World Political Systems, Shroud of Turin, Google Science Journal, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, April 14, 2019


EurekAlert: Democracy in the matrix. “A new online platform enables users to get information about the democratic quality of a specific country with just a few clicks. The new tool has been designed by political scientists from the University of Würzburg.”

Catholic News Agency: Scientific photos of Shroud of Turin published. “A new website aims to make available to Catholics and researchers a collection of photographs of the Shroud of Turin by a scientific photographer who was part of a research project that spent more than one hundred hours conducting tests on the shroud.”


Google Blog: More science in more places with Science Journal and Google Drive. “We first launched Science Journal in 2016 so that students, teachers and science enthusiasts could conduct hands-on science experiments using their phones, tablets and Chromebooks. Since then, we’ve heard one request from teachers loud and clear: students need to be able to access their experiments no matter what device they’re using or where they are. Learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom, it happens outdoors, at home and everywhere in between. So today, we’re bringing a new Google Drive syncing feature to Science Journal. Now, you can access your experiments on any device using a Google Account.”

LinkedIn: Introducing LinkedIn Reactions: More Ways to Express Yourself. “One of the things we regularly hear from all of you is that you want more expressive ways than a ‘Like’ to respond to the variety posts you see in your feed. At the same time, you’ve also told us that when you post on LinkedIn, you want more ways to feel heard and understand why someone liked what you said. That’s why today we’re starting to roll out a set of Reactions on LinkedIn, giving you more ways to quickly and constructively communicate with one another.”


MakeUseOf: 8 Classic Operating Systems You Can Access in Your Browser. “We all love the cutting-edge operating systems of today. But there are times when it’s fun to cast your mind back to yesteryear and relive some of the operating systems of old. And no, we’re not talking about those of you who still insist on running Windows 7, or worse, XP. If you want to emulate Windows 95, Mac OS X Lion, and more, you’ve come to the right place. Here are eight classic operating systems you can access in your browser.”


Mother Jones: Activists Couldn’t Get Facebook to Tackle Its Discrimination Problem—Until the Russia Scandal Hit. “Famously launched from Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room in 2004, Facebook now has more users than Christianity has adherents. In 15 years of unregulated growth, it has become a place where companies can market fancy houses to white people and junk food to black children, where hate speech is amplified and the right to vote is suppressed. As the problems multiplied, some advocates and watchdogs came to believe that the repeated civil rights violations on the platform were rooted in a deliberate decision by Facebook to ignore evidence of advertising discrimination, voter suppression, and the proliferation of hate speech and extremism.”

New York Times: It’s Time to Delete Your Tweets. It’s Not That Easy.. “A less charitable interpretation of Twitter’s history is that its product is broken and perpetually deficient, and that its users, to whom it already owes a great deal, are forced to come up with solutions of their own in order to enjoy the value that Twitter still offers, somehow, seemingly despite itself. Those users are then left to watch Twitter implement sleek but self-serving versions of those features, allowing a visionless company to succeed further than it already has.”


Reuters: EU copyright revamp targeting Google, Facebook set for approval on Monday. “EU countries are set to agree an overhaul of the bloc’s two-decade old copyright rules next week, requiring Google to pay publishers for news snippets and Facebook to filter out protected content, despite increasing opposition from some governments.”

News18: Apple And Google Face Antitrust Proceedings For Allegedly Promoting Own Apps. “Apple, already the subject of EU antitrust scrutiny, on Thursday became the target of a Dutch investigation for allegedly favouring its own apps on its popular App Store. Dutch competition agency ACM suggested the investigation may be expanded to Google’s Play Store in future because of similar business practices by the company. Both services are lucrative money spinners for Apple and Google.”

ABC (Australia): ‘Loom’ scam lures with promises of earning quick cash through social media. “There are warnings of an international online scam called the ‘Loom’ scheme in Australia, which targets young people through social media and can lead to participants ‘scamming’ their family and friends and leaving them hundreds of dollars out of pocket.”


Ars Technica: Declassified photos from U2 planes are helping archaeologists unlock the past. “During the 1950s and 1960s, US spy planes made regular flights across Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, photographing the terrain to track military targets. A chunk of the Middle Eastern photographs were declassified in 1997, and now those airborne images are helping archaeologists track changing features in the landscape that in many cases are no longer visible today, according to a new paper published in Advances in Archaeological Practice.”

Nieman Lab: Taking local news to the really local level: Using location data to deliver relevant local news. “Our way of exploring the issue was to test an app that sends people local news stories about where they actually are. Unlike national or international newsrooms that are incentivized to send or organize stories by continent, country, state, or city — local newsrooms can organize stories about neighborhoods, wards, counties, and towns. They write about block-level issues, and if technology lets us deliver stories by block now, the chances that a nearby local story will be relevant to someone increases significantly.” Good morning, Internet…

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