Swine Disease, Freedom of Speech, Missing Pets, More: Friday Buzz, September 29, 2017


Pork Network: U.S. Swine Disease Monitoring System Underway. “The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) is supporting a near real-time domestic swine disease monitoring system. The project will generate information useful for economic and animal health decision-making. Data will be analyzed to describe disease activity by major pathogen and/or by clinical syndrome, documenting disease activity (presence, incidence) with respect to geography while maintaining appropriate producer confidentiality.”

FIRE: FIRE launches database of college leaders’ statements on free speech, due process. “Each day, higher education leaders are quoted in the media articulating their institutions’ positions on guest speakers, academic freedom, speech policies, due process, and more. Some institutions live up to their responsibilities and promises; others don’t. FIRE’s goal in compiling this Leader Statement Database is to provide you a record of these positions.” I had a concern about this because FIRE has been accused of conservative bias (and I have no interest in any bias, be it left, right, sideways, or backwards.) But I reviewed the database and it’s sourced, direct quotes. So I’m including it.)

PRNewswire: Animal Welfare Organizations And Companies Come Together To Help Families Find Missing Pets Following Hurricanes (PRESS RELEASE). “In an unprecedented move, 17 animal welfare organizations and private companies have come together in a coalition to share database information regarding lost pets from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to create one centralized, searchable website to find lost pets. Hurricanes Irma and Harvey devastated the lives of people in Houston and Florida, many lost all material possessions. But for many, the biggest tragedy is their beloved family pet is missing. is a brand agnostic website that will link to all available databases where families can search for their missing pet as well as other pet related resources related to recovery.”


UCLA: More Ethnomusicology Archive Recordings Now Online at California Light and Sound. “The UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive is pleased to announce that more recordings from the Archive’s collections are now available online as part of the California Light and Sound Collection on the Internet Archive….This round of recordings represents two collections. Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy’s fieldwork project, Khmer Dance and Music Project (you can also see more of Amy’s fieldwork on CAVPP, including additional Khmer recordings)……And Sephardic music, especially Turkish, Cuban, and Judeo-Spanish, recorded in California by Emily Sene and including performances by her husband, Isaac Sene, oud. ”

ZDNet: Mozilla: Firefox 57 is so fast we’re calling it Firefox Quantum. “Firefox Quantum spearheads Mozilla’s effort to win back users lost to Chrome since Google released it in 2008, and revive its position as a formidable rival in the browser wars as it once was against Internet Explorer in the 2000s. Firefox’s share on the desktop has declined from 30 percent in 2010 to less than 14 percent today, while on mobile it has just five percent, according to StatCounter.”

Google Blog: Present like a pro: these new updates in Slides are designed to make you look good. “As a go-to presentation tool, Google Slides already comes equipped with real-time collaboration features. Starting today, we’re introducing new robust features to help you and your team win that pitch, nail that client presentation and get buy-in for new ideas—all while saving valuable time.”


Amit Agarwal: How to Receive Push Notifications for Google Forms on your Mobile Phone. “The notifications add-on for Google Forms add-on has been updated and it can now send push notifications to your mobile phones as well. That means when respondents complete and submit your online Google Form, you’ll get an instant real-time notification (sample) on your iPhone or Android phone. The notification text can also include answers from the Google Form.”


CNN: Facebook sought exception from political ad disclaimer rules in 2011. “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced last week that the social network would begin voluntarily requiring disclaimers on political ads that appear on the site. But in 2011 Facebook went to federal regulators to get an exception from a rule that would have forced it to do the same thing. Federal election regulations state that political ‘communications placed for a fee on another person’s website’ must carry disclaimers stating that they are advertisements and who paid for them.”

The Hill: Warner sees Reddit as potential target for Russian influence. “A representative from Sen. Mark Warner’s (Va.) office told The Hill that Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is interested in Reddit as a potential tool of Russian social media influence. Warner has also spearheaded efforts to scrutinize Facebook and Twitter as potential tools for foreign interference in the election. Reddit declined to comment.”


StateScoop: For open data that matters, you need to get tactical. “There has been and continues to be a disconnect between the rhetoric and promise of open data and about what it has meant in terms of practical reform. The promise of open data is not about data on a website. The promise is for a new kind of relationship between government and people, one that brings about collaborative opportunities for co-creation, and while there has been significant progress in on this front, reforms are so far falling short. The next step is to use this open government data for action.”

Nature: Wikipedia shapes language in science papers. “Wikipedia is one of the world’s most popular websites, but scientists rarely cite it in their papers. Despite this, the online encyclopedia seems to be shaping the language that researchers use in papers, according to an experiment showing that words and phrases in recently published Wikipedia articles subsequently appeared more frequently in scientific papers.”

University of Texas at Austin: NSF Backs Research into Role of Social Media “Calls” for Help during Hurricane Harvey. “During Hurricane Harvey, victims unable to connect with overloaded 911 call systems turned to social media to plead for assistance. In turn, volunteer groups including the ‘Cajun Navy’ used social media to identify those in need of help and to coordinate rescue efforts. To study the role of social media in aiding Hurricane Harvey victims, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin’s Moody College of Communication have received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how individuals in need of emergency help use social media. Researchers will also look at how first-responders use social media alongside traditional 911 calls when dispatching help.” Good morning, Internet…

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