Forest Monitoring, Ottoman-Era Photography, Google Search 2018, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 14, 2018


Geospatial World: NASA and FAO jointly develop a new forest and landscape monitoring tool. “A new way of looking at the dense forests and tall trees has been devised as NASA and FAO( UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization) joined hands to create a new open-access tool. The initiative, which is backed by Google Earth Engine Team and the US governments SilverCarbon Program, permits any user to monitor change in landscape patterns across the globe.”

Getty Iris: Ottoman-Era Photographs Take on New Meaning in Their Digital Life. “In the 1980s the French collector Pierre de Gigord traveled to Turkey and collected thousands of Ottoman-era photographs in a variety of media and formats. The resulting Pierre de Gigord Collection is now housed in the Getty Research Institute, which recently digitized over 12,000 of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographs, making them available to study and download for free online.”


BetaNews: Google unveils 2018 top global search trends. “2018 has been quite the wild ride, and it isn’t even over yet! Sure, there has been a lot of negativity in the news, but let us not forget — there are many positive things happening too that simply don’t get reported. The world isn’t all bad. With Google being the most popular search engine on Earth, it has the ability to offer great insight into the interests of people all over the world. Today, the search giant reveals its 2018 top global search trends.”

CNET: Google Maps will now show you where the nearest Lime scooter is. “Google said Thursday that it’s teaming up with Lime to include electric scooters in Google Maps directions. Now, when you navigate to a destination using the Maps app, Google will also show you where the nearest Lime scooter, bike or e-bike is located. The app will tell you how long it will take for you to walk to the rentable scooter, give you an estimate of the ride cost and calculate how long the overall trip will take.”

BBC: Instagram tightens eating disorder filters after BBC investigation. “Instagram has placed more hashtags which could promote eating disorders on an ‘unsearchable’ list after a BBC investigation found that users were finding ways around the platform’s filters.”


Vox: Inside Venezuela’s YouTube prank economy. “Venezuela makes sense as the epicenter for paid pranks. The country is in shambles — saddled with a rapidly atrophying economy and a penniless government. Inflation has risen by an incomprehensible 833,997 percent in the past 12 months, and the commercial consequences are outright dystopian. For instance, the Guardian reports that a chicken in the country currently costs about 14 million bolívares. Naturally, some Venezuelans have turned elsewhere — like the loose pockets of bored American teenagers — to make ends meet. Slime stunts and pie stunts don’t require a ton of overhead, and Betsy doesn’t hold back when I ask her how Fiverr contributes to her overall livelihood.”

The Guardian: ‘They don’t care’: Facebook factchecking in disarray as journalists push to cut ties. “Journalists working as factcheckers for Facebook have pushed to end a controversial media partnership with the social network, saying the company has ignored their concerns and failed to use their expertise to combat misinformation.”


Quartz: US courts are figuring out if the government can block you on Facebook. “In the last two years, there’s been a cascade of lawsuits in the US against public officials who have blocked people on social media and deleted critical comments. The list starts with the highest one in the country, president Donald Trump, and goes all the way down to a county board chair. As officials use social platforms more and more to communicate with their constituents, bypassing traditional media channels, the question of how they treat these avenues is becoming increasingly important.”

Ars Technica: Iranian phishers bypass 2fa protections offered by Yahoo Mail and Gmail. “A recent phishing campaign targeting US government officials, activists, and journalists is notable for using a technique that allowed the attackers to bypass two-factor authentication protections offered by services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail, researchers said Thursday. The event underscores the risks of 2fa that relies on one-tap logins or one-time passwords, particularly if the latter are sent in SMS messages to phones.”


MIT News: Deep-learning technique reveals “invisible” objects in the dark. “Small imperfections in a wine glass or tiny creases in a contact lens can be tricky to make out, even in good light. In almost total darkness, images of such transparent features or objects are nearly impossible to decipher. But now, engineers at MIT have developed a technique that can reveal these ‘invisible’ objects, in the dark.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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