Academic Papers, Seal Spotting, Firefox, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, August 5, 2016


A new-to-me tool (it launched in May 2014) helps researchers promote their papers. “It’s not the job of researchers to become experts in public relations — that’s why universities have press offices, says Matt Shipman, research communications lead at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. But he recommends scientists toot their own horns as well. Increasingly, researchers across the scientific spectrum are coming to the same conclusion. That demand has led to the emergence of an online tool for managing the practice: a free site called Kudos, which aims to help researchers maximize the reach and impact of their papers on social media, and measure the effects of their efforts.”

If you like Zooniverse crowdsourcing projects, you’ll love sealspotting! “[Michelle] LaRue and her team of researchers turned to crowdsourcing platform Tomnod (which means ‘big eye’ in Mongolian), to help scour 300 miles of the Antarctic coastline. Typically, a project like this would take years—’If I wanted to do it myself, it would take forever,’ LaRue said—but with the help of at-home volunteers, the research team expects to get sense of the seal population in a fraction of that time.”


Firefox is testing a feature to help make 404s more useful. “After introducing a big update for its browser users, Firefox has added some new features to its Test Pilot platform. The most significant is a new add-on called No More 404s that replaces the age-old Error 404 on a missing webpage, with saved archives from the Wayback Machine.”

Hey! You can now find cartoons from The New Yorker on Instagram.

Facebook is making another push to get rid of “Clickbait”. “In a change to its news feed algorithm on Thursday, Facebook said certain types of headlines would be classified as clickbait, those that ‘withhold or distort information.’ Those stories will then appear less frequently in users’ feeds, the company said.” I hope they’re doing the same with advertising, like those Facebook ads implying someone famous has died…

Google has announced the 2016 Doodle Fruit games. “The summer just got sweeter. Today marks the season opener of the 2016 Doodle Fruit Games. For the next couple of weeks in the latest Google app for Android and iOS, journey to an otherwise unassuming fruit stand in Rio, where produce from all over the market are ripe to compete for the title of freshest fruit.”

Another large Torrents search engine has shut down. “Weeks after search engine Kickass Torrents was shut down following the arrest of alleged founder Artem Vaulin in Poland, another major player shut its portals on Friday, a media report said. announced ‘farewell’ to its millions of users after The Pirate Bay decided to cease its operation.”


Cordelia Hebblethwaite of the BBC both has a very cool name and has launched a social media guide for journalists. “A couple of weeks ago, I finally hit publish on The Social Media Reporter…. It’s a free online guide for journalists that aims to demystify social media and provide practical, concise tips for navigating through the sea of information – and doing better journalism as a result. I wrote it because I sensed an urgent need. Social media has become such an important part of the fabric of our culture and society now that it’s key we understand how to sift through, analyse, understand and interpret what it’s telling us. But most journalists still don’t have the tools, training or confidence to do this.”


And now, your daily reminder that social media is international. “The Canadian military has told its members and followers on Twitter to stop using the hashtag #CAF — at least for the duration of the Rio Olympics. Senior public affairs officials at National Defence say the social media site has released an emoji specifically for the Games that turns the hashtag into the flag for the war-torn Central African Republic and links to a site for soccer results.”


Hey! Apple is starting a bug bounty program. “Earlier this year, Apple faced criticism over its lack of a bug bounty program when the FBI paid an unknown entity more than $1 million for help breaking into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif., shooters. Without a bug bounty program, some argued, the only way researchers could make money from finding bugs in Apple products was by selling them off to the highest bidder — in this case, the FBI.” Good afternoon, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply