Elsevier, Wildlife Poisonings, Infographics, More: Sunday Buzz, October 1, 2017


Times of Higher Education: Elsevier launches free science definitions service. “…Elsevier is hoping to keep researchers on its platform with the launch of a free layer of content called ScienceDirect Topics, offering an initial 80,000 pages of material relating to the life sciences, biomedical sciences and neuroscience. Each offers a quick definition of a key term or topic, details of related terms and relevant excerpts from Elsevier books. Significantly, this content is not written to order but is extracted from Elsevier’s books, in a process that Sumita Singh, managing director of Elsevier Reference Solutions, described as ‘completely automated, algorithmically generated and machine-learning based’.”

Endangered Wildlife Trust: New online database could reduce poisonous threat to vultures. “The EWT has been collecting data on wildlife poisoning since 1995 and has now joined forces with The Peregrine Fund to assess the scope and impact of this critical threat to vultures and other wildlife species across Africa. In partnership with the Vulture Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, we have collated all historical and current incidents of wildlife poisoning into the African Wildlife Poisoning Database or AWPD, which will be launched on 2 September 2017 to mark International Vulture Awareness Day. So far, this database contains records of 272 poisoning incidents that have killed over 8,000 animals of 40 different species, from 15 countries.”

Digital Arts Online: Be inspired on how to present data with this brilliant online archive . “DataVizProject is a free website (currently in beta), so you can easily find an infographic that suits your data and figure out how to create one yourself – while learning the family, function, shape and input of each visualisation. For example, the Sociogram is in the ‘diagram’ family, and its function is to visualise ‘correlation’.”


Library of Congress: Hispanic Heritage Month: New and Improved Resources to Celebrate!. “The Library of Congress is observing National Hispanic Heritage Month this year with an array of on-site concerts, exhibits, lectures and more. But we also have exciting digital offerings for those of you who can’t visit us in person. We’ve just added 50 new recordings to our Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape, and we’ve improved the interface for another popular online resource: the Handbook of Latin American Studies.”

San Francisco Gate: adds ‘kompromat,’ ‘fake news,’ and more to online database. “The new and extended words and phrases are primarily politically-leaning. ‘Alt-right,’ for example, now has a longer definition to reflect usage guidelines by the Associated Press and other publications. ‘Far’ also has an added definition to reflect the word’s use in a political context (like, for instance, the ‘far left’ or ‘far right’).”

Digital Trends: Google May Be Preparing A Tabletop Echo Show Competitor, Code-Named Manhattan. “Google, not to be outdone by Amazon’s new Echo Spot and Echo Plus, is reportedly developing a screen-sporting version of its Google Home smart speaker. The tabletop tablet, which is reportedly code-named Manhattan, could launch by the end of 2017.”

TechCrunch: Facebook partners with ZipRecruiter and more aggregators as it ramps up in jobs. “Facebook has made no secret of its wish to do more in the online recruitment market — encroaching on territory today dominated by LinkedIn, the leader in tapping social networking graphs to boost job-hunting. Today, Facebook is taking the next step in that process. Facebook will now integrate with ZipRecruiter — an aggregator that allows those looking to fill jobs to post ads to many traditional job boards, as well as sites like LinkedIn, Google and Twitter — to boost the number of job ads available on its platform targeting its 2 billion monthly active users.”


Digital Inspiration: How to do Reverse Image Search on your Mobile Phone. “Google’s ‘search by image’ feature is only available for desktop computers and not on mobile devices and tablets. Thus, if a friend has sent you an image on WhatsApp or Facebook that you’d like to verify, you’ll have to first transfer the photograph to a desktop and then perform a reverse search. Too much work, right? Not anymore.”


CNET: Google reportedly probing possible Russian meddling in election. “Google is examining what role its services could have played in Russian interference during the 2016 US presidential election, according to a report published Friday by The Wall Street Journal. The search giant joins its rivals Facebook and Twitter in their own probes, as they try to figure out how Russian agents could have misused their advertising platforms, among other services, to meddle in the campaign.”

Poynter: Text-only news sites are slowly making a comeback. Here’s why.. “In recent months, Twitter, Facebook, and Google News have also published their own versions of stripped-down sites that use less bandwidth, mainly aimed at users in emerging markets who might not have access to faster network connections. Earlier this week, Twitter announced that it was now experimenting with an Android app designed to use less data for people with limited connectivity. Yet most news organizations — aside from CNN, NPR, and The Age in Australia — don’t have low-bandwidth sites versions of their sites.”


CSO: Whole Foods Market investigating payment card breach. “Whole Foods Market, a supermarket chain that specializes in items that don’t contain artificial preservatives, colors, etc. said on Thursday they’re investigating a payment card breach at the venues of some stores where taprooms and full table-service restaurants are located.”


Julia Reda: When filters fail: These cases show we can’t trust algorithms to clean up the internet. “Installing censorship infrastructure that surveils everything people upload and letting algorithms make judgement calls about what we all can and cannot say online is an attack on our fundamental rights. But there’s another key question: Does it even work? The [European Commission] claims that where automatic filters have already been implemented voluntarily – like YouTube’s Content ID system – ‘these practices have shown good results’. Oh, really? Here are examples of filters getting it horribly wrong, ranging from hilarious to deeply worrying…” Good morning, Internet…

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