This is a casual post to dump some target sites for scraping or just project ideas. Those messages were first sent through COMM7780/JOUR7280 WeChat group. Although we have only explored part of those possibilities this semester, the list is good for future reference. We can bounce off ideas in the comment below and enrich this list.
Top Targets: Movie, Shopping and News
Let’s first have a look at what the students care about from HW2 submission:
Technology has changed our way of researching and our reading habit after the Internet became the popular platform for the release of news and information. The documents and publications from the non-information era are still invaluable for us especially when it comes to referencing and history learning. Yet, these resources are black and white and read all over, which does not fit in today’s mode of information processing. To digitalise these old documents, four students from Baptist University (BU) learned about the technique and usage of software in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) workshop.
Nathan Ruser, a 20-year-old Australian National University student who is majoring in international security with a keen interest in cartography, discovered a fitness app had revealed the locations of secret military sites in Syria and elsewhere. He posted on Twitter about this, did not expect much response.
But the news ricocheted across the internet. Security experts said the Strave app’s “heat map” could be used by hostile entities glean valuable intelligence. The Pentagon said it was reviewing the situation.
How he found the news?
“Whoever thought that operational security could be wrecked by a Fitbit?” Mr. Ruser, said in an interview with New York Times from Thailand, where he is spending part of the Australian summer break.
When he looked over Syria on Strava’s map — which is based on location data from millions of users, including military personnel, who share their exercise activity — the area “lit up with those U.S. bases,” he said.
Before publicly sharing his findings over the weekend, he discussed them in a private chat group on Twitter, made up of people interested in intelligence and security issues. “I know about two-thirds of what I know about the world from the group chats,” he said.
It was new for me when I heard anyone can acquire almost any data from HK government for legitimate reasons under that Code on Access to Information.
This code is a response to the notion of “FOI” (For Our Information; Freedom Of Information), which calls for citizens’ free access to government information so that the transparency of government management can be ensured and citizen rights can be protected.
According to Wiki, In 2006, nearly 70 countries went through relative legislation. Among these laws are USA’s FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and, of course, Hong Kong’s Code on Access to information.
Despite the code in place, a practical question remains. Will those government officers fulfill their duty and do give reply to every single data request? So I decided to give a try on Accessinfo.hk.
Accessinfo.hk is a website positioned as a platform for citizens to post their information requests to authorities and receive feedback. It was initiated by a group of Open Data activist, including Guy Freeman, who is currently data scientist in HK01. The website publishes every question and answer to everyone, and, at the same time, monitors the process. Before localizing the Alaveteli system ( http://alaveteli.org/ ) to Hong Kong, its sister site WhatDoTheyKnow ( https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/ ) had already seen wide application in the United Kingdom.