Desert Trees, Silkworm Genomes, Guam Military Buildup, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, August 28, 2019


Natural History of Ecological Restoration: Desert Trees of the World – A new database for ecological restoration. “Desert Trees of the World represents a multi-purpose, participatory database in which we have gathered a vast array of information about dryland trees, where and how they live, the communities they are part of, the many ways in which they are used by people, and some elements about their successful cultivation.”

BioRxiv: SGID: a comprehensive and interactive database of the silkworm. “Although the domestic silkworm (Bombyx mori) is an important model and economic animal, there is a lack of comprehensive database for this organism. Here, we developed the silkworm genome informatics database, SGID. It aims to bring together all silkworm related biological data and provide an interactive platform for gene inquiry and analysis. The function annotation in SGID is thorough and covers 98% of the silkworm genes.”

Pacific News Center: Guam Legislature launches military buildup database. “The 35th Guam Legislature has launched a database for the military buildup on Guam courtesy of Speaker Tina Muna-Barnes who also chairs the legislative buildup committee. The database seeks to document the military buildup on Guam and allow for a single repository that will have all information relevant to the buildup.” I didn’t know a lot about the military buildup in Guam, but Pacific Daily News has a useful timeline.


Slashgear: Flash videos and games are resurrected by Ruffles emulator. “Once the darling of the young Web, Flash eventually became a liability because of its gaping security holes and heavy resource usage. But for all the flack it has received, it’s hard to deny the amount of legitimate and noteworthy content produced using flash, particularly 2D animations and games. To make sure those are never lost forever, one developer has taken upon the rather grueling task of creating Ruffles, the open source WebAssembly Flash emulator.”

The Guardian: BBC to launch Alexa rival that will grasp regional accents. “The BBC is preparing to launch a rival to Amazon’s Alexa called Beeb, with a pledge that it will understand British accents. The voice assistant, which has been created by an in-house BBC team, will be launched next year, with a focus on enabling people to find their favourite programmes and interact with online services.”


CNET: The best website builders for 2019. “The website builder industry has grown a lot over the last 10 years and can be overwhelming for first-timers. But that growth and complexity also means that you have more choices than ever and can find a site builder tailored to your needs. It’s true that a few clear favorites have emerged — and those sites are usually a good place to start — but even the frontrunners aren’t ideally suited for every scenario.”


BetaNews: Over half of social media logins are fraudulent. “Social media sites are a popular target for cybercriminals. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise therefore to find that 53 percent of logins on social media sites are fraudulent and 25 percent of all new account applications are too.”

Reuters: Macron says France and U.S. reached digital tax deal. “France and the United States have reached a deal to end a standoff over a French tax on big internet companies, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday.”

Hackaday: The Tens Of Millions Of Faces Training Facial Recognition; You’ll Soon Be Able To Search For Yourself. “In a stiflingly hot lecture tent at CCCamp on Friday, Adam Harvey took to the stage to discuss the huge data sets being used by groups around the world to train facial recognition software. These faces come from a variety of sources and soon Adam and his research collaborator Jules LaPlace will release a tool that makes these dataset searchable allowing you to figure out if your face is among the horde.”


Wired: Ask The Know-It-Alls: How Do Machines Learn?. “Truth is, most times you hear the term artificial intelligence, the specific technology at work is called machine learning. Despite the name, it relies heavily on human teaching.”

BBC: ‘Dangerous’ AI offers to write fake news. “The text generator, built by research firm OpenAI, was originally considered ‘too dangerous’ to make public because of the potential for abuse. But now a new, more powerful version of the system – that could be used to create fake news or abusive spam on social media – has been released.”

Slashgear: NeuralCam iPhone app uses AI to capture bright images at night. “A new iPhone app called NeuralCam has launched on the App Store, offering iOS users a way to capture images with their phone at night and in dim indoor environments without sacrificing (too much) quality. The app taps a variety of algorithms to transform multiple images into a final photo with suitably bright colors, eliminating the need to carry around a light or use the phone’s built-in flash.” Good morning, Internet…

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