Epidemics Worldwide, Notre Dame Fire, Pulitzer Prizes, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, April 17, 2019


TechCrunch: Want to know where epidemics are flaring up around the world? Metabiota has the tool for you. “In an effort to inform the public of the health risks breaking out all over the world (or just to scare the bejeezus out of already paranoid people) the startup Metabiota has released a free-to-use epidemic tracker for all of the outbreaks monitored publicly around the world.”


BuzzFeed News: Here Are The Hoaxes And Misinformation About The Notre Dame Fire. “The Notre Dame Cathedral, an iconic Parisian landmark, suffered extensive damage Monday after a fire engulfed the historic structure, causing its spire to collapse and destroying much of its roof. You can read more about it here. As the cathedral burned, hoaxes, conspiracy theories, and coordinated disinformation campaigns began to spread across social media.”

Poynter: Here are the winners of the 2019 Pulitzer Prizes. “The winners of the 2019 Pulitzer Prizes were announced at Columbia University in New York City on Monday. Pulitzers are regarded as the highest honor a journalist can receive.”

ZDNet: NoScript extension officially released for Google Chrome. “Starting today, the NoScript Firefox extension, a popular tool for privacy-focused users, is also available for Google Chrome, Giorgio Maone, NoScript’s author, has told ZDNet.”


MakeUseOf: 5 Free Project Management Templates Anyone Can Use for Planning . “Every task has a beginning and an end. It’s when you combine a series of tasks, you get a project. Projects can be simple or complex. But the planning has to be foolproof. So a little bit of knowledge on project management can take you a long way even if you aren’t involved with business projects.”


New York Times: Insurers Want to Know How Many Steps You Took Today. “A smartphone app that measures when you brake and accelerate in your car. The algorithm that analyzes your social media accounts for risky behavior. The program that calculates your life expectancy using your Fitbit. This isn’t speculative fiction — these are real technologies being deployed by insurance companies right now.”

Blooloop: Celebrity influencers and the Beyoncé effect – making museums cool . “Celebrtiy influencers, from Beyoncé and Bowie to Brian Blessed and Winnie the Pooh are attracting new audiences to museums. Powered by social media, these famous faces are able to drive significant growth in attendance.”

BBC: Epilepsy charity calls for social media seizure warnings. “A growing number of people with epilepsy have said they are having seizures triggered by flashing images on social media, a charity has warned. The Epilepsy Society wants the government’s new plans to tackle ‘online harms’ to recommend warnings about flashing images on social media.”


PC Magazine: To Stop Shady Apps, Google To Scrutinize First-Time Developers. “To better protect Android users from malicious apps, Google plans on spending more time vetting new developers who want to publish over the Google Play store.”


Horizon: Can artificial intelligence help end fake news?. “Fake news has already fanned the flames of distrust towards media, politics and established institutions around the world. And while new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) might make things even worse, it can also be used to combat misinformation.”

The Verge: Why NASA wants you to point your smartphone at trees. “NASA would like you to take a picture of a tree, please. The space agency’s ICESat-2 satellite estimates the height of trees from space, and NASA has created a new tool for citizen scientists that can help check those measurements from the ground. All it takes is a smartphone, the app, an optional tape measure, and a tree.”

Nieman Journalism Lab: Could those information boxes under YouTube conspiracy videos add legitimacy instead of reduce it?. “I thought it was worth highlighting a criticism of YouTube’s system made last year by Mike Caulfield, who runs the Digital Polarization Initiative. Caulfield worried that embedding external information from Encyclopedia Britannica or other trusted sources might end up adding credibility to conspiracy videos rather than reducing it.” Good morning, Internet…

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