EU Clinical Trials, Spanish Flu of 1918, FOIA Archive, More: Friday Buzz, September 14, 2018


Pacific Standard: A New Website Shows Nearly Half Of E.U. Clinical Trial Data Isn’t Publicly Disclosed. “Three researchers created a website earlier this year to name and shame pharmaceutical companies and universities in the United States that break a law that activists say is critical to patient safety. Now, the three have joined a few others to do the same for the European Union, creating a website that names 3,755 clinical trials—studies, done with human volunteers, of the safety and efficacy of new prescription drugs, vaccines, and medical devices—that have passed their deadlines for posting results publicly to the E.U. Clinical Trials Register.”


Library and Archives Canada: Spanish flu pandemic centenary: new Co-Lab challenge and travelling exhibit. “1918 marks not only the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, but also the centenary of the Spanish flu pandemic. It is an opportunity to reflect on this grim chapter in our history. Library and Archives Canada has a number of records in its archival collection documenting the political, social, economic, and cultural impact of the flu on the lives of Canadians. Library and Archives Canada is also launching a Co-Lab challenge on this topic. Co-Lab is a crowdsourcing tool that invites the public to contribute transcription, translation, tags and description text. The public contributions then become metadata that improves our search tools and enhances everyone’s experience of the historical record.”

Columbia University: Freedom of Information Archive Receives Two-Year Grant from Arcadia. “History Lab and Columbia University Libraries are pleased to announce that a new grant of $407,000 from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. The grant will enable History Lab to partner with Columbia Libraries to continue building the Freedom of Information Archive (FOIA), which is already the world’s largest database of declassified documents.”

Kawartha Now: Trent University is donating 250,000 books to be digitized by Internet Archive. “The Bata Library at Trent University is donating 250,000 books to the Internet Archive to be digitized and preserved for easy access by all students and future generations.”

CNET: Google’s Inbox by Gmail app will go away forever March 2019. “Fans of Inbox by Gmail will have to learn to love the plain-old Gmail app. On Wednesday, Google announced that it’s discontinuing Inbox at the end of March 2019.”


Wired: How To Use Social Media Responsibly During Hurricane Florence. “As you monitor social media for news of the hurricane, remember that social media makes everyone a publisher: With each tweet and retweet you have power to affect events. That has democratized access to information and storytelling but also contributes to information (and misinformation) overload. Like traditional publishers, social media denizens have a responsibility during crises to try to not make things worse. Here are some things to keep in mind while reading and sharing during a natural disaster.”


Search Engine Land: Hurricane Florence query shows Google delivering zero search results again in web search. “Back in March, Google conducted a limited test where they didn’t display search results in the web search results and instead only showed answers around time, calculations and conversions. Google quickly ended the test after only a few weeks of testing. But Google may be testing this again, according to Valentin Pletzer who tracks various Google tests in the search results.”

Brisbane Times: Where is Larry? Google’s co-founder’s mysterious disappearance from public life. “While other founders of major tech companies, such as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter, have recently been compelled to step into the spotlight, Page is withdrawing more and more from public life to spend time on his private Caribbean island, Bloomberg reports.”


Reuters: Mozilla co-founder’s Brave files adtech complaint against Google. “Brave, a privacy-focused web browser set up by Silicon Valley engineering guru Brendan Eich, filed privacy complaints in Britain and Ireland that could become a test case against search company Google and other digital advertising firms.”

Ars Technica: What’s in the sweeping copyright bill just passed by the European Parliament. “The legislation makes online platforms like Google and Facebook directly liable for content uploaded by their users and mandates greater ‘cooperation’ with copyright holders to police the uploading of infringing works. It also gives news publishers a new, special right to restrict how their stories are featured by news aggregators such as Google News. And it creates a new right for sports teams that could limit the ability of fans to share images and videos online.”

Asia Times: English Court uses Google Translate to talk to defendants. “A court in England reverted to Google Translate to tell Vietnamese defendants that their case was adjourned until Monday, after a court interpreter failed to show up.”


EurekAlert: New tool developed at UBC screens online health ads for deception . “The internet is rife with ads for health products, from weight-loss systems to arthritis cures–but whether they actually work can be difficult to discern. Now, experts at the University of British Columbia have devised a simple screening tool to evaluate if the products popping up on your newsfeed are likely to be scams.”

Make Tech Easier: Artificial Intelligence Now Being Used for New Discoveries in Astronomy. “In the past fifty years, since man first set foot on the moon, we’ve continued to learn more and more about other life in this galaxy as well as others. It’s a constant learning process. And now we’re learning even more thanks to artificial intelligence. A machine-learning algorithm has been developed to search through data and identify fast radio bursts from distant galaxies.” Good morning, Internet…

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