LightSail 2, WWI, Google Chrome, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, July 9, 2019


Futurism: A New Website Tracks The Just-Launched Solar Sail Spaceship . “Last month, a spacecraft called LightSail 2 — which uses a solar sail to propel itself using sunlight — was sent into space. Now a new website run by The Planetary Society, the space research organization that developed the solar sail, publishes every update it sends down.”


Europeana Pro: Exploring autobiographical writings from prisoners of war: Saverio Vita, Europeana Research Grants Winner . “This year, funding from the Europeana Research Grants Programme has provided support for three early-career scholars to develop their projects related to the theme of the First World War. At the end of their projects, the 2018 Europeana Grant recipients took time out to answer some questions.”

TechRadar: Google is adding a helpful play button to the toolbar in Chrome. “Google appears to be on a mission to improve the online media playback experience: not long after adding support for keyboard controls, it’s now experimenting with a play button that appears on Chrome’s toolbar.”


South China Morning Post: Fashion celebrity and Instagram star Japanese grandfather, 84, shows age is no barrier to being hip. “His orange trousers are appropriately baggy, his trainers are the latest release and the yellow-lensed glasses are so hot they’re cool. He tops the ensemble with a brand-name baseball cap and a casual, almost ironic smile – and he has every reason to smile. He is 84 years old, is a retired teacher who lives in one of the most rural areas of northern Japan and has not once mooched moodily along a catwalk.”

TechCrunch: Twitter and Facebook reportedly not invited to White House ‘social media summit’. “On Thursday, the White House’s social media will reportedly host a who’s who of conservative media pundits. PragerU and Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk have apparently received invites to the event. There will, however, be some key names missing from the invite list — including, notably, the social media companies themselves.”

The Verge: Dr Disrespect and other creators keep hiding their apologies. “When Guy ‘Dr Disrespect’ Beahm released a statement apologizing for his behavior that led to a two-week suspension on Twitch, he did it from his personal Twitter account, which has 71,000 followers. That’s 1 million fewer followers than Beahm’s main Twitter account where he usually tweets under his streaming persona.”


TorrentFreak: WIPO Aims to Cut Revenue to Pirate Sites With Newly Launched Database. “The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is aiming to combat piracy with a new blocklist of infringing sites. The BRIP database, which is open to approved contributors from WIPO member states, can be used by advertisers around the world to block pirate sites.”

Fossbytes: Google Researcher Finds Nasty iMessage Bug That ‘Bricks’ iPhone. “There are different character combinations that can render an iPhone useless. While Apple has been quick to fix such bugs, this time a Google researcher found a nasty one that ‘bricks’ Apple phones.”


The Next Web: How big biased datasets make social inequalities worse. “Despite huge databases of personal information, tech companies rarely have enough to make properly informed decisions, and this leads to products and technologies that can enhance social biases and inequality, rather than address them.”

New Scientist: Data can now be stored inside the molecules that power our metabolism. “DNA isn’t the only molecule we could use for digital storage. It turns out that solutions containing sugars, amino acids and other small molecules could replace hard drives too.”

CNN: Honeybees hit by Trump budget cuts. “The US Department of Agriculture has suspended data collection for its annual Honey Bee Colonies report, citing cost cuts — a move that robs researchers and the honeybee industry of a critical tool for understanding honeybee population declines, and comes as the USDA is curtailing other research programs.” Good morning, Internet…

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