National Library of Medicine, Law Enforcement Crime, Google Earth VR, More: Sunday Buzz, September 17, 2017

National Library of Medicine: NLM and Publishers Launch Emergency Access Initiative, Granting Free Access to Books and Journals for Libraries Impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. “The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has activated the Emergency Access Initiative (EAI) in response to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey which devastated Florida and several Caribbean islands, as well as parts of South Carolina, Texas, and Louisiana. The EAI is a collaborative partnership between NLM and participating publishers to provide free access to full-text from more than 650 biomedical journals and more than 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters. It serves as a temporary collection replacement and/or supplement for libraries affected by disasters that need to continue to serve medical staff and affiliated users. It is also intended for medical personnel responding to the specified disaster.”


Vice: When Cops Commit Crimes. “Twelve years ago, a criminal justice master’s student named Philip Stinson got into an argument with his grad school classmates about how often police officers committed crimes. His peers, many of whom were cops themselves, thought police crime was rare, but Stinson, himself a former cop and attorney, thought the problem was bigger than anyone knew. He bet a pint of ale that he could prove it. On Tuesday, Stinson made good on his bet with an extensive police crime database offering the most comprehensive look ever at how often American cops are arrested, as well as some early insights into the consequences they face for breaking the laws they’re supposed to enforce.”


Google Blog: Get a closer look with Street View in Google Earth VR. “With Google Earth VR, you can go anywhere in virtual reality. Whether you want to stroll along the canals of Venice, stand at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro or soar through the sky faster than a speeding bullet, there’s no shortage of things to do or ways to explore. We love this sense of possibility, so we’re bringing Street View to Earth VR to make it easier for you to see and experience the world.”

Newsvine is shutting down October 1. “We have added some buttons on the “Edit Content” page where you can download all of your content (articles and seeds) as rss (for easy ingest into another blog platform) or csv. We realize that this amounts to over a decade of work for some, so we hope you take it with you!” I have had Newsvine in my RSS feed reader for ages but it’s gotten increasingly spammier. Sad but not surprised to see it go.

TechCrunch: Pinterest crosses 200 million monthly active users. “Pinterest said today it now has 200 million monthly active users, up from 150 million a little under a year ago. In April, the company said it hit 175 million monthly active users, so it seems it’s been able to grow pretty methodically in the past year or so.”


Purdue University: Purdue makes disaster recovery management book freely available. “Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreaked havoc in recent weeks, and Purdue University Press is making its book, ‘Disaster Recovery Project Management: Bringing Order from Chaos,’ freely available as a resource for those involved in recovery efforts. Randy Rapp, the book’s author and a Purdue associate professor of building construction management, says he hopes his expertise can aid in rebuilding efforts.”


ProPublica: Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’. “Want to market Nazi memorabilia, or recruit marchers for a far-right rally? Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform had the right audience for you. Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of ‘Jew hater,’ ‘How to burn jews,’ or, ‘History of “why jews ruin the world.”‘” This makes me want to throw up.

The Daily Beast: I Bought a Russian Bot Army for Under $100. “A Daily Beast investigation reveals manipulating Twitter is cheap. Really cheap. A review of dodgy marketing companies, botnet owners, and underground forums shows plenty of people are willing to sell the various components needed to run your own political Twitter army for just a few hundred dollars, or sometimes less. And once your botnet is caught, due to holes in Twitter’s security and sign-up features, it takes only a few minutes to do it all over again.”

Evening Standard: Epic battle erupts between Science Museum and Natural History Museum during Twitter’s #AskACurator day. “Staff from two of London’s top museums became embroiled in a hilarious public spat – over who would win in a fight. Science Museum curators clashed with staff from the Natural History Museum as part of Twitter’s #AskACurator day. Social media users were made to imagine dinosaurs sparring with robots after one asked which team of curators would win in a ‘staff battle’.”

Irish Times: Amateur sleuthing helps solve the mysteries of old Irish photos. “The first community-sourced exhibition of photographs and stories from the collection of the National Library of Ireland was opened on Wednesday by Sabina Higgins. Photo Detectives, at the National Photographic Archive in Dublin, celebrates the library’s historic collections by highlighting the work of researchers around the world who have helped discover details about the photographs in the library’s holdings.”


ZDNet: Yet another trove of sensitive US voter records has leaked. “A cache of voter records on over a half-million Americans has been found online. The records, totaling 593,328 individual sets of records, appear to contain every registered voter in the state of Alaska, according to security researchers at the Kromtech Security Research Center, who found the database.”


MIT Technology Review: Facebook Heads to Canada for the Next Big AI Breakthrough. “Facebook announced today [September 15] that it is tapping into Canada’s impressive supply of artificial-intelligence talent and expertise by creating a major AI research center in Montreal. Several big recent advances in AI can be traced back to Canadian research labs, and Facebook is hoping that the new lab may help it take advantage of whatever comes next.” Good morning, Internet…

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