Energy Initiatives, Google Results, Library of Congress, More: Monday Evening Buzz, June 11, 2018


PublicNow: NUI Galway ENERGISE Project Launches Online Database Of Energy Initiatives (PRESS RELEASE). “NUI Galway, lead coordinators of the €3.7 million pan-European Horizon 2020 project, ENERGISE (European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy), along with their partner collaborators, have launched an online database of best practice examples of energy initiatives from 30 European countries including Ireland. The database was launched this week in Brussels as part of European Sustainable Energy Week.”


Forbes: Google Wants Your Help In Removing Garbage From Its Search Results, Here’s What You Can Do . “It will come as a surprise to no one that Google uses AI to keep its Search results free from spam and links pointing to dangerous websites. AI is a powerful tool, but it can be more effective when it’s used in combination with human input. With that in mind, Google is asking for your help to keep its search results clean.”


Library of Congress: Linking chatbots to collections for place-based storytelling. “The following is a guest post from Library of Congress Labs Innovation Intern, Charlie Moffett. In the course of crafting data-driven narratives with digital collections, he created @govislandbot and an open-source mapping tutorial. Below he shares his processes, some of the challenges he encountered, along with the code.”

How-To-Geek: The Best Chrome Extensions for Managing Tabs. “Generally, we don’t recommend using any extensions you don’t have to—they can be a privacy nightmare. But until Google builds some better tab management solutions into Chrome, those of us who like keeping 287 tabs open at once have to rely on extensions to keep us sane. We’ve rounded up some of the best extensions for managing tabs in Chrome. And, while there are a ton of these extensions out there (and everyone has their favorites), we’ve kept our list to well-regarded extensions without reported privacy issues.”


Arizona State University: Why are humans so obsessed with self-documenting?. “A small newborn, Sophie, wrapped in baby blankets and with a full head of hair, was photographed by her father Philippe Kahn on June 11, 1997. What’s unique about the image is Kahn took it with a makeshift cell phone camera that sent the image immediately to all of his friends and family in real time, making it the first cell phone photograph. Now it seems taking photos with our cell phones is as natural as breathing, and people born less than 21 years ago, like Sophie, will likely share hundreds — if not thousands — of photos using their phones in their lives and never give it a second thought.”

Russia Today: Russia says Gulag records are ‘kept forever’ amid reports of secretly evaporating archives. “Gulag documents are “kept forever” in accordance with strict regulations, the Russian deputy minister of internal affairs said. The statement comes amid reports that prisoner records are being destroyed under a secret order. A Russian museum studying the history of the infamous Gulag prison camps, which existed in the Soviet Union until 1960, has learned that prisoner data is being evaporated. The story was initially reported by Kommersant on Friday, and immediately picked up by other Russian and Western media outlets. ”


Ars Technica: Inventor says Google is patenting work he put in the public domain. “When Jarek Duda invented an important new compression technique called asymmetric numeral systems (ANS) a few years ago, he wanted to make sure it would be available for anyone to use. So instead of seeking patents on the technique, he dedicated it to the public domain. Since 2014, Facebook, Apple, and Google have all created software based on Duda’s breakthrough. But now Google is seeking a patent that would give it broad rights over the use of ANS for video compression. And Duda, a computer scientist at Jagiellonian University in Poland, isn’t happy about it.”

TorrentFreak: Russian Govt Approves Fines For Search Engines Linking to Banned VPNs. “Russia’s State Duma has adopted a bill that will see search engines fined for offering links to VPNs and other anonymizers that have been banned in the country. Fines will also be handed out to search engines that fail to connect to a resource offering up-to-date information on what domains should be rendered inaccessible.”


Quartz: Quitting Instagram taught me how to truly experience and document my life again. “I was born in 1996, making me one of the older members of GenZ, or ‘iGen’—a generation defined by (and often critiqued for) its dependency on smartphones and the internet. I joined Facebook and Instagram in high school, and the platforms have had a huge influence on my life’s social dynamics since then—so much so, that quitting one of them forced me to relearn how to authentically experience my life offline.”

National Science Foundation: NSF supports development of new nationwide data storage network. “The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing a $1.8 million grant for the initial development of a data storage network over the next two years. A collaborative team will combine their expertise, facilities and research challenges to develop the Open Storage Network (OSN). OSN will enable academic researchers across the nation to work with and share their data more efficiently than ever before.”


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