Hong Kong Fish, Google Custom Search, Amazon Alexa, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 15, 2019


The Standard: 22 new species on Hong Kong reefs . “A local marine conservation group discovered at least 22 species of fish that are new to Hong Kong and launched the city’s very own comprehensive reef fish web portal yesterday. Bloom Association Hong Kong, along with a volunteer group of recreational scuba divers, spent more than 2,900 hours underwater and recorded nearly 400 species of fish, including several that are threatened, since the project’s inception in 2014.”


Google Custom Search Blog: Bringing the Power of Knowledge Graph to Custom Search. “We’re happy to announce that Custom Search Engine (CSE) owners can now use Knowledge Graph entities to configure their CSE. The Knowledge Graph (KG) is used by Google Search to help users discover information more quickly and easily, and contains millions of entries that describe real-world entities like people, places, and things.”

The Next Web: UK Alexa users can now get answers to medical questions right from the NHS. “Amazon’s Alexa is all set to gain medical smarts in the UK, thanks to a partnership with the National Health Service (NHS). The healthcare service said it’s teaming up with Amazon‘s voice assistant to help answer medical queries with advice from the service’s official website.”


How-To Geek: How to Check and Tighten All Your iPhone’s Privacy Settings. “Apps on your iPhone have to ask permission before accessing your data, but have you ever agreed to a permission request only to reconsider it later? Take back control of your data by reviewing your privacy settings. This is about more than apps, too. Your iPhone lets you limit the ad tracking available to apps, preventing them from showing you targeted ads.”

Lifehacker: The Best Free Background Noise Generators for Working, Gaming, and Studying. “There are tons of background sound sites and apps, but most do the same things. We’ve compiled the best ones, all free online, plus a collection of the best background sound mobile apps. Use them as background noise while you work, read, study, play a tabletop RPG, or even in the background of a party.”

Linux Journal: What Really IRCs Me: Mastodon. “When it comes to sending text between people, I’ve found IRC (in particular, a text-based IRC client) works best. I’ve been using it to chat for decades while other chat protocols and clients come and go. When my friends have picked other chat clients through the years, I’ve used the amazing IRC gateway Bitlbee to connect with them on their chat client using the same IRC interface I’ve always used. … I’ve written about Bitlbee a number of times in the past, and I’ve used it to connect to other instant messengers, Twitter and Slack. In this article, I describe how I use it to connect to yet another service on the internet: Mastodon.”


OpenDemocracy: Ukraine’s Soviet archives are opening up – and changing memory politics. “With new laws opening up access to state security archives, Ukrainian citizens are discovering what really happened to their family members under Stalin.”


Abacus News: Move over humans, this startup is making facial recognition for pets. “If you’re a dog lover, you probably don’t need convincing that your furry friend is like no other. But just how exactly can you tell two pups apart? AI startup Megvii says they have an answer. The company, known better as a supplier of facial recognition surveillance software to the Chinese government, is now dabbling in biometric recognition for animals. But rather than scanning the whole face of a dog, it focuses solely on one feature: The nose.”

Engadget: TrickBot malware may have hacked 250 million email accounts. “TrickBot malware may have stolen as many as 250 million email accounts, including some belonging to governments in the US, UK and Canada. The malware isn’t new. In fact, it’s been circulating since 2016. But according to cybersecurity firm Deep Instinct, it has started harvesting email credentials and contacts.”


Mashable: Why absolutely everyone should be concerned about facial recognition . “The tech world moves so quickly that dystopia can arrive without us realizing it. That seems to be the trajectory we’re on with facial recognition. Some of the biggest names in the tech space are developing advanced facial recognition systems and selling them to governments around the world, but the general public might not fully understand all the risks they bring.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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