Children’s Books, Ireland Photographs, International Space Station, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, September 29, 2017


Bates College: Bates Debuts One-of-a-kind Search Engine For Diverse Children’s Books. “There is considerable power in children’s books. It’s a formative power, especially in the case of picture books for younger children, with their rapidly developing intellects and personalities. So what’s the formative impact on children of color when most picture books — as many as 90 percent — are all about white people? And if you want to lay hands on one of the relatively few books that feature diverse characters, what happens when the local library catalog can’t help you find them? And what if that library doesn’t even know which races or cultures are represented in its children’s book collection? Krista Aronson, associate professor of psychology at Bates, has devoted considerable time and thought to such questions. And she has an answer.”

West Cork Times: Government supported website provides incredible photographs from the past. “More than 10,000 historic pictures from Ireland’s past, including many from Cork, have been added to a folklore website, Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has said. ‘The new redesigned … website and Photographic Collection was launched in Dublin last night (Tuesday). Roughly 10,000 photographs from the Collection have been digitized, catalogued and made available for the first time on the site.'”

Universe Today: Hey Citizen Scientists! Help NASA Analyze Images Taken From The Space Station. “Calling all citizen scientists, geography buffs, fans of the International Space Station and those who love that orbital perspective! CosmoQuest has a brand new project in coordination with NASA and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) where you can help identify features in photographs taken by astronauts from the space station.”


CNET: Google reports all-time high of government data requests. “Between Jan. 1 and June 30, Google received 48,941 requests for data from 83,345 accounts from governments around the world. The company complied with 65 percent of them, meaning more than 54,000 accounts were affected by this. That’s 4,000 more requests than the same time period in 2016.”

BetaNews: Ubuntu Linux 17.10 ‘Artful Aardvark’ Beta 2 now available to download. “Fall is officially here, and while some people get excited for pumpkin spice lattes and falling leaves, other folks get excited about something far nerdier — Ubuntu. Yes, every October a new version of the Linux-based operating system is released. This year in particular is very significant, as with Ubuntu 17.10, GNOME is replacing Unity as the default desktop environment.”

TechCrunch: Anchor raises $10 million for podcast platform. “Anchor is a startup that is looking to change that with its app that makes it easy to record and distribute content. Anchor also has a discovery platform, which allows users to find audio across categories like news, sports, music and tech. The New York-based team is announcing $10 million in Series A funding, led by GV (Google Ventures), bringing its total raised to about $15 million. Accel, The Chernin Group, Eniac Ventures, Homebrew, Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman and others are participating.”


AFP by way of The Independent (Uganda): China’s Baidu, police crack down on ‘rumours’. “Chinese internet giant Baidu has teamed up with the country’s cyber police to control the spread of rumors and fake news, the company said Thursday, as authorities continue to tighten censorship ahead a major Communist Party congress next month. Baidu, known as China’s answer to Google, said artificial intelligence tools would monitor and identify ‘rumours’ on its services — search engine, forums and blogs — on a system linked to around 370 registered police agencies around the country.”

Reuters: Zimbabwe accuses social media of spreading rumours, panic buying. “Zimbabwe’s government said on Wednesday it would crack down on social media users it accused of spreading false rumours of shortages and causing panic buying of fuel and other goods. Most service stations in Harare have been without fuel since Monday amid a mounting economic crisis, and long queues have formed at the few outlets that are still selling it.”

LA Times: Twitter finds 201 accounts linked to Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. “Twitter said Thursday that it had found around 200 accounts linked to Russian interference in the 2016 election, a further sign that Moscow secretly employed multiple social media platforms to influence American voters. The company said in a statement that 22 accounts were closed after they were found to be linked to separate Facebook pages previously shown to have spread Russian-bought ads during the presidential campaign that focused mostly on social issues such as race, guns and immigration.”


Bloomberg: Rich People Would Consider Google, Amazon to Manage Their Wealth. “Forget traditional wealth management firms. If Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon offered financial services, more than half of rich people might sign up. Consulting firm Capgemini found that 56.2 percent of high-net-worth individuals would think about working with one of the four technology firms if they offered wealth management services, according to its World Wealth Report 2017.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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