Mass Transit, Earthquakes, Government Oversight, More: Tuesday Buzz, October 3, 2017


Curbed: Can you get by without a car? New tool will tell you based on your exact location. “So we all know that car-free living is better for the environment and for health, but we can’t all live in Giethoorn, right? A new tool from TransitScreen, which offers live transportation information displays, calculates precisely how accessible a place is to public transit and other transit alternatives. MobilityScore rates a location from 0 to 100 based on its proximity to public transit like buses, trains, and taxis, and also ride-hailing, ride-sharing, and bike-sharing opportunities.” Limited to 30 metro areas in the US and 5 in Canada.

Nature: Risk of human-triggered earthquakes laid out in biggest-ever database. “The Human-Induced Earthquake Database, or HiQuake, contains 728 examples of earthquakes (or sequences of earthquakes) that may have been set off by humans over the past 149 years. Most of them were small, between magnitudes 3 and 4. But the list also includes several large, destructive earthquakes, such as the magnitude-7.8 quake in Nepal in April 2015, which one paper linked to groundwater pumping.”

FedScoop: Inspectors general unveil new website for reports from across government. “The investigative work of inspectors general from across the federal government can now be found in a single digital location. … The website, launched officially Monday, features audits, investigations, evaluations and special reviews from the IGs of 67 agencies and includes more than 5,800 previously released reports.”

Minnesota Daily: Marcy-Holmes’ art history housed on new website. “The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association is putting the area’s art history in focus. MHNA debuted Creative Spark: Marcy-Holmes, a website dedicated to displaying historic and contemporary art of the neighborhood, on Sept. 23. More than 100 pieces are available for viewing on the new website. The Creative Spark gallery was the result of a partnership between MHNA and the University of Minnesota. Pieces on the website include paintings, songs, sculptures, photographs, sketches and more, with the oldest piece dating back to the mid-1800s.”


BetaNews: Facebook Messenger Lite now available in US, Canada, UK and Ireland. “Having launched Facebook Messenger Lite last year to a limited number of markets, the social networking giant is now pushing its messaging app to the US, Canada, UK and Ireland. For now the app is only available for Android — Facebook has not yet said whether an iOS version is in the works.”

TechCrunch: Google to let anyone add to Street View, starting with Insta360’s Pro camera. “Google has a new program called ‘Street View ready’ which will make it possible for anyone with the right hardware to contribute to its Street View imaging database, typically assembled using Google’s official 360-degree camera-toting Street View cars. The first camera officially designated ‘Street View auto ready’ is Insta360’s Pro camera, the 8K 360 camera which captures still images at up to 5 frames per second, and which has real-time image stabilization built-in.”


Gizmodo: Google’s Top Stories Promoted Misinformation About the Las Vegas Shooting From 4Chan . “On Sunday night, a gunman killed more than 50 people at a country music festival outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. On Monday morning, authorities identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock. But in an episode that has become sadly familiar in the immediate aftermath of such tragedies, amateur sleuths on 4chan incorrectly identified the shooter as another man—and this time Google helped signal boost their misinformation.” Sickening.

New York Times: Facebook’s Russia-Linked Ads Came in Many Disguises. “he Russians who posed as Americans on Facebook last year tried on quite an array of disguises. There was ‘Defend the 2nd,’ a Facebook page for gun-rights supporters, festooned with firearms and tough rhetoric. There was a rainbow-hued page for gay rights activists, ‘LGBT United.’ There was even a Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies that spread across the site with the help of paid ads.”

New York Magazine: Does Even Mark Zuckerberg Know What Facebook Is?. “What is Facebook? We can talk about its scale: Population-wise, it’s larger than any single country; in fact, it’s bigger than any continent besides Asia. At 2 billion members, ‘monthly active Facebook users’ is the single largest non-biologically sorted group of people on the planet after ‘Christians’ — and, growing consistently at around 17 percent year after year, it could surpass that group before the end of 2017 and encompass one-third of the world’s population by this time next year. Outside China, where Facebook has been banned since 2009, one in every five minutes on the internet is spent on Facebook; in countries with only recently high rates of internet connectivity, like Myanmar and Kenya, Facebook is, for all intents and purposes, the whole internet.”


Cearta: The copyright implications of a publicly curated online archive of Oireachtas debates. “From a twitter thread by Philip Boucher-Hayes last week, I learned that Ken Foxe had reported in the Irish Mail on Sunday that nearly ten years of video footage of Oireachtas debates and hearings had been taken offline. A spokesperson for the Houses of the Oireachtas said that the videos were removed because they had little traffic and were in an obsolete format. However, after an outcry online, the footage was restored, though with limited functionality. To overcome first the takedown, and then the limitations, various concerned netizens – including, I understand, Gerard Cunningham, Emerald De Leeuw, Elaine Edwards, and Sterling Plisken – have begun work on a publicly curated online archive of Oireachtas debates and hearings.”


Forbes: Social Media As A Vital Engagement Platform For Government Outreach. “Social media has evolved into the preferred method to reach and engage with the masses, culminating in exponential amplification. Individuals, businesses and celebrities have harnessed its power, yet the government has been slow to maximize social media as an outreach tool. Why has the government been slow to adopt?”

North Carolina State University: Recluse or Not? Scientists Use Twitter To Tackle Spider Questions. “To help address fears people may have about recluse spiders – including whether they have encountered one – a team of spider experts from the U.S. and Canada is launching a social media initiative called Recluse or Not?” Good morning, Internet…

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