Bird Migration, Philadelphia Elections, NYPD, More: Tuesday Buzz, April 17, 2018


All About Birds: Here’s How To Use The New Migration Forecast Tools From BirdCast. “Migration is the best time to be a bird watcher. Twice a year, hordes of birds travel thousands of miles to grace your home turf for a few days or weeks. But they don’t come in a steady stream—more like a cascade of arrivals coming in flurries and pauses. That’s why even during peak migration, some days are dead while others are packed with new arrivals. Now, our BirdCast project can help you know when those flurries are about to arrive, so you can plan when to get up early. They’ve boiled down decades of migration science, coupled it with real-time weather data, and created two simple tools: a 3-day migration forecast, and an up-to-the-moment replay of migration activity.”

The Daily Pennsylvanian: Two Penn alumni launch VOHTE — a ‘one-stop shop’ for voters to get info on all candidates. “2014 Wharton graduate Sean Danowski and 2014 Penn Law graduate Dafan Zhang recently launched VOHTE — a mobile-friendly website that will act as a resource for Pennsylvania voters looking to learn more about candidates in their district. Zhang said he came up with the idea for VOHTE after running for State House in 2014 while simultaneously studying at Penn Law. Zhang, who said he did not have a large campaign fund, ended up losing the election, and said in an interview with The Daily Pennsylvania that he saw his inability to reach voters as a systematic problem.”

BuzzFeed: Here’s What We Learned From Thousands Of Secret NYPD Disciplinary Files. “BuzzFeed News is making public a huge cache of the New York Police Department’s disciplinary records, revealing for the first time which employees have been charged with misconduct and what punishment, if any, they have received.”

FreshPlaza: Germany: Historical vegetables. “Which vegetables have disappeared from our markets, gardens and plates in the past 150 years? Information on, and pictures of, some 7,000 old vegetables are now available in a single database.” The article links to a German version of the database, but there’s an English link available in the upper right part of the site menu.


Reuters: Google unveils vetting process for drug rehab ads . “Google told Reuters Monday it would resume accepting ads from U.S. addiction treatment centres in July, nearly a year after the Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) unit suspended the lucrative category of advertisers for numerous deceptive and misleading ads.”


Washington Blade: Senate Dems object to removal of LGBT health data from gov’t websites. “A group of 17 Senate Democrats led by Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) have expressed ‘serious concerns’ with the Trump administration about the removal of LGBT health data from government websites and are calling for the restoration of the information. In a letter to the White House dated April 12, the lawmakers decried the recently reported removal of information on LGBT health data from the Department of Health & Human Services website for the Office of Women’s Health as well as and the removal of LGBT population-based data reports from the Federal Committee of Statistical Methodology website for the Office of Management & Budget.”

BetaNews: Weibo reverses homosexuality policy in China: ‘We’re no longer targeting gay content’. “Following a huge backlash over the weekend, Weibo — the Chinese equivalent of Twitter — has announced a reversal of a policy that would have seen gay content banned from the platform. Originally announced on Friday, the ‘clean-up’ operation was due to last three months, and covered violence and pornography as well as homosexual content. Now, however, Weibo has felt the pressure of public outcry and backed down saying: ‘We’re no longer targeting gay content’.” Pinky swear I did not plan for these two stories to end up next to each other.

CNBC: These online volunteers fight fake reviews, ghost listings and other scams on Google Maps — and say the problem’s getting worse. “Tom Waddington was hanging out at a friend’s house when he got an unexpected notification from Google Maps. Waddington is part of a group of Google Maps advocates who are trying to improve the service, so he lets Google track his location and frequently adds photos or edits to Maps listings. So the notification itself was routine, but the message was strange: Maps wanted him to contribute information about the Urgent Care center nearby. He was in a residential neighborhood.”


Engadget: Study finds over 3,300 Android apps improperly tracking kids. “There’s little doubt that mobile apps sometimes overstep their bounds by collecting more data from kids than the law allows. But how often does that happen? It might be more than you think. Researchers using an automated testing process have discovered that 3,337 family- and child-oriented Android apps on Google Play were improperly collecting kids’ data, potentially putting them in violation of the US’ COPPA law (which limits data collection for kids under 13). Only a small number were particularly glaring violations, but many apps exhibited behavior that could easily be seen as questionable.”

CNET: Here’s how Facebook collects your data when you’re logged out. “When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress last week, he was asked about the information the social network collects on users — even if they aren’t signed into Facebook. Zuckerberg began to explain a few of the basics, but eventually said his team would follow up with more information later. On Monday, the company went into more depth about how it tracks you around the internet.”


American Alliance of Museums: The World Doesn’t Need Another Website. “So many of those websites assume that we are merely passive consumers who gobble up whatever content is in front of us. Today – when information seems to proliferate without end and when discriminating quality and trustworthiness is becoming increasingly more difficult, ‘just a website’ can’t hope to represent the complexity that is part-and-parcel of what it means to understand the world today. It strikes me that these are the same challenges that you as museum professionals are faced with every day. It seems right, therefore, that a digital platform built for this community should endeavor to wrestle with the same complexities that you do.” Lot of great thinking, lot of pointers to great thoughts.

Hacker Noon: The Future has a Subscription Fee. “In this day and age, you can pay for travelling in China with Apple Pay while cash barely exists anymore in China due to WeChat Pay and Alipay and here in the west Amazon Prime was years ahead of its time with its subscription model that’s always adding even more value. Even Uber now offer bike-sharing and access to some transportation services. As tech consolidates it’s all about offering the most value in one app and in one subscription fee. The era of stand-alone subscription fees like Netflix, may not be forever.” Good morning, Internet…

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