afternoonbuzz

Missouri Health, Wind Power, Google Maps, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, March 29, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

Public News Service: New Website Explores Missouri’s Health by Neighborhood. “A new state website has launched, and Missourians can use it to find out about health issues in their area because it narrows them down to specific communities across the state. [The site] is a joint effort of the Missouri Hospital Association and University of Missouri Extension Center that allows anyone to look up health issues, even by ZIP Code.”

Windpower Engineering: New interactive map shows “The Evolution of Wind Power” around the world. “The Evolution of Wind Power is an interactive map reveals the cumulative installed capacity per country, continent and the world between 1981-2018. The map is the result of a cooperation between The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and renewable energy software company Greenbyte.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

ZDNet: Google Maps update supports more native languages. “Google Maps has received an update which users in countries including Azerbaijan, Croatia, and Latvia will appreciate — the inclusion of an additional 39 languages.”

Wired: Facebook Will Make It Easier For You To Control Your Personal Data. “On Wednesday, Facebook announced a number of privacy changes that will be rolled out in the next few weeks to help consumers locate, control, download, and delete their personal data. The changes are largely cosmetic, but visual cues, such as a consent interface that encourages users to opt-in to data collection, can make a big difference. Recent consumer outrage has underscored how Facebook’s troubling privacy practices were hidden in the fine print and buried deep in its privacy settings.”

The Verge: Google launches more realistic text-to-speech service powered by DeepMind’s AI. “Google is launching a new AI voice synthesizer as part of its suite of machine learning cloud tools. The service, named Cloud Text-to-Speech, will be available for any developer or business that needs voice synthesis on tap, whether that’s for an app, website, or virtual assistant. But what’s particularly interesting about this news is that Cloud Text-to-Speech is powered by WaveNet, software created by Google’s UK-based AI subsidiary DeepMind.”

USEFUL STUFF

Motherboard: Firefox’s New Plugin Blocks Facebook from Collecting Users’ Data When They’re Not on the Site. “In the wake of the Facebook data scandal, many users are only now realizing just how insidious the social network’s data-collection techniques are. Facebook is collecting information on its users even when they’re not on the site itself, which is why Mozilla has introduced a new browser plugin for Firefox that blocks Facebook from doing just that.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Daily Herald: St. Eustatius to become part of International Digital Archive. “Once the main destination for the African slave trade in the eighteenth century, St. Eustatius has a fascinating history that remains largely undiscovered on the world stage. But this may change since Angela Sutton from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, visited the Historical Gem in her quest to collect and digitise records that could enable descendants on Statia or anywhere else in the world to connect with their enslaved ancestors.” I know nothing about St. Eustatius, which the locals apparently call “Statia”. Its history is somewhat confusing but I can tell you it’s a beautiful place; Caribbean Travel has an article and overview.

RESEARCH & OPINION

The New Arab: Facebook: A global threat to minority Muslim communities. “Clearly there’s nothing about the respective faiths – Buddhism and Hinduism – that should make their followers encourage hatred or violence towards followers of Islam, so there must be something else going on, and that something else appears – at least in part – to be Facebook. In short, Facebook has now become an existential threat to Muslim minorities around the world.”

Linux Insider: SpaceChain, Arch Aim to Archive Human Knowledge in Space. “SpaceChain on Monday announced that it has entered a partnership with the Arch Mission Foundation to use open source technology to launch an ambitious project involving the storage of large data sets in spacecraft and on other planets. Arch Mission will load large quantities of data onto SpaceChain’s satellite vehicles with the eventual aim of storing data on other planets.” This is from a couple of weeks ago but I had not seen it before.

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

This is Colossal: Ancient Ruins Reconstructed with Architectural GIFs. “Today, views of the world’s ancient architectural wonders are firmly based in their current state of ruin, leaving to visitors’ imaginations the original glory of structures like the Parthenon, Pyramid of the Sun, and Temple of Luxor. NeoMam, in a project for Expedia, has resurrected several ancient buildings through a series of gifs.” What a simple and terrific idea! Good afternoon, Internet…

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