California Open Source, Egon Schiele, Beijing History, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, December 20, 2018


State Scoop: California launches new online repository to share open-source code. “The California Government Operations Agency last week launched a new website that will eventually host the state’s open-source software projects, allowing agencies, the technology industry and citizens to collaborate on the development of software used by the state government.”

Smithsonian Magazine: New Digital Archive Provides Critical Record of Egon Schiele’s Body of Work. “New digital catalogue raisonné dedicated to Egon Schiele dives into the Austrian Expressionist’s extensive oeuvre, from the cluttered, crescent-shaped configurations of his 1915 ‘Krumau Town Crescent I (The Small City V)’ to the characteristic angularism of his 1912 ‘Self-Portrait with Lowered Head.'” If it’s not too early in the morning for an ignorance parade, let me admit that I didn’t know a catalogue raisonné was a descriptive, annotated catalog.

China .org: Beijing launches website for old city protection. “Beijing launched a new website on Dec. 17 to provide historical, cultural and geographical information of the old sites and relics in the capital. By visiting…, people can learn about Beijing at different times in history, appreciate the intangible cultural heritages, and access the memories of the city’s well-known people.” The site is in Chinese. On a scale of 1-10 for Google Translate-ability, with 10 being best, I’d rate it a 6. It got hung up on a couple menu pages and I had to just take a random guess.


Google Blog: Mapping stories with a new Street View Trekker. “Over the years, we’ve gathered feedback from people and our partners who have used the Trekker around the world. Today, we’re upgrading the Trekker so that our partners—like tourism boards, airports and transit operators—can better capture places and their stories. The new Trekker has a sleeker design and is lighter in weight, making it easier to carry. The camera has also been updated with increased aperture and higher resolution sensors that will capture sharper imagery.”

Glitch: Welcoming Thimble to Glitch . “TL;DR: Mozilla is beginning the process of shutting down Thimble. While Thimble won’t be closed until December 2019, we’re working with the Thimble team at Mozilla to make it as easy as possible to migrate your Thimble projects to Glitch now, so you can continue to build and publish apps, web pages, and more for free.”


EOS: Coral Reef Video Game Will Help Create Global Database. “Players dive off a research boat, identify and classify coral reefs using satellite and drone images, and bring marine life back to reefs. In doing so, they help scientists teach a machine to learn.”

WMBF: How social media pitches e-cigarettes to young people. “Leading e-cigarette company Juul Labs has tried to distance itself from a vast social media presence that experts say drives its popularity among teens. But a CNN investigation sheds new light on how the company was encouraging – and at times paying for – social media users to promote its nicotine-filled product to thousands of their followers.”

Quartz: China’s censors have leapt the Great Firewall to police tweets. “Wang Aizhong, a 42-year-old doctor and activist based in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, woke one morning to a flurry of verification codes on his phone linked to accounts like Twitter, Chinese question-and-answer site Zhihu, and others.”


New York Times, and I’m so mad about this I could spit: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants. “For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.” If you want to try another social media platform, check out MeWe: . I have no connection to them except I’m on the platform, they don’t know me from Adam’s house cat, do not taunt Happy Fun Ball, etc.


Ars Technica: Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to. “With Microsoft’s decision to end development of its own Web rendering engine and switch to Chromium, control over the Web has functionally been ceded to Google. That’s a worrying turn of events, given the company’s past behavior.” I didn’t read all the comments because there are over 500, but the comments I did read indicated a lively conversation that’s worth looking at.

Engadget: Study: Women are abused every 30 seconds on Twitter. “Earlier this year Amnesty International released a report discussing what many of Twitter’s female users already know: the social network is not always a great place to be if you’re a woman. Now, a new study reveals the hard statistics on just how toxic the situation is. According to the report by Amnesty International and global AI software company Element AI, female journalists and politicians were abused every 30 seconds on Twitter in 2017.”

Wired: AI Has Started Cleaning Up Facebook, but Can It Finish?. “In the early hours of Aug. 25, 2017, a ragged insurgent group from Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority attacked military outposts in the country’s northwest, killing 12 people. Security forces quickly retaliated with a campaign of village burning and mass killings that lasted weeks. As Rohingya died by the thousands, Myanmar’s military leaders took to Facebook.” Good morning, Internet…

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