afternoonbuzz

Colorado Trails, Google, Facebook, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, May 7, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

Colorado Parks & Wildlife: Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) – Colorado’s official trails app – puts a comprehensive statewide trail map in your pocket. This is an update of a Web-based project launched in 2017. “COTREX is a free web and mobile trails application utilizing over 39,000 miles of public trails in Colorado. Residents and visitors can use COTREX to discover and navigate trails on federal, state, local and private lands with public access. Additionally, COTREX is built for all trail users, including hiking, mountain biking, equestrian riding, and motorized recreation.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Engadget: Google aims for greater transparency on how it ranks news. “As it has done with several of its products, Google is aiming for greater transparency about a core aspect of its services: news. It opened a website to detail its objectives, principles and approaches to managing news experiences across its various platforms.”

TechCrunch: Facebook updates its video guidelines to promote original content, loyal and engaged viewership. “Facebook today announced a series of changes to the way it ranks videos on its social network, which determines how widely they’re distributed. According to the updated guidelines, Facebook will now prioritize videos that focus on original content, those where users are engaged for longer periods of time and those where users return repeatedly to watch more.”

Neowin: Canonical’s next Ubuntu release is called Eoan Ermine. “Following the release of Ubuntu 19.04 last month, we found out that the upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 codename begins with the word Eoan which is an adjective defined as ‘of, or relating to, the dawn’. Since then, followers of the popular Linux distribution have been waiting to see what noun would be picked for the codename, and now we have it – Ermine.”

USEFUL STUFF

The Next Web: VisaDB tells you all about your next destination — weather, paperwork, and plugs to bring. “When it launched at the end of 2017, VisaDB provided travelers a much-needed service by letting them know which countries they could visit without a visa. It’s now evolved by leaps and bounds, and is a far more useful resource for folks looking to visit, work, or move abroad.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Gettysburg Times: Database, website created to preserve Gettysburg’s black history. “Thanks to a four-way collaboration, a new website will soon make it possible for local and distant members of the black community to learn about their ancestors who lived in Gettysburg. Historians and others interested in the lives of Adams County’s black population will also find the new resource invaluable.” This database will also include information about African-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

SECURITY & LEGAL

Schneier on Security: Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft. “I don’t have a lot of good news for you. The truth is there’s nothing we can do to protect our data from being stolen by cybercriminals and others. Ten years ago, I could have given you all sorts of advice about using encryption, not sending information over email, securing your web connections, and a host of other things­ — but most of that doesn’t matter anymore. Today, your sensitive data is controlled by others, and there’s nothing you can personally to do affect its security.”

Ars Technica: Refunds for 300 million phone users sought in lawsuits over location-data sales. “The four major US wireless carriers are facing proposed class-action lawsuits accusing them of violating federal law by selling their customers’ real-time location data to third parties. The complaints seeking class action status and financial damages were filed last week against AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint in US District Court for the District of Maryland.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Northwestern Now: Northwestern-UIUC researchers launch Illinois’ first-ever twins registry. “Northwestern University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have partnered to launch the Illinois Twins Project (ITP), the first-ever such database in the state, which will be a scientific resource for researchers interested in how genes and environment influence twins and multiples.”

Massive Science: Scientists are fostering public trust on social media, one selfie at a time. “What’s more visually appealing to you: a photo of a bubbling beaker, or a selfie of a scientist holding said beaker, with gloved hands and a grin on their face? If you picked the selfie, you’re not alone. Without ever being taught how, we’re already fluent in the language of pictures – and in particular, faces engage us.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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