Rhode Island Beaches, Immunology Research, Facebook Advertising, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, July 11, 2019


Providence Journal: Interactive map reveals all the hidden access points to Rhode Island’s shore. “Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, and sure, every Rhode Islander knows East Matunuck Beach, Oakland Beach and Narragansett Town Beach. But what if you want to get off the beaten path and explore the hidden gems, secret swimming holes and private beaches scattered throughout our coastline?”

Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research: IBBR Researchers Release New Database to Support Immunology Research. “IBBR Fellow Dr. Brian Pierce (Assistant Professor, UMCP Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics) and postdoctoral associate Dr. Ragul Gowthaman recently released a new tool for researchers who study immune system proteins. The TCR3d database contains all known T cell receptor (TCR) structures and is updated weekly.”


BuzzFeed News: Facebook Will Now Show You How To Opt Out Of Targeted Ads. “Facebook launched a transparency tool this week that will give people a little more information about how its targeted ads work (good!). Now you can see more details about why you’re seeing an ad in your feed, how it is linked to an ad agency or data broker, and how to opt out of interest-based ad campaigns run by businesses that have your information. The bad news is that looking at it may end up just making you feel worse about how your data is passed around by third-party data brokers — credit reporting bureaus and marketing agencies — like Halloween candy.”

Bing Blogs: We’ve Released New Bird’s Eye Imagery! . “Bing Maps was one of the first mapping services on the web to offer oblique 45-degree angle aerial imagery, also known as Bird’s Eye. Bing Maps is still as committed as ever to offering fresh high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery. Over the last 12 months we’ve been busy releasing refreshed and expanded Bird’s Eye imagery and we want to make sure our customers and users are aware of the progress we’ve been making. In this effort, we’re excited to say we’ve released approximately 102,000 square kilometers of new Bird’s Eye imagery spanning 100+ cities in the United States over the last several months with more to come.”


CNET: Facebook looks to double the percentage of women on staff. “Facebook aims to double the percentage of women working at the social network around the world over the next five years, while simultaneously doubling the number of black and Hispanic employees in the US.”

BBC: Siberian lake loved by Instagrammers is toxic, power plant says. “The lake, nicknamed the ‘Novosibirsk Maldives’ because of how tropical it looks, has provided the perfect backdrop to people’s Instagram posts. But the reason for its colour is less appealing – calcium salts and other metal oxides from the plant.” Yikes.


Bank Info Security: MongoDB Database Exposed 188 Million Records: Researchers. “Security researchers have found yet another unsecured database that left personal data exposed to the internet. In this latest case, a MongoDB database containing about 188 million records, mostly culled from websites and search engines, was exposed, researchers say.”

Consequence of Sound: It turns out that Juggalo makeup blocks facial recognition technology. “Last year, Ticketmaster and LiveNation invested in a former military facial recognition company, with the hope that the technology could be used to both strengthen and speed up event entry. If that prospect thoroughly creeps you out, here’s a simple life-hack to defeat Big Brother: become a Juggalo. In a revelation that is sure to freak out the FBI, Insane Clown Posse’s passionate fan base have unintentionally unlocked the secret to thwarting facial recognition.”


The Wire: Donald Trump’s Tweets Are Influencing Anti-Muslim Sentiments: Study. “Over 27 years, the number of hate crimes, predominantly in the form of vandalism, against Muslims in the US reportedly increased in areas with higher social media usage and with pre-existing hate groups and Republican majorities. A potential driver of these anti-Muslim sentiments: Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.”

EurekAlert: Using Facebook data to study how misinformation spreads — grant. “Tanushree Mitra, assistant professor of computer science in the College of Engineering and a faculty member at the Discovery Analytics Center, has received a Social Media and Democracy Research Grant, giving her access to Facebook data to study how misinformation and other problematic content spread on the platform. This is the first time Facebook has given academics access to its data.” Good evening, Internet…

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