Moon Mapping, Gordon Murray, New Zealand Homicides, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, May 20, 2019

Hey y’all! I did an article for HPE that came out at the beginning of the month, but I’ve been so turned around I forgot to tell you. It’s called “9 APIs for the geekiest of programmers” and it’s available at .


Universities Space Research Association: The LPI’s Lunar South Pole Atlas — A New Online Reference for Mission Planners. “The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), managed by Universities Space Research Association (USRA), has compiled and made available an atlas of the Moon’s south pole… Given NASA’s recent direction to implement Space Policy Directive-1 landing astronauts at the south pole by 2024, the LPI has compiled a series of maps, images, and illustrations designed to provide context and reference for those interested in exploring this area.”

Motoring Research: Gordon Murray’s online museum is virtually brilliant. “Warning: if you intend to immerse yourself in the virtual world of Gordon Murray’s online exhibition, a lunch-hour won’t be enough. Tell your boss you need to spend the afternoon researching. Or something. The One Formula exhibition is an internet-based museum, allowing visitors to ‘wander’ (and wonder) through 50 years of Gordon Murray’s work. It’s free to enter and there are no queues.” Gordan Murray designs Formula One race cars. You can learn more about him at

Stuff NZ: This is the Homicide Report.. “The Homicide Report is the first publicly searchable database of homicides in New Zealand. It encompases 1068 cases involving 591 men, 283 women and 194 young people from January 2004 to March 2019.”


BetaNews: Peppermint 10 Ubuntu-based Linux distribution available for download. “Today, a lesser-known (but very good) Ubuntu-based operating system reaches a new milestone. Called ‘Peppermint,’ version 10 is now available. Peppermint 10 should be particularly good for those with modest hardware, thanks to its use of the fairly lightweight Xfce desktop environment and available 32-bit variant. With that said, those with more powerful computers should have a positive experience with Peppermint 10 too.”

The Verge: YTMND disappeared, 15 years after changing the internet. “One of the earliest and most influential meme culture websites, You’re The Man Now Dog, went dark over the weekend. It’s since returned with a maintenance page, but the near-death experience has been enough to bring visitors into a site-run Discord chat to briefly relive the internet as it was — a wild, overgrown garden of things that were entertaining and horrifying in just about equal measure.”


The Next Web: Here’s the real tea: A primer on YouTube drama channels. “So you may have heard about a little fight going on in the YouTube community, between two beauty gurus named Tati Westbrook and James Charles. The drama tornado has engulfed aspects of the internet that aren’t even remotely related to the two, but one of the reasons may be an organized and inquisitive network of channels devoted to drama. If you’re new to the world of YouTube gossip, here’s what you need to know about these channels and what they do.”


Mother Jones: The Facebook Loophole That Makes Political Ads Look Like Regular Content. “…last year, in an attempt to head off scrutiny form Washington, Facebook announced two new policies. First, ads for candidates and political issues would now carry a disclaimer at the top, stating who paid for the ad. Second, clicking on that disclaimer would direct viewers to a new ‘ad library,’ where they could see who else had viewed the ad by state, age, and gender. But Facebook left a gaping loophole in this system: If a user shares a political ad, the disclaimer disappears for anyone who sees the shared ad, as does the ability to click through it to the ad library. ”

Neowin: UN body raises concerns over digital assistants defaulting to female voices. “A new publication from UNESCO has raised concerns over digital assistants which default to a female voice and the impact this could be having on people. In the new report, called ‘I’d blush if I could’, UNESCO raises the concerns that it has and how they can be addressed.”

Quartz: Instead of breaking up Facebook, the EU may force it to share its data. “Should Facebook be broken up? Despite her reservations about the massive social network, the EU’s competition commissioner, one of the few people with the authority to pursue such an aggressive action, doesn’t think it’s the best way forward.”


Ars Technica: Slack patches vulnerability in Windows client that could be used to hijack files. “On May 17, researchers at Tenable revealed that they had discovered a vulnerability in the Windows version of the desktop application for Slack, the widely used collaboration service. The vulnerability, in Slack Desktop version 3.3.7 for Windows, could have been used to change the destination of a file download from a Slack conversation to a remote file share owned by an attacker.”

Vox: Angry Birds and the end of privacy. “A Pew study published this January found that 76 percent of Americans knew basically nothing about Facebook’s tracking and targeting policies, even though other research shows that most people understand that they shouldn’t trust the company. (Researchers at Georgetown University and NYU recently named it one of the least trusted American institutions, across political parties.) If the tactics of even the largest, most public, most well-documented violator of our privacy are a black box to the average person, what do most of us know about the tactics of, say, a Finnish game developer?”


Longreads: Technology Is as Biased as Its Makers. “Professor Latanya Sweeney of Harvard University typed her name into Google; she was searching quickly for an old paper she had written. She was shocked to see an ad pop up with the headline ‘Latanya Sweeney–Arrested?’ Sweeney does not have a criminal record. She clicked on the ad link and was taken to a company website selling access to public records. She paid the sum to access the material, which confirmed she had no criminal history. When her colleague Adam Tanner did a similar search, the same ad for a public records search company appeared, but without the inflammatory headline. Tanner is white; Sweeney is African American.” Good morning, Internet…

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