Arizona Schools, Early-Stage Research, Medical Device Recalls, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 21, 2018


Scottsdale Independent: Arizona Department of Education launches website detailing school performance. “The Arizona Department of Education launched the state’s School Report Cards website, an education resource created to assist the public learn more about schools throughout the state. The website — launched Wednesday, Dec. 19 — serves as an accountability platform, lists the A-F letter grades for schools, provides all federal and state reports and catalogs other individualized school details in one convenient location, according to a press release.”

TechCrunch: Morressier makes it easy to share early research . “Morressier is a service for early-stage research. This means it allows researchers to ‘raise the profile of their conference posters, presentations and abstracts and showcase their work from the very beginning.’ Because most early-stage research appears at conferences few of us ever see, by making projects more visible at those conferences we all get better research.”


International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: The International Medical Device Database grows as ICIJ adds two more countries. “Patients and healthcare professionals can now search more than 76,000 recalls, safety alerts and field safety notices relating to medical devices. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists today adds two new countries – France and Brazil – to the first-ever global database of medical devices.”

BetaNews: Ubuntu-based Linux Mint 19.1 ‘Tessa’ finally available with Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce. “The mainstreaming of Linux is accelerating every day. Many servers use Linux distributions, while Android remains the undisputed king of mobile. True, adoption of operating systems based on the open source kernel are still virtually nonexistent on the desktop, but as Windows 10 gets worse and worse, more and more home users may turn to Ubuntu, Google Chrome OS, and others. Just yesterday, Dell updated two of its mobile workstations to the latest Ubuntu LTS version.”


Boing Boing: This Chrome extension lets you block all followers of any Twitter users with one click. “I like my filter bubble on Twitter. I have no interest engaging with alt-right nationalists, flat-earthers, trolls, and conspiracy theorists. I learned about a Chrome extension called Twitter Block Chain (nothing to do with blockchains), which will block all the followers of someone’s twitter account with one click.”

Lifehacker: How to Spot a Fake Trend. “Ankle scarves! What a ridiculous trend! Twitter users are asking each other how something as dumb as ‘ankle scarves’ could be real. Well—and I’m afraid to reveal this, because so many real media outlets are falling for it—it’s not real. It’s an obvious joke. Here’s how it got laundered into a ‘crazy trend’ for everyone to laugh and be outraged at on social media.”


Tubefilter: YouTube Deletes Hundreds Of Strange, Sexually Suggestive Mom And Kids Videos. “YouTube has removed a number of strange, sexually suggestive videos after they garnered attention this week thanks to an investigation from YouTuber PaymoneyWubby. In his last video, uploaded on Dec. 16, PaymoneyWubby (a gamer turned YouTube commentator who has recently gained notoriety covering topics like what kids really do on now-transitioned and parents raising their children without gender expectations) explores a number of channels with videos that appear to feature Asian moms casually being domestic, hanging out and doing mundane household chores with their children. However, the videos actually feature all of that with deliberate and gratuitous shots of the women purposefully flashing their underwear and positioning themselves provocatively while playing with and around little kids.”

The Verge: When Influencing Becomes Deadly. “Among one of Tara Fares’ final Instagram posts, which garnered tens of thousands of likes when it was uploaded back in June, is a photo of the Iraqi influencer leaning against her white Porsche convertible. ‘They don’t wanna see u win,’ it says, with Fares posing into the wind, the shadow of her photographer visible in the ‘golden hour’ light. Save for the Iraqi license plate, the photo could easily have been taken in LA, where any number of young women pose in front of convertibles at sunset for Instagram on a given day. But Fares took that photo in Baghdad. She was murdered — shot three times — in the same white convertible, around sunset, three months later.”

The New Yorker: The Search for Anti-Conservative Bias on Google. “Algorithmic neutrality is a common Silicon Valley refrain. But an algorithm built without favoring one political party or another, or constructed without intentionally championing a particular ideology, is actually designed to deliver culturally biased results. A search engine runs on algorithms and artificial intelligence to instantaneously sift through the Internet’s nearly two billion Web sites. Google’s engineers have embedded something they call ‘authoritativeness’ into their search algorithm to deliver its results, though what this is, exactly, is challenging to understand, because it appears to be based on a tautology: an authoritative source is a source that a lot of other sources consider to be authoritative. ”


The Register: Houston, we’ve had a problem: NASA fears internal server hacked, staff personal info swiped by miscreants. “A server containing personal information, including social security numbers, of current and former NASA workers may have been hacked, and its data stolen, it emerged today.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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