FIU Theses, California Climate, Instagram, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, September 12, 2018


This is from the end of August, but it’s a great project so in it goes. From Bepress: FIU Shares Thesis Digitization Project and Lessons Learned . “Late in 2016 Florida International University’s Digital Collections Librarian, Rebecca Bakker, began a lofty and ambitious project: seeking permissions from over 4,300 alumni to post their theses and dissertations to FIU Digital Commons. The repository now includes about 80% of the works she has investigated…. Bakker detailed her project in a presentation at last year’s Digital Commons Southeast User Group IR Day, describing working with the institution’s general council to determine what permission from alumni would look like, to the wide variety of ways that Bakker located authors, to the messages she sent and the ways she tracked responses. Take a look!”


Phys .org: Updated California Climate Tracker tool provides more than 120 years of climate data. “Originally launched in 2009, the California Climate Tracker was designed to support climate monitoring in California and allows users to generate maps and graphs of temperature and precipitation by region. The 2018 upgrade incorporates substantial improvements including a more user-friendly web interface, improved accuracy of information based on PRISM data, and access to climate maps and data that go back more than 120 years, to 1895.”


MakeUseOf: 5 Little-Known Apps and Sites Every Instagram User Needs to Know. “Some of these tools address flaws in Instagram, like telling you who to follow based on your interests, or removing features so that Instagram doesn’t drain the phone’s battery. Others enhance the app, letting you create gorgeous photos or picking up a random memory from your old posts. All these apps assume you are an Instagram user already and comfortable with it. If you aren’t, you should familiarize yourself with the app and common terms on Instagram.” Interesting list.

Poynter: 12+ tools and resources useful during hurricanes and other disasters. “We know this script. On this day last year, I was working remotely from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after a grueling 19-hour evacuation from Florida. I was one of the millions of Floridians fleeing Hurricane Irma, then poised to strike Florida as a category four or five hurricane. A handful of tools and resources made our preparation, evacuation, coverage and recovery a little bit easier and more complete. I shared some of them in this newsletter last year, but following is an updated list with additional resources and context.”


NPR: For Many In Venezuela, Social Media Is A Matter Of Life And Death. “For many Venezuelans, the relationship with social media is a tricky one. On the one hand, it is a valuable source of information in a country that censors all forms of traditional news media. It can be a lifeline for those seeking help, and a form of protest — the only way to speak truth to power. On the other hand, being too vocal on social media can have dangerous repercussions.”

Washington Post: Google’s ‘no-show’ in Congress adds to its political headache. “Google is a powerhouse in Washington with deep pockets and close ties to the government regulators that oversee the company’s ambitions from advertising to artificial intelligence. But the search giant’s political savvy hasn’t spared the company in recent weeks from stinging attacks from Democrats and Republicans, including President Trump — a turn of fate that now threatens to saddle Google with months of continued scrutiny and new threats of regulation.”


Ars Technica: Dozens of iOS apps surreptitiously share user location data with tracking firms. “During preparation for a workshop at DEF CON in August on locating privacy leaks in network traffic, we discovered a number of applications on both iOS and Android that were broadcasting precise location data back to the applications’ developers—in some cases in unencrypted formats. Research released late Friday by Sudo Security’s Guardian mobile firewall team provided some confirmation to our findings—and demonstrated that many apps are sharing location data with firms that market location data information without the users’ knowledge.”

Bleeping Computer: Data Management Firm Exposes 445 Million Records. “A database with over 200GB of data was found on a server left defenseless and open to public query, to anyone knowing where to find it. The storage included about 445 million customer records from Veeam, a Swiss-based company that provides intelligent data management services for virtual, physical and cloud infrastructures.”


University of Manchester: Research exposes pitfalls of opening up on social media. “Opening up about your feelings on social media has an association with lower self-esteem, mood, paranoia and opinions about the self in comparison to others according to a new study. Dr Natalie Berry, a psychology researcher at The University of Manchester says venting our anger on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram is also linked to subsequent increases in paranoia, and reductions in self-esteem and mood.”

Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2018. “About two-thirds of American adults (68%) say they at least occasionally get news on social media, about the same share as at this time in 2017, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Many of these consumers, however, are skeptical of the information they see there: A majority (57%) say they expect the news they see on social media to be largely inaccurate. Still, most social media news consumers say getting news this way has made little difference in their understanding of current events, and more say it has helped than confused them (36% compared with 15%).” Good afternoon, Internet…

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