Respiratory Health, Vietnamese Knowledge, Egypt History, More: Tuesday Buzz, January 2, 2018


New-to-me, from The Washington Post: A saving breath: The history of respiratory care. “Stethoscopes. CPR. Oxygen tanks. All make it possible for doctors to diagnose and treat conditions of the lungs, including tuberculosis and other diseases that claimed millions of lives before advances in respiratory medicine and therapy. There’s a fascinating history here. You can delve into that history — and learn more about the researchers and medical professionals who help people catch their breath today — at the American Association for Respiratory Care’s online museum.”

Viet Nam News: Digital Vietnamese knowledge system launched. “All Vietnamese citizens can now participate in spreading knowledge conveniently and effectively thanks to the “Digital Vietnamese knowledge system” project – an ambitious Wikipedia-like portal tailored for Vietnamese, which was launched in Hà Nội on January 1.”


Egypt Independent: Bibliotheca Alexandrina to rebuild ‘Egypt’s memory’. “In an attempt to modernize Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s vision and engagement with the community, its director, Dr. Mustafa El-Fiky, has announced preparations for ‘The Memory of Modern Egypt,’ an interactive website that will aim to build students’ and general audiences’ knowledge outside of academic realm, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.”

Duke University: What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2018? Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1961 . “Current US law extends copyright for 70 years after the date of the author’s death, and corporate ‘works-for-hire’ are copyrighted for 95 years after publication. But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years—an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years. Under those laws, works published in 1961 would enter the public domain on January 1, 2018, where they would be ‘free as the air to common use.’ Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2057.1 And no published works will enter our public domain until 2019. The laws in other countries are different—thousands of works are entering the public domain in Canada and the EU on January 1.”


MIT Technology Review: Five of the Coolest-Looking VR and AR Headsets, Apps, and More Coming in 2018. “Let’s face it: it’s going to be a while before most of us get headsets that can virtually transport us to new realities, mix digital images with the world around us, or both. That said, virtual reality and augmented reality advanced a lot in 2017, and there’s much more to come this year, including smartphone apps that bring beloved Harry Potter characters to life, wireless VR headsets, and virtual vacations.”


BBC News: Logan Paul: Outrage over YouTuber’s dead body video. “An American YouTube star has prompted a barrage of criticism after he posted a video which showed the body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan. The video showed Logan Paul and friends at the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mt Fuji, known to be a frequent site of suicides. Going in to film the ‘haunted’ forest, they come across a dead body and are shocked, but also make jokes.” I really want to say what I think about this, but I’m afraid I’ll melt the keyboard.

Recode: Telegram is shutting down a channel that called for violent protests against Iran’s government. “The executives of Telegram, the widely used messaging app in Iran, are heeding calls from Iranian government officials to better police Telegram’s users as rallies in support and protest of the government sweep the country. Telegram is a major platform for information in Iran and counts more than 40 million users among the country’s 80 million people. And it has played an especially key role in this week’s anti-government protests against Ayatollah Khamenei. Counter-rallies supporting the government also emerged on Saturday.”

The Intercept: Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments. “IN SEPTEMBER OF last year, we noted that Facebook representatives were meeting with the Israeli government to determine which Facebook accounts of Palestinians should be deleted on the ground that they constituted ‘incitement.’ The meetings — called for and presided over by one of the most extremist and authoritarian Israeli officials, pro-settlement Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked — came after Israel threatened Facebook that its failure to voluntarily comply with Israeli deletion orders would result in the enactment of laws requiring Facebook to do so, upon pain of being severely fined or even blocked in the country.”


Associated Press: Efforts grow to help students evaluate what they see online. “Alarmed by the proliferation of false content online, state lawmakers around the country are pushing schools to put more emphasis on teaching students how to tell fact from fiction. Lawmakers in several states have introduced or passed bills calling on public school systems to do more to teach media literacy skills that they say are critical to democracy. The effort has been bipartisan but has received little attention despite successful legislation in Washington state, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Mexico. Several more states are expected to consider such bills in the coming year, including Arizona, New York and Hawaii.”


The Verge: The year we wanted the internet to be smaller. “Americans got tired of big social media in 2017. Or at least, we stopped wanting to look at it, and we stopped pretending to like it. This feels true to me as someone who uses the internet every day, but I also know it’s true because when The Verge partnered with Reticle Research to conduct a representative survey of Americans’ attitudes towards tech’s biggest power players, 15.4 percent of Facebook users said they ‘greatly’ or ‘somewhat’ disliked using the product, while 17 percent of Twitter users said the same. That made them the most disliked of the six companies in question, which also included Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. More than 10 percent of respondents described Facebook’s effect on society as ‘very negative,’ and 10.5 percent said the same about Twitter — in both cases a higher number than the other four companies combined.”

TechCrunch: Twitter ended the year on a fascinating run. “It’s been pretty easy to point at Twitter and, with each quarterly moment when it discloses its financial guts, let out a long exasperated sigh. Twitter since going public at a now in retrospect astounding valuation has for much of its public life been quite the disappointment to Wall Street. But then something interesting happened in the back half of 2017: it went on a rather spectacular run, and though ending on a bit of a slump, it looks like it could finish the year up more than 25 percent — which, by Twitter terms, is pretty good.”

Telegraph: Ministers use artificial intelligence to target mass benefit fraud. “Criminal gangs committing tens of millions of pounds worth of benefit fraud are being tracked down using newly-developed artificial intelligence, ministers have disclosed. Experts at the Department for Work and Pensions have produced computer algorithms that have been gradually rolled-out over the course of the year to identify large-scale abuse of the welfare system.” Good morning, Internet…

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