Hydropower Projects, Medical Studies, Sports Statues, More: Sunday Buzz, November 12, 2017


Water Power & Dam Construction (I really do read everything I can get my eyeballs on): New tool maps world’s pumped storage projects. “An interactive tool for tracking pumped storage hydropower projects worldwide has been launched by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) at COP23 climate conference. The new Hydropower Pumped Storage Tracking Tool maps the locations and vital statistics of existing and planned projects. According to the tool, more than 100 pumped storage hydropower projects totalling some 75GW of new capacity are in the pipeline around the world – with these set to increase existing global storage capacity by 50%, from 150GW to almost 225GW.”

WRVO: Online database makes medical studies more available. “Traditional medical journals allow doctors and researchers to find information on different medical conditions. These articles might take months or even years to publish, after a critical review process, and the journals in which their published often carry high subscription costs. One doctor is trying to change the way medical information is published. Dr. John Adler, the neurosurgeon who invented the Cyberknife system, has created a new website to make it easier for doctors to publish and look up case studies or medical articles. He joins us today to discuss and how it’s changing the way people access medical information.”

New-to-me: a database of statues of sports figures around the world. From the About page: “The Sporting Statues Project records and researches statues of sportsmen and women around the world. Since 2010 we have published academic papers and magazine articles, and collected information on over 600 statues.” The site has a number of different sections, including one for statues of baseball players in the US.


Mashable: Instagram thinks you might want to follow hashtags just like you do people . YES PLEASE. “Wouldn’t it be nice if you could follow a hashtag on Instagram? It would, wouldn’t it? We’re glad you think so, because the Facebook-owned app is reportedly testing a new feature that’ll let you do just that.”

SEO Roundtable: Confirmed: Google Drops Addition Links & Information For Info Command. “A week ago we reported that the info command changed and we were unsure if it was a bug or a change on purpose. Well, Google confirmed with me this week that it was intentional, they decided to drop the additional informational links under the first snippet that has been part of the info command for countless years.” Dammit.


The New Indian Express: Spain concerned over Russian social media activity on Catalonia. “Spain said Friday it had noted news manipulation about the Catalan crisis on social media originating ‘from Russian territory,’ adding the issue would be raised at an upcoming EU ministers meeting. Spanish media have already accused Moscow-backed outlets such as Russia Today and Sputnik — which have Spanish language services — of playing a destabilising role in the crisis triggered by Catalonia’s banned October 1 independence referendum.”

Washington Post: ‘We’re searching to reclaim what was lost’: In museum archives, a tribe urgently seeks proof of its past. “Their ancestors fled the Trail of Tears and found refuge nearly 200 years ago on an island on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast. But now that home on Isle de Jean Charles is slipping into the sea, a consequence of coastal erosion, subsidence and climate change. Frequent floods and increasingly ferocious storms have washed away heirlooms, destroyed houses, scattered families. Once more, the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians face displacement. This time, though, they aim to confront it on their own terms.”


Wired: The Pentagon Opened Up To Hackers—and Fixed Thousands Of Bugs . “THE UNITED STATES government doesn’t get along with hackers. That’s just how it is. Hacking protected systems, even to reveal their weaknesses, is illegal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the Department of Justice has repeatedly made it clear that it will enforce the law. In the last 18 months, though, a new Department of Defense project called ‘Hack the Pentagon’ has offered real glimmers of hope that these prejudices could change.”


The Telegraph: Social media is the new Big Tobacco, and 2017 is its Philip Morris moment. “Services like Facebook are addictive by design. What does that say about our free will?” You might find this article paywalled.

New York Times: News Shared on Twitter Can Drive the Conversation, Study Finds. “For years, investigating the American media’s influence on discourse has required studying the conversations we have at homes, in the public square and in office corridors, to try to understand what prompted them. But a paper published Thursday in the journal Science offers a new, albeit unorthodox, method: The authors brought the media in on the experiment, persuading more than 30 outlets to agree to time publication of some stories so researchers could track how the pieces affected discussion online.”

CBC News: Scientists build better search engine by mimicking fruit fly brain. “Sometimes nature knows best — and that’s particularly true for search engines. Nothing can beat the brain for its search engine, not even Google. And scientists are now designing search engines of the future with the brain in mind — the fly brain in fact.”

Nature: Build the Ebola database in Africa. “This September, the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO), a research network based at the University of Oxford, UK, held a meeting in Guinea to discuss plans for an information platform to share data obtained during the latest outbreaks, in hopes of improving responses in the future. It is now seeking further input on a collaborative research agenda…. The platform has yet to be established, and these preparatory efforts are well-intentioned. But in my opinion, having African scientists work on an information platform in another part of the world and at the behest of and under the jurisdiction of others does not confer the same benefits as working with local researchers to build our own tools on the ground.” Good morning, Internet…

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