Science Publishing, Arab Culture, Metropolitan Museum of Art, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, October 26, 2018


Science Magazine: What a massive database of retracted papers reveals about science publishing’s ‘death penalty’. “Nearly a decade ago, headlines highlighted a disturbing trend in science: The number of articles retracted by journals had increased 10-fold during the previous 10 years. Fraud accounted for some 60% of those retractions; one offender, anesthesiologist Joachim Boldt, had racked up almost 90 retractions after investigators concluded he had fabricated data and committed other ethical violations. Boldt may have even harmed patients by encouraging the adoption of an unproven surgical treatment. Science, it seemed, faced a mushrooming crisis. The alarming news came with some caveats. ”

New-to-me, from Al-Fanar Media: A Social Way to Learn About Arab Culture. “The audience members were not geologists or petroleum engineers. They did not even know in advance the subjects of the talks they had come to hear. Only the names of the speakers and the event’s location were publicized beforehand. The event was organized by a group called Afikra, founded four years ago by a 32-year-old Lebanese social entrepreneur and former high school teacher, Mikey Muhanna. The purpose of Afikra is to provide a social environment in which people can learn about and discuss Arab history and culture.” This would make a great podcast! A digital archive of past lectures is available.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Scaling the Mission: The Met Collection API. “Today, The Metropolitan Museum of Art launches a new public API for the collection. Through The Met Collection API, users can connect to a live feed of all Creative Commons Zero (CC0) data and 406,000 images from the The Met collection, all available for use without copyright or restriction.”

Brooklyn Vegan: Sonic Youth launch live audio/video archive, online shop with tour gear. “Sonic Youth are celebrating Daydream Nation‘s 30th anniversary with film events/Q&As in various cities, but that’s not all. They also launched a live archival audio and video release program… which fill feature audio from Daydream Nation-era 1988 concerts at CBGB and Chicago’s Cabaret Metro, as well as a 2002 Chicago show, a 2007 Glasgow show (which there will also be video of), a 2009 Berlin show, and what ended up being Sonic Youth’s final NYC show, 2011 at Williamsburg Waterfront. ”


CNET: Google financial results mixed, but Wall Street disappointed. “Alphabet, Google’s parent company, didn’t pull in as much revenue as expected, according to its latest earnings report on Thursday. Third-quarter profits of $9.19 billion outdid expectations — but Wall Street saw the glass as half empty. Alphabet tallied $33.74 billion in sales, a 21 percent increase that nevertheless missed analyst estimates of $34.05 billion for the third quarter. Earnings per share were $13.06. Analysts on average had expected $10.40 per share.”


AltGov 2: Dept of the Interior: Records Destruction Request. “As part of the standard process of determining when federal agencies can destroy their documents, the Department of the Interior is asking for permission to destroy massive amounts of existing and future records, as well as keeping other records permanently.”

New York Times: How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’. “Google gave Andy Rubin, the creator of Android mobile software, a hero’s farewell when he left the company in October 2014. ‘I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next,” Larry Page, Google’s chief executive then, said in a public statement. “With Android he created something truly remarkable — with a billion-plus happy users.’ What Google did not make public was that an employee had accused Mr. Rubin of sexual misconduct.”


Ars Technica: How to make elections secure in the age of digital operatives. “In our latest episode of Ars Technica Live, we talk about election security. My guest was Alex Stamos, a researcher at Stanford who just happened to be the CSO at Facebook when the company discovered Russian operatives meddling in the US presidential election. He told us about that experience and what’s worrying him about the future of US democracy.” It is an hour-long video interview, but the article accompanying it is extensive.


Nevada Today: Professor uses Twitter data to compare real-time violence with tweets. “University of Nevada, Reno Political Science Assistant Professor Steven Wilson downloads six million tweets a day from across the globe to identify how people communicate with one another. He has been downloading geocoded tweets since 2012 from everywhere except North America and western Europe. He uses custom software to figure out the exact location of tweets, which are accurate within two meters. He uses this data to look at political and social trends, help identify violence and how political regimes may benefit from listening to citizens.”

Arizona State University: ASU researchers develop tool to help determine a neighborhood’s walkability. “…researchers at ASU’s College of Health Solutions, working with computer scientists at the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering, are developing an automated, cost-effective tool that uses Google Street View (GSV), crowdsourcing, computer vision and deep learning to virtually detect a neighborhood’s microfeatures. They want to more precisely determine the correlation between the presence of certain features and the physical activity levels of its residents.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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