier this year, prompting a lawsuit in June from the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of parents. If New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the legislation into law, the moratorium would freeze the use of any facial recognition in school systems in the state until July 1, 2022.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Engadget: DeepMind and Oxford University researchers on how to ‘decolonize’ AI. “In a moment where society is collectively reckoning with just how deep the roots of racism reach, a new paper from researchers at DeepMind — the AI lab and sister company to Google — and the University of Oxford presents a vision to ‘decolonize’ artificial intelligence. The aim is to keep society’s ugly prejudices from being reproduced and amplified by today’s powerful machine learning systems.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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Why the Apple Doesn’t Fall Far

If you’ve ever used the expression “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” you know that it’s a way of saying that a child’s tendencies have a lot to do with their parents. However, this simple phrase also may conjure thoughts of family trees. How far, exactly, has the apple fallen? A family tree is nothing more than a easy to read chart showing births and marriages in a family, but making one can help clear up your research, especially when you have family members with similar names. Create a family tree to make your genealogy quest go more smoothly.

It is probably easiest to start from the bottom and work your way back into history when you are drawing out a family tree or building one online. Begin with yourself and your children and grandchildren if you have them. Lines to show marriage connect couples, and the children resulting from this marriage are usually shown by drawing a line down from the center of the marriage line. Remember to leave enough space for everyone-draw your lines longer than you think they need to be if you are doing it by hand.

Continue to work your way back through the generations. A family tree can be as detailed or simple as you need it to be, so you can include not only names, but marriage dates, birth and death dates, places of burial, and other information if you wish. Some people even include pictures on their family tree when available. This can make a nice display, especially at a family reunion or anniversary.

If you seriously need to sort through your information, however, it might be more beneficial to invest in a computer program or web service that will make a family tree based on the information you input. This will be more neatly organized than one drawn by hand. Many companies manufacture computer software to help you with this task, but this can be pricey, so read product reviews before making a purchase to ensure you get the tools you need.

When your family tree is filled with the information you have gathered, you will be able to easily see the gaps in your research that need to be filled. You may also see new connections between family members that you did not realize before. A family tree is a great tool when you begin in depth research to help you stay focused and organized.