Coal Plants, Anchor, Ubuntu, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, June 30, 2017


Mining Review: New Urgewald database reveals world’s biggest coal plant developers. “Previous in-depth research completed by Urgewald played a key role in initiating the coal divestment actions of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund and the insurance corporation Allianz. Currently, over 1 600 new coal plants and units are planned or under development in 62 countries. If built they will add over 840 000 MW to the global coal plant fleet.”


The Anchor app has added a podcast feature. “One of the most common things we hear from people is that they want their Anchor station to be discoverable as an actual podcast. With today’s release, not only is that possible, but we took it a step further and came up with the absolute easiest way to create and share a podcast with the world. You don’t need a microphone, special software, or even a desktop computer.”

BetaNews: Ubuntu Linux 17.10 ‘Artful Aardvark’ Alpha 1 now available for download . “While details about changes and such are virtually non-existent, you can download Alpha 1 for testing. The Artful Aardvark operating system is only available in four flavors for now — Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, and Lubuntu Next. Not familiar with that last one? That is because it is a new experimental version of Lubuntu that uses LXQt instead of LXDE.” Hmmmm.. have to take a look at Lubuntu Next.


Larry Ferlazzo: The Best Sites Where Students Can Transcribe Historical Texts. “Having students spend some time transcribing historical texts, whether they be materials from Shakespeare’s time, slave narratives, or war correspondence, can be an engaging and educational experience. Talking about doing something that has an authentic audience! Here are some places that offer opportunities for volunteer transcribers…” Short list so far.

Make Tech Easier: 7 Useful Chrome Extensions to Improve Google Calendar. “Google Calendar is one of the most popular calendars out there. Despite its popularity, there are some areas where it can improve. By adding and using an extension, you can add additional features and make Google Calendar better than ever.” I wish I’d known about Event Merge a while ago.


ProPublica: Medicare Halts Release of Much-Anticipated Data. “Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have been validating the accuracy of the data and, in recent months, were preparing to release it to researchers. Medicare already shares data on the 38 million patients in the traditional Medicare program, which the government runs. … The grand unveiling of the new data was scheduled to take place at the annual research meeting of AcademyHealth, a festival of health wonkery, which just concluded in New Orleans. But at the last minute, the session was canceled.”

HathiTrust: HathiTrust Libraries Propose to Retain More Than 16 Million Volumes in Shared Print Program. “Fifty HathiTrust member libraries have proposed to retain more than 16 million volumes for 25 years under the HathiTrust Shared Print Program. These volumes correspond to more than 4.8 million individual book titles held in the HathiTrust Digital Library (about 65% of all HathiTrust digital monographs). This is a significant step toward the primary goal of the program: to ensure that print copies of all HathiTrust digital holdings remain available to scholars for many years to come.”

The Telegraph: EU appoints tech experts to police Google’s search results. “The European Commission, which this week hit Google with a €2.4bn (£2.1bn) penalty for years of squeezing out rival shopping sites on its search engine, has given the company 90 days to change its ways or face further fines. It has now spending up to €10m (£9m) to appoint a team of expert technology consultants, who will track how Google complies with the commission’s demand that it make its results fairer.”

CNET: Telegram registers in Russia after ban threat. “After being threatened with a ban, it looks like Telegram is playing ball with Russia’s government. Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov has agreed to register the company with the Russian government, but won’t comply with laws that are ‘incompatible with the protection of [user] privacy and Telegram’s policies on confidentiality.’ Durov announced his decision on Wednesday via VK, the Russian version of Facebook.”


Fortune: Google Still Doesn’t Care About Your Privacy. “The other morning I looked at the pudgy personal assistant that sits on my kitchen counter and asked, ‘Hey, Google: Please read me the Google privacy policy.’ It responded, ‘Sorry; I don’t understand.’ It may sound as if the Google gnome made a mistake. But I suspect the truth is that Google doesn’t want us consumers to know how much information it is constantly collecting.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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