Mars, Climate Insurance, New Hampshire Art, More: Saturday Buzz, October 21, 2017


Tom’s Hardware: ‘Access Mars’ Lets You Explore Mars In VR–From Your Browser. “Unless you have superhuman powers, the only way to ‘visit’ Mars is by looking at online images captured by the Curiosity rover. For a more immersive experience, you could view these images as one massive 3D model in AR (that is, if you’re lucky to have one of Microsoft’s HoloLens devices). That changes today as Google announced Access Mars, which allows you to explore the Red Planet’s surface with the same 3D model right from your web browser.”

United Nations University: New Online Resource Provides Comprehensive Information On Climate Risk Insurance. “On the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, the first-ever online database on climate risk insurance is being launched by the Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF), the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Government. The Climate Insurance database shares the experiences of numerous international organizations in the field of risk transfer and insurance solutions in the context of climate risk management and disseminates information on good practices and innovative solutions.” I had never even heard of climate risk insurance, so I read up. If you’re in the same boat, you can get an overview here.

News and Observer: Museum has database of 19th century White Mountain artists . “The Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University has started an online database of 19th century artists who were drawn to the scenic beauty of the New Hampshire range and whose works drew attention to the region as a destination for tourists.”


Fast Company: Nuzzel, a news app beloved by influential types, adds LinkedIn stories. “Since 2014, smartphone app Nuzzel has made finding the news your friends share on Twitter and Facebook easier by stripping out everything—from cat videos to selfies—that isn’t news. Now it’s doing the same for LinkedIn, which has increasingly emphasized news as a primary feature.”


First Draft: First Draft launches its online verification training course. “In this course, we teach you the steps involved in verifying the eyewitness media, fabricated websites, visual memes and manipulated videos that emerge on social media. The course is designed so that anyone can take the course from start to finish online, or educators can take elements and integrate into existing classroom teaching. For newsroom training managers, we hope the you can encourage your staff to take the course online, or you can take individual videos and tutorials and use during brown-bag lunches. We provide relevant and topical examples — from events such as Hurricane Irma and the conflict in Syria — to show how these skills and techniques are put into practice.”


Manawatu Standard: Database to collect Māori knowledge for land management and planning. “A nearly $3 million project to collect and share Māori knowledge of New Zealand’s geography is under way. The project, He Tātai Whenua, will combine iwi history and land knowledge with computer geographic information systems known as GIS, used to provide planning and property information. It will include information about land capability, features, geology, soils, plants and their uses, said project co-leader associate professor Jonathan Procter, based at Massey University’s Manawatū campus.”

Digital Trends: The Virtual Singapore project aims to digitize an entire city. “It sounds like something out of The Matrix: take all of the data available in a living, breathing, thriving metropolitan city and use it to make a ‘digital twin’ that can be researched, analyzed and manipulated in real time by multiple stakeholders. But that’s just what’s happening with Virtual Singapore, a new public-private partnership to take one of Asia’s most vibrant cities and recreate it as a dynamic 3D model. The idea is to collaborate on a data platform that will allow scientists, policy makers and even regular citizens to test concepts, conduct virtual brainstorming, and enable entities to solve emerging challenges.”


Politico: Lawmakers unveil bill to thwart Russian election ads on social media. “The measure from Sens. Amy Klobuchar, (D-Minn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), would expand political ad disclosure rules beyond print, radio, and television to the internet. It would include not only material that is explicitly an advertisement, but also other forms of online paid content like so-called sponsored posts.”

PC Magazine: Microsoft Chastises Google Over Chrome Security. “Microsoft this week threw a subtle jab at Google by revealing a security hole in Chrome. In a Wednesday blog post, Redmond examined Google’s browser security, and took the opportunity to throw some shade at Chrome’s security philosophy, while also touting the benefits of its own Edge browser.”

The Register: Canadian spooks release their own malware detection tool. “Canada’s Communications Security Establishment has open-sourced its own malware detection tool. The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is a signals intelligence agency roughly equivalent to the United Kingdom’s GCHQ, the USA’s NSA and Australia’s Signals Directorate. It has both intelligence-gathering and advisory roles.”


ScienceBlog: WhatsApp Use By Argentina Ambulances Associated With Faster Heart Attack Treatment. “WhatsApp use by ambulance doctors in Argentina was associated with faster treatment of heart attack and lower mortality in an observational study presented today at the Argentine Congress of Cardiology (SAC 2017). The free messaging application was used to send diagnostic electrocardiograms (ECGs) directly to hospital catheterisation (cath) laboratories, enabling patients to bypass the emergency department.”

Texas Advanced Computing center: Preservation For The (Digital) Ages. “When Deborah Beck was preparing her book, Speech Presentation in Homeric Epic, her publisher suggested she make the database she had started in 2008 — a searchable catalogue of features from every speech in the Homeric poems — available to the public as a web application and companion resource. Since the application went live in 2013, more than 5,000 researchers have used it to parse the thousands of speeches found in the Iliad and the Odyssey and to explore different connections from those Beck investigated in her book…. However, as new web and database capabilities became available, Beck was finding it challenging to update the application, which was developed using the technologies from the 2000s.” Good morning, Internet…

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