Quartz: The US plans to stop releasing its most detailed census data. “As a data-focused journalist who writes about economic and demographic trends, I use census data a lot. Specifically, I rely on the individual-level microdata that is released by the bureau and turned into an easily usable format by the Minnesota Population Center. I am among tens of of thousands (pdf) of data analysts who rely on this data to study American poverty, health, and population patterns. The US Census announced this week that, because of privacy concerns, this microdata will no longer be made widely available.”
Phys .org: I used facial recognition technology on birds. “As a birder, I had heard that if you paid careful attention to the head feathers on the downy woodpeckers that visited your bird feeders, you could begin to recognize individual birds. This intrigued me. I even went so far as to try sketching birds at my own feeders and had found this to be true, up to a point. In the meantime, in my day job as a computer scientist, I knew that other researchers had used machine learning techniques to recognize individual faces in digital images with a high degree of accuracy. These projects got me thinking about ways to combine my hobby with my day job. Would it be possible to apply those techniques to identify individual birds?”
Times Colonist: History available at your fingertips in online archive. “Back issues of the Colonist are more accessible than ever before, thanks to a digitization project led by the University of Victoria. Back issues from 1858 to 1970 are online… and the 1970s will be added early in 2019. As John Lutz, a history professor at the University of Victoria, has said, the website is a game-changer in historical research in B.C.”
Internet Archive Blog: Archiving as Activism: Environmental Justice in the Trump Era. “In November 2016, the U.S. elected a new president who had sworn to roll back important environmental protections, dismantle the EPA, and who had once called climate change a ‘hoax.’ In the context of warming global temperatures, rising tides, and oil pipeline battles, a dozen colleagues at universities and nonprofits across the country got together online, and decided to do something. We were concerned about the continued existence of federal environmental agencies—particularly in their abilities to protect the most vulnerable among us—as well as the preservation and accessibility of important environmental and climate data. More broadly, we were concerned with the collective investment in public research and agencies.”
CNET: FCC kicks off investigation into broadband map accuracy. “The federal government keeps a map that highlights areas that have or don’t have broadband service. Critics say this national broadband map doesn’t accurately reflect the level of access in the US. Now, the Federal Communications Commission is going to act on this.”
The Next Web: Reddit’s data hoarders are frantically trying to save Tumblr’s NSFW content. “By Wednesday afternoon, just two days after the announcement, a group was already hard at work attempting to archive the whole damn thing, or, most of it anyway. Redditor u/itdnhr began the process, collecting some 67,000 NSFW Tumblr accounts and compiling a massive list. He then shared it with r/Datasets, where other redditors stripped the non-working accounts, leaving 43,000 accounts. Preserving Tumblr‘s NSFW accounts, though, isn’t without its challenges, both in scope and legality.”
How-To Geek: The Best Sites for Building a Resume. “No matter how qualified you are, you need an excellent resume to show it off. We’ve shown you how to create one in Microsoft Word, but you could also try an online resume builder. Here are some of the best.” Quick roundup.