morningbuzz

Earth Sciences, Mammal Biodiversity, Agronomy Data Sets, More: Wednesday Buzz, February 7, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

Xinhua: China publishes world’s first big data journal on geoscience. “China has started publishing the world’s first big data journal on earth sciences, the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said Tuesday. The journal, titled Big Earth Data, publishes research papers on big data related to the earth and encourages authors to store and share the data with the public.”

New-to-me, from International Business Times: Mammal Biodiversity 20% Larger Than Previously Thought, New Database Find. “Earth has 6,399 distinct mammal species living today, while 96 others have gone extinct in the last 500 years, according to a new database on mammalian diversity. This number is almost 20 percent higher than the previous known figure of 5,416 mammal species that were known in 2005, and a much larger jump from the 4,631 species known in 1993. The Mammal Diversity Database, which lists the new taxonomy for mammals, is publicly accessible and was founded in 2017 by the American Society of Mammalogists, which funds it along with the National Science Foundation.”

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Illinois researchers contribute to publicly accessible agronomy database. “Data from the USDA-funded Sustainable Corn Coordinated Agricultural Project, which includes contributions from University of Illinois scientists, are now publicly available…. Comprising data from five years and 30 field research sites in the Midwest, it has been called one of the most comprehensive agricultural datasets ever to be published.”

Dezeen: Piet Zwart Institute launches online archive of student design research. “The archive platform showcases projects by the institute’s Master of Interior Architecture: Research + Design (MIARD) programme, a two-year course that encourages design-led research in the field of interior architecture.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

My Ballard: Hundreds of 1970s Ballard photos added to Seattle Municipal Archives. “If you’re like us, you love Ballard history. So when Seattle City Photo Archivist Julie Irick told us about 738 new Ballard photos from the 1970s — including businesses, houses and landmarks in high resolution — we were thrilled. And it’s all available online.”

Colorado Virtual Library: Help is Here for Newspaper Digitization!. “The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC) is excited to announce a new program to support the addition of new historic news in the CHNC. The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection New Content Support Program for newspaper digitization is designed to help cultural heritage organizations increase online access to historic community news through the CHNC. We want to help local communities add their historic stories to the larger Colorado footprint.”

Kansas State Collegian: K-State Libraries donate thousands of records to digital archive. “Faculty in K-State special collections department knew of The Great 78 Project before getting involved, [Keli] Rylance said. During the 2016-2017 academic year, faculty combed through their collections and decided two would be good candidates for the project. Rylance then contacted the project’s developer at the Archive of Contemporary Music in New York to arrange a partnership. Since then, students have joined faculty in preparing the nearly 8,000 sides of audio for shipment to George Blood, an audio and visual digitisation company in Philadelphia.”

USEFUL STUFF

David Strom: Researching The Twitter Data Feed. “A new book by UCLA professor Zachary Steinert-Threkeld called Twitter as Data is available online free for a limited time, and I recommend you download a copy now. While written mainly for academic social scientists and other researchers, it has a great utility in other situations. Zachary has been working with analyzing Twitter data streams for several years, and basically taught himself how to program enough code in Python and R to be dangerous.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Techdirt: Push Resumes For An EU Google Tax, With The Bulgarian Government Leading The Way. “The failure of snippet taxes/Google taxes is well documented, but never seems to deter further legislative efforts in the same direction. Google reacted to the initiative by dropping snippets from German news agencies, a move that produced a noticeable drop in traffic. German publishers called it ‘blackmail,’ but the simplest way to comply with bad laws is to opt out. Similar things happened in Spain with its snippet tax. Google nuked its local Google News service, resulting in affected publishers demanding the government force Google to re-open the service and start sending them traffic/money.” WHY DO GOVERNMENTS KEEP DOING THIS?! It does not work. It has been established that it does not work. You can make all kinds of arguments that Google should be paying more taxes to various governments. I cannot think of any arguments establishing a “snippet tax” as viable.

Ahval: Turkish government releases WhatsApp clone. “Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced to members of the press that Turkey had developed a ‘100 percent local and national’ version of mobile messaging software WhatsApp, pro-government newspaper Habertürk reported . PTTMessenger, developed by the Turkish post office, was ‘a more secure system than WhatsApp,’ Bozdağ said.” I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of this, and it goes beyond places like China. (Uganda, anyone?)

SECURITY & LEGAL

Reuters: Seattle says Facebook is violating city campaign finance law. “Seattle’s election authority said on Monday that Facebook Inc is in violation of a city law that requires disclosure of who buys election ads, the first attempt of its kind to regulate U.S. political ads on the internet.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Mercury News: Trump supporters share the most fake news: study. “The people who share the most fake news tend to lean right politically — and many of them support President Trump, a new study has found. University of Oxford researchers looked at who shared what on Facebook and Twitter in the three months before President Trump’s State of the Union address and found that Trump supporters shared the most misleading information more than the other groups in the study.” The article did not mention if the researchers made sure that the 14K+ Twitter users they studied were real as opposed to astroturfing bots. Good morning, Internet…

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