China Forests, Education Researchers, Hawaiian Literature, More: Thursday Buzz, March 23, 2017


The Sixth Tone: Online Database Maps China’s Last Undisturbed Forests. “China’s old-growth forests are vital to biodiversity but also under threat, say the organizations behind a new database aimed at protecting them. Wuhan University and Greenpeace East Asia (GPEA) launched Nature Guardian, a website that maps and monitors forests, nature reserves, and more, on Tuesday, the International Day of Forests.” I can’t find an option to see the site in English and Chrome does not offer to translate, which is a shame because most news coverage of China I see is about urban areas. It’s a shock to learn that China’s old-growth forests cover almost 158,000 square kilometers.)

University of Virginia: New National Initiative Connects Researchers with Entrepreneurs to put Ed Tech to the Test. “The University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Jefferson Education Accelerator (JEA) today announced a joint venture to develop the nation’s first-ever comprehensive database of education researchers…. The National Education Researcher Database (NERD) aims to bring transparency to the supply side of education innovation by cataloging all education researchers in the country, centralizing information about them in an easily navigable and freely available database.” NERD. Heh. The database will launch “later this year.”

University of Hawai’i: UH Press publishes open-access Hawaiian language journal. “The University of Hawai‘i Press now publishes a new, open-access resource for Hawaiian scholars, Palapala: a journal for Hawaiian language and literature…. The inaugural issue also features reprints from the Hawaiian alphabet, first published in 1822, and an anonymous 1857 account about translating the Bible into Hawaiian.”

The National Library of Israel has created a new online exhibit called Napoleon Was Here!. From the splash page: “Having subdued Italy, Napoleon Bonaparte turned his gaze to Egypt as the next target of expansion. He believed that the Land of the Nile was the gateway to conquering the East, and in 1798 he set out to prove it to himself and to the world. The National Library contains a unique collection of more than 1000 documents from Napoleon Bonaparte’s time with his army in Egypt (1798-1801). Join us on Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt and the Holy Land.” I’ve linked to the English version. It takes a while to load on my crummy Internet, but it’s well done.

The publication Archaeology Ireland has launched an online archive. “With the digital archive individual and institutional subscribers alike can instantly access every published issue, from the first one in 1987 to the latest quarterly edition, creating an invaluable resource of over 100 issues of well-researched and lavishly illustrated articles as featured in the quarterly, as well as over 60 heritage guide supplements that study a range of Irish archaeological sites in fine combed detail.” Not free, as you might have guessed.


Times of Israel: Anne Frank museum chat-bot puts diarist on Facebook. “…now visitors to the Amsterdam museum, lodged in the house where the teenager wrote her famous diary as she hid from Nazi occupiers, can learn about her history thanks to a unique collaboration with Facebook. A chat-bot program unveiled Tuesday is designed to provide information on the life story of Anne Frank in the form of a personalized chat conversation. It also provides visitor information about the Anne Frank House.”

LinkedIn: Introducing Trending Storylines: Discover trending news and views on LinkedIn. “Today we’re excited to announce the launch of Trending Storylines. Storylines are daily curated interest-based feeds about the most important developing stories in your industry. They help you discover and discuss news, ideas and diverse perspectives from the largest group of professionals, publishers and editorial voices ever assembled.” “Except Quora,” LinkedIn did not add. I’m not sure that’s correct, but this announcement made me think of Quora straight off – and that nothing in the announcement would move me away from Quora.

From Google: More news in Google News & Weather. “The world of news is broad, deep and ever-changing. The News & Weather app shows the top three stories from various sections on its Home page, but beneath this surface lie many more informative and engaging stories. In fact, we find that many people regularly hit the bottom of our Home page looking for more to read. To offer you further opportunities to discover great content, we’ve added over 200 news stories to the Home screen in a browsable stream called More Headlines.”


Bloomberg Quint: Google Cancels Some Fiber Internet Installations in Kansas City. “Google Fiber, the gigabit-speed internet service rolled out by Alphabet Inc., is canceling some installations in Kansas City, the latest setback for the high-profile initiative. The search giant is sending out refunds to residents that won’t be getting the service they signed up for. The metropolitan area, which straddles the border of Kansas and Missouri, was the first market for the superfast service when it debuted in 2012 and remains Fiber’s largest.”

USA Today: AT&T pulls Google, YouTube ads over extremist videos. “AT&T said that it is halting all ad spending on Google except for search ads. That means AT&T ads will not run on Google’s video service YouTube and on a couple million websites that take part in Google’s ad network.”


The Register: Nest cameras can be easily blacked out by Bluetooth burglars. “The three vulnerabilities are in camera firmware version 5.2.1, and no patch is publicly available, we understand. Security researcher Jason Doyle, based in Florida, US, spotted the holes, and alerted Google-stablemate Nest about them in October – but there’s been no software updates to correct the programming cockups. This month, Doyle went public with details of the flaws, including example exploits.”


NewCo: C’mon Facebook. It’s Time For Your Toddler Twin Media Party.. “Truth is, with all these platform players, media is not only a crucial product, it’s the primary product. I’m not going to get into why in this post (I will next time, promise.) Instead I’ll predict that quite soon, platforms, including Facebook, will lose their equivocation and embrace content creation.” Good morning, Internet…

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