Food Allergies, Gullah Culture, Science Education, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, February 9, 2019


Food & Wine: New Tool Helps Diners with Allergies Find Restaurant Options Wherever They Are. “Nima—the company behind the portable gluten and peanut sensors—is taking its mission to help diners with food allergies one step further. Today, the team launched a new map tool on their site that allows diners to search for restaurants in their area with allergen-free menu items. The map, which can be used to search for both gluten-free and peanut-free dishes, includes over 250,000 restaurant locations and 3 million “Nima-tested” dishes around the world, according to a statement. ”

The Kenyon Collegian: Digital archive features Gullah culture work. “As of this fall, Professor of American Studies Peter Rutkoff and Professor Emeritus of History Will Scott have published their extensive research on the Gullah culture. The project, which has developed over the course of two decades, is now publicly available via the Digital Kenyon archive. Gullah refers to a language, a people and a culture dating back to the middle of the 17th century. Today, only 6,000 Gullah speakers remain, most of whom live on St. Helena Island off the coast of South Carolina.” I can’t find the URL for the archive in the article – I may have missed it – anyway let me tell you it’s at .

Rockefeller University: New online resource brings science outreach to a broader audience. “After years of running on-campus workshops for New York City’s educational communities, the RockEDU Science Outreach team has accrued a rich portfolio of science education materials. With the launch of a new website, RockEDU Online, these resources are now available for learners, educators, and scientists everywhere.”


Ars Technica: Google Fiber’s biggest failure: ISP will turn service off in Louisville. “Google Fiber will turn off its network in Louisville, Kentucky and exit the city after a series of fiber installation failures left cables exposed in the roads. Google Fiber’s customers in Louisville will have to switch ISPs and will get their final two months of Google Fiber service for free to help make up for the disruption.”

Mashable: Facebook ends its teen meme hub, LOL, amid a reshuffle of its youth team. “In January, Facebook was reportedly working on something named LOL, a bid to win over younger users with “a special feed of funny videos and GIF-like clips,” which sat within the main Facebook app. The experimentation, which was done with a small number of users, didn’t last very long: Recode reports the LOL project is dead before it even launched.” This has a very “how do you do, fellow kids” feeling to it.

State Library of Western Australia: State Library’s oral histories recognised by UNESCO. “The State Library of Western Australia’s Migration Voices collection of oral histories will be recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under its Australian Memory of the World Program (AMW). The program is aimed at identifying and safeguarding significant documentary heritage materials of national significance to Australia.”

Neowin: Chrome OS 72 includes touchscreen optimizations, PiP mode for the browser. “Chrome OS 72 includes a handful of new features, the most notable of which is a picture-in-picture mode for web pages in the Chrome browser, allowing you to keep watching videos when you switch to a different tab or app. The browser is also getting some optimizations to make it easier to use with touchscreen devices, such as Google’s own Pixel Slate.”


Gizmodo: How to Protect Yourself Against Digital Services Shutting Down. “While we can’t predict which apps, sites, and services are still going to be around in 10 years (or 10 months), we can give you some advice on how to guard against the threat of something you rely on closing down. Keep these pointers in mind, and you just might be able to minimize the damage.”


The New Times: Social media trolls, influencers set for a fight in Nigeria’s elections. “As Nigeria’s Feb 16 presidential election approaches, tensions are ramping up across the country and like elsewhere around the world social media has become one of the most fraught battlegrounds. Online, candidates and their respective political parties are engaging individuals, usually young men and some women, who have been creating fake accounts daily to direct conversations, promote agenda, expose the shortcomings of opponents, and test the ground for Election Day when unofficial results will be emerging on social media.”


The Verge: Facebook ordered to stop combining WhatsApp and Instagram data without consent in Germany. “Germany’s national competition regulator has ordered Facebook to stop combining user data from different sources without voluntary consent. The order applies to data collected by Facebook-owned platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, but also third-party sources that Facebook uses to flesh out its advertising profiles, including those of non-users.”

ZDNet: Opening this image file grants hackers access to your Android phone. “Opening a cute cat meme or innocent landscape photo may seem harmless enough, but if it happens to be in a .PNG format, your Android device could be critically compromised due to a new attack. In Google’s Android security update for February, the tech giant’s advisory noted a critical vulnerability which exists in the Android operating system’s framework.”


University of Washington Tacoma: Tree Power. “UW Tacoma Endowed Professor in Engineering Systems Orlando Baiocchi and a group of researchers in Brazil and Portugal are working on projects involving wireless network sensors and energy harvesting. One of the projects involves using trees to power a network of sensors. ‘The buzzword nowadays is energy harvesting but this is a very old idea,’ said Baiocchi. ‘For instance, windmills utilize this concept to convert wind into mechanical or electrical energy.'” Good morning, Internet…

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