Venezuela Refugees, Assam Music, Earth Timelapse, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, April 29, 2019


The Editor’s Desk: Covering the uprooted. “Each spring, journalism students from UNC-Chapel Hill create a multimedia project that focuses on a place and topic. Previous subjects have included the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the youth movement in Cuba. This year, the students focused on refugees in Colombia who have left Venezuela to escape political turmoil and to find jobs and medical care. The result is Uprooted, a website that uses text, graphics, photographs and video to tell their stories.”

The Indian Express: A record restoration project aims at releasing thousand Assamese songs online this month. “On Bohag Bihu this year, a remastered version of Xuoroni Mur, a song by Dr Bhupen Hazarika, was released on the internet. Sixty-one years ago, Dr Hazarika, had composed the track for Phani Sharma’s film, Puwoti Nishar Xopun (1958). The full song, for long heard only on cassettes, is now available on Youtube — cleaned up and digitally remastered for the first time by the Jyoti Chitraban Studio in Guwahati. Xuoroni Mur isn’t the only one. Through the month of Bohag (or the first month of the Assamese new year corresponding to mid-April to mid-May), there will be a thousand songs from Assam — many which face the risk of fading into oblivion — released on Youtube.” I didn’t know too much about Assam, but Encyclopedia Britannica has a big ol’ article..


Google Blog: Get lost in the new Earth Timelapse, now on mobile. “Today we’re introducing several updates to Google Earth Timelapse, a global, zoomable time-lapse video that lets anyone explore the last 35 years of our changing planet’s surface—from the global scale to the local scale. This update adds two additional years of imagery to the time-series visualization, now spanning from 1984 to 2018, along with mobile support and visual upgrades to make exploring more accessible and intuitive.”

Noozhawk: UCSB Signs International Initiative Advocating Open Access Publishing. “Public research university, publicly available research. Sounds logical, but that’s not always — or even often — the way it goes. UCSB, and the University of California at large, aim to change that. Affirming its belief that research generated at a public institution should indeed be available to the public at no cost — and its commitment to achieving that goal — UCSB has now signed the OA2020 Expression of Interest.”

Search Engine Journal: DuckDuckGo is Google’s Only Competitor to Gain Organic Search Share in Q1 2019. “DuckDuckGo’s organic search growth is outpacing other search engines, with particularly strong gains reported in mobile search. On mobile devices, DuckDuckGo’s organic search visits are up 78% year-over-year. Overall search visits are up 54%.”


MakeUseOf: The 5 Best Meditation Apps for Relaxing and Sleeping. “Mindfulness and meditation have become mainstream over the past few years. One of meditation’s key benefits is that regular practice can help make you feel more relaxed. This is especially important for when you want to get your head on the pillow and drift off to sleep. You’ll find several meditation apps that focus on helping you relax, and when the time comes, fall asleep. Here are the best meditation apps for relaxing and sleeping.”


New York Times: Sooner or Later Your Cousin’s DNA Is Going to Solve a Murder. “Using an unconventional technique that relies on DNA submitted to online genealogy sites, investigators have solved dozens of violent crimes, in many cases decades after they hit dead ends. Experts believe the technique could be used to revive investigations into a vast number of cases that have gone cold across the country, including at least 100,000 unsolved major violent crimes and 40,000 unidentified bodies.”


Berkman Klein Center: The Role of Professional Norms in AI Governance: Some Observations and Outline of a Framework. “It is hard to keep up with the various efforts underway that develop ethical principles and other norms aimed at governing a broad range of AI-based technologies (we use the shortcut ‘AI’ for readability only). Current initiatives involve governments, international organizations, standard setting organizations, tech companies, and civil society organizations, to name just some of the drivers. In addition to the development of ethical norms and governance principles, the quest for adequate accountability schemes and enforcement mechanisms continues — with mixed success and serious complications, as the recent cancellation of Google’s external AI Ethics Council suggests.”

Mashable: It turns out purposely messing with your targeted ads isn’t a good idea. “I know big tech companies have too much on me already. I’ve been on social media since I was 10-years-old, entering my email and date of birth on Neopets and Club Penguin. So my data has likely been tracked for more than half of my life. I’m online for a majority of my day, and I’ve accepted the fact that my digital footprint runs too deep for me to ever truly go off the grid. Which is exactly why I’ve started f*cking with my ads.” Asterisk added by me in a probably-vain attempt to keep this newsletter from getting filtered, and, by the way, nothing I read in this article convinced me to stop messing with the ads. Good afternoon, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

2 replies »

  1. Re: messing with your targeted ads isn’t a good idea.

    That whole article was about stuff that I never see on the internet. What’s wrong with me?? 🙂

    Ads are blocked. Cookies blocked or deleted when the tab closes. Website scripts mostly blocked. Use DuckDuckGo for searching. And so on……
    Though I spend many hours every day online there is obviously a whole world out there that keeps ‘normal’ people busy and I have shut it all out of my computer. Maybe I need to write to a problem page seeking help? 🙂

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