North Korean Missiles, Ocean Ecosystems, National Phenology, More: Wednesday Buzz, April 26, 2017


The Diplomat: Every North Korean Missile Launch Since 1984 Visualized. “…the Nuclear Threat Initiative has published a new database to help make sense of North Korea’s pace and breadth of testing and to keep track of the precise systems Pyongyang is developing. Prepared by Shea Cotton, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, the database offers the most complete public dataset on North Korean missile launches, going all the way back to North Korea’s first series of Scud-B tests in 1984 under Kim Il-sung.”

From USGS: Mapping the World’s Ocean Ecosystems. “To meet the need for a consistent, objective, and complete description of open-ocean environments, the Group on Earth Observations charged USGS ecologist Dr. Roger Sayre with a task to map the world’s ocean ecosystems. In response, the USGS formed a public-private partnership with ESRI, NOAA, academia, and non-profit organizations to produce the first ever detailed maps that group the entire global ocean into 37 distinct 3D ecosystems. The groundbreaking work to produce the first-of-its-kind, objective, and true 3D global marine ecosystems maps is described in two recent USGS-led publications in the journal Oceanography and an AAG Special Publication. The resulting ecosystem data and maps are available in a web-based app called the Ecological Marine Unit Explorer. ”


University of Arizona: National Phenology Network Hits 10M Records. “The U.S. Geological Survey-funded USA National Phenology Network, hosted within the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Science’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, has enabled people across the country to collect and share information on phenology of plants and animals since 2009. And because people love observing nature and reporting what they see so much, the National Phenology Database has just crossed the threshold of 10 million records.”

TechCrunch: An Instagram bug has been preventing users from disabling their accounts for months. “A number of Instagram users have found they’re no longer able to temporarily disable their accounts – a feature, similar to Facebook’s, that allows you to take a break from the social network for a period of time, but stops short of a full account deletion. The bug has been spotted in the wild since at least February, and is the subject of a number of complaints across social media, including Reddit, Quora, and Twitter since that time.”

Google Blog: Introducing the next generation of Jump. “Virtual reality video lets you experience the world in amazing ways—it can put you in the front row for your favorite band, take you on the field during the championship game, or bring you under the sea to explore coral reefs. However, VR filmmakers still face challenges bringing their stories to the world—cameras are bulky, post-production is time-intensive, and each step can be difficult and expensive. To enable more great VR films, today we’re introducing the next generation Jump camera— the YI HALO—and Jump Start, a program to get Jump cameras into the hands of more filmmakers than ever before.”


Voice of America: China Launches Corruption Crackdown on Social Media Ahead of Party Congress. “The Communist Party of China has recently warned its members of eight major “red lines” while using the popular social media platform WeChat, prohibiting behaviors like accepting or giving electronic ‘red envelopes’ to buy votes. The warning showcases the party’s resolve to fight corruption ahead of this year’s 19th party congress, which is slated to elect China’s top leaders for the next five years.”

NCSU: The Brave New World of Social Media Screening for New Hires. “As social media has proliferated, employers have increasingly been using online information to evaluate job candidates. Recent survey data suggest that 43 percent of organizations screen job candidates by using social media or online search engines. In some cases, employers require that applicants provide passwords to their social media profiles to allow for easier viewing. Despite the increasing use of these hiring practices, relatively little is known about them. What kinds of information are recruiters looking for and where do they look for it? What kinds of guidelines do they follow to protect the privacy of job applicants and to guard against bias?”

Tubefilter: Facebook To Reportedly Pay Publishers To Create Videos That Feature New Mid-Roll Ads. “Facebook, which is looking to add more monetization options to its videos through the launch of interruptive ads, is taking a different path than other online video platforms. Rather than using the pre-roll ads that can be found on sites like YouTube, Facebook is rolling out ‘mid-roll’ ads that will run in the center of videos and live streams.”


University of Kansas: Study shows brands dedicated to postive social change use social media to primarily promote products. “A University of Kansas professor co-authored a study analyzing the Facebook usage of a for-profit company most known for its support of social causes and a traditional for-profit company. They found that both used their pages primarily for product and brand promotion, but that the company dedicated to social entrepreneurship did use its page more to develop new connections than the traditional company, which focused more on capitalizing on existing ones.”

Yahoo Research: Researching the Definition of Good Online Conversations and How They Should Rank with the Yahoo News Annotated Comments Corpus. “In an effort to foster more respectful online discussions and encourage more research among academics surrounding comments, we present the Yahoo News Annotated Comments Corpus (YNACC) via our data sharing program, Webscope. The corpus contains 522K comments from 140K comment threads posted in response to online news articles, and contains manual annotations for a subset of 2.4K comment threads and 9.2K comments. The annotations include 6 attributes of individual comments: sentiment, tone, agreement with other commenters, topic of the comment, intended audience, and persuasiveness.”

Northeastern: Facebook Can Function as Safety Net for the Bereaved, Study Finds. “Neuroscientists have long noted that if certain brain cells are destroyed by, say, a stroke, new circuits may be laid in another location to compensate, essentially rewiring the brain. Northeastern’s William R. Hobbs, an expert in computational social science, wanted to know if social networks responded similarly after the death of a close mutual friend.”


RIT: Indiana Drones: Unmanned aerial vehicle gives archeologist a cool tool. “An off-the-shelf drone customized for archeological surveys by Rochester Institute of Technology students will be on exhibit at the 10th annual Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival on May 6….
[Leah] Bartnik designed the imaging system that clips on to the drone and measures chlorophyll, or the green pigment in vegetation. Her system combines a regular camera and near infrared sensors to measure the green pigment reflected in different wavelengths of light. Low levels of chlorophyll are a clue that an object of interest might be obstructing the roots. The thermal camera in the imaging system provides additional information to support or disprove the hunch.” Good morning, Internet…

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