Banned Books, Milk Composition Database, San Francisco Public Art, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 3, 2019


CBC: UBC prof helps create an online database of banned books. “A life-size replica of the Athenian Parthenon made of ‘banned books’ stands as a towering art installation in Kassel, Germany. The Parthenon of Book resides in the same spot where Nazi-sympathizers burned 2,000 prohibited books in 1933. Now, with the help of a UBC professor, the project has resulted in Die Kasseler Liste — an online searchable database of books that have been, or currently are, banned or censored somewhere in the world.”

Folio: U of A researchers create ‘encyclopedia of milk’ . “What’s in that glass of milk you’re drinking? Now you can find out, thanks to a new database created by University of Alberta researchers. The newly launched, one-of-a-kind Milk Composition Database (MCDB) lists more than 2,000 compounds found in one of the world’s most popular drinks. ”

Business Wire: Wescover and Google Lens Change the Way We Discover Art & Designs (PRESS RELEASE). “Wescover has curated an initial map of art pieces throughout San Francisco that you can look up using Google Lens. When you spot a piece on the map, simply launch Lens, point your camera at it, and you’ll get an exact match of the original artwork––see a video of it being used here. Whether you’re curious about the colorful mural at Craftsman and Wolves coffee shop or you want to buy the same geometric wall hanging that’s at Mister Jiu’s restaurant, Wescover shows you who made what and how to connect with the creator of the piece.” More content will be added over time.


Lifehacker: The Most Useful Things To Ask Google Assistant. “Google’s voice-activated AI tool – AKA Google Assistant – is getting smarter and more useful with every new update. If it’s been a while since you used it last, you might be surprised by the huge number of tasks it can now help with. Here are 66 useful questions and commands to try today.”


Kyodo News: Olympics: IOC, Tokyo organizers to clamp down on video in social media. “In what some argue is a step backwards, spectators will be prohibited from posting video they take at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on social media services. The International Olympic Committee encourages fans and competitors to be active on social networking services, but the rules are meant to protect the huge investments companies have made to broadcast the games.” All this will do is piss everyone off and cause resentment towards the IOC. Yay.

The New York Times: The Government Cut Their Internet. Will Abuses Now Remain Hidden?. “Rakhine State, a ribbon of marsh and mountain on the western coast of Myanmar, is isolated in the best of times, racked by guerrilla warfare and ethnic cleansing that takes place far from international scrutiny. Now, an internet blackout has all but severed parts of the state from the outside world, in a dramatic display of how easily a government can silence a population in the digital age.”


Florida Sun-Sentinel: Florida to use online registry to shame people who buy sex. “A new law that took effect Monday will create an online registry of people found guilty of soliciting prostitution. The online database of sex buyers is part of a broader effort to crack down on human trafficking.”

Vice: China Is Forcing Tourists to Install Text-Stealing Malware at its Border. “Foreigners crossing certain Chinese borders into the Xinjiang region, where authorities are conducting a massive campaign of surveillance and oppression against the local Muslim population, are being forced to install a piece of malware on their phones that gives all of their text messages as well as other pieces of data to the authorities, a collaboration by Motherboard, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, the New York Times, and the German public broadcaster NDR has found.”


The Conversation: Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls. “In a statistical analysis published in First Monday , my team and I tracked the activity of Russian social media trolls on Twitter in the run up to the 2016 election. We then compared the fluctuating popularity of this propaganda with that of the two presidential candidates: Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. We found that exposure to Russian propaganda may have helped change American minds in favor of Republican candidate Trump.”

UPI: Scientists call on social media companies to provide better vaccine information. “Massive anti-vaccination campaigns are taking place all around the world, and experts say social media organizations need to do more to stop them.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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