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Place Database, Latin American Corruption, Human Brain Cells, More: Friday Buzz, October 27, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

Builder Online: New Database Allows For Deep Inspection Of Cities, Towns And Neighborhoods. “A new interactive database created by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, based in Cleveland, and PolicyMap allows users to visualize a broad array of indicators – housing prices, incomes, open space, or zoning and land use regulations, and more – revealing new insights on the makeup of states, cities, towns, and neighborhoods throughout the United States. The Place Database, unveiled at Meeting of the Minds, the annual conference spotlighting urban sustainability and connected technology, taps data from a variety of sources, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Census Bureau, Internal Revenue Service, and National Conservation Easement Database, and assembles them for the first time all in one place.” I just need six hours or so to play with it.

University of Texas at Austin: Researcher to build Latin American corruption database sourced from newspaper coverage. “Corruption, a common concern among citizens and journalists from several Latin American countries, will be the theme of an exclusive index for the region that plans to launch next month. Daily Corruption: News Feed & Database will provide quantitative and qualitative data on a range of relative variables for ongoing cases in 29 Latin American and Caribbean nations. The source of the cataloged information is selected from newspapers of each country, focusing on cases of medium- and high-level corruption, as well as anti-corruption initiatives.”

PR Newswire: Allen Institute Shares First Open Database Of Live Human Brain Cells (PRESS RELEASE). “The Allen Institute for Brain Science has added the first data from human nerve cells to the Allen Cell Types Database: a publicly available tool for researchers to explore and understand the building blocks of the human brain. This first release includes electrical properties from approximately 300 living cortical neurons of different types derived from 36 patients, with accompanying 3D reconstructions of their shape or anatomy for 100 cells, and computer models simulating the electrical behavior of these neurons. The database will also contain gene expression profiles, based on measurements of all genes used by 16,000 individual cells, from three adult human brains.”

AA: Turkcell launches new search engine Yaani. “Turkey’s leading cellphone operator Turkcell announced the launch of its new search engine called Yaani on Wednesday. Having its own search engine puts Turkey among the important countries in the world, said Turkcell’s CEO Kaan Terzioglu, at the promotional event for the search engine in Istanbul.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Danny Sullivan has started a YouCaring fundraiser for Eric Ward’s family following his death. The goal is to raise $50,000 to help his family with living expenses over the next year. Eric was one of the great voices and actors in link-building with integrity; please kick in a few bucks if you can.

Retraction Watch: Widely used U.S. government database delists cancer journal. “The U.S. government biomedical research database MEDLINE no longer includes a cancer journal with a storied past. Starting August 2017, researchers looking up journals indexed in MEDLINE (which is accessed via PubMed) could no longer find new articles published by Oncotarget, once included on the now-defunct list of possibly predatory journals compiled by librarian Jeffrey Beall.”

TechCrunch: Facebook launches Marketplace for cars with dealers and Blue Book pricing . “Buy a car through Facebook, and the social network could earn a special place in your heart. So Facebook is creating a special section of Marketplace for vehicles. You’ll now be able to use new search filters to find a ride with a specific type, maker, transmission, color, and more from both people and car dealerships like Edmunds, Cars.com, Auction123, CDK Global, and SocialDealer.”

CNET: Reddit purges Nazi groups in new anti-hate crackdown. “Reddit began purging Nazi, white supremacist and other hate-based groups on Wednesday after announcing new policy changes aimed at culling communities that incite violence. The popular news discussion site said in a statement it decided to overhaul some rules regarding incitement of violence after determining they were ‘too vague.’ Reddit’s new regulations prohibit content that ‘encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people,’ the company said in a statement.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Boing Boing: As the 2020 census catastrophe draws closer, it isn’t getting any better. “The 2020 census represents a huge shift in the way that Americans are counted: it will be the first ‘internet census,’ using a bunch of untested and potentially insecure and underperforming tools, none of which have been adequately reviewed and tested.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

The Next Web: Googler proves any iPhone app with camera permission can secretly record you. “This is pretty disturbing. Google engineer Felix Krause has detailed an alarming privacy setting in Apple’s iOS that enables iPhone apps with camera permission to surreptitiously take photos and videos of you – without your knowledge. The researcher notes that granting camera permission will enable apps to access both the front and the back camera of your device, photograph and record you at any time the app is in the foreground, upload this content immediately, and run real-time face detection to read your facial expressions.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Wired: Will Facebook Kill All Future Facebooks?. “Since 2012, Facebook has repeatedly copied or acquired social-media apps that gain traction. There’s the Instagram deal, and more astonishingly, its $22 billion acquisition of WhatsApp. Facebook attempted to acquire Snap for $3 billion, was turned down, and made at least 10 attempts to copy its most distinctive features. Last week the company acquired tbh, an anonymous app for teens that has bubbled up in recent months.”

Eurekalert: Researchers unveil tool to debug ‘black box’ deep learning algorithms. “Deep learning systems do not explain how they make their decisions, and that makes them hard to trust. In a new approach to the problem, researchers at Columbia and Lehigh universities have come up with a way to automatically error-check the thousands to millions of neurons in a deep learning neural network. Their tool, DeepXplore, feeds confusing, real-world inputs into the network to expose rare instances of flawed reasoning by clusters of neurons. Researchers present it on Oct. 29 at ACM’s Symposium on Operating Systems Principles in Shanghai.” Good morning, Internet…

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