Infectious Diseases, Detecting Bots, Audible, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 13, 2019


Medical XPress: Database to support infectious disease research. “A new database PathoPhenoDB facilitates the search for associations between infectious diseases, the pathogens that cause them, the resulting clinical signs and symptoms, and the drugs that can treat them. It also contains information on the proteins and genetic changes that can make pathogens resistant to treatment with certain drugs.”

Indiana University: Tracking coordinated disinformation campaigns online made easier with new BotSlayer tool. “The software, which is free and open to the public, scans social media in real time to detect evidence of automated Twitter accounts — or ‘bots’ — pushing messages in a coordinated manner, an increasingly common practice to manipulate public opinion by creating the false impression that many people are talking about a particular subject.”


Publishers Weekly: Audible Tells IBPA It Will Press Pause on Full Captions Rollout. “In an email to the Independent Book Publishers Association this week, Audible confirmed that it will limit its controversial Captions program to public domain works—and apparently to a small beta group of students—until a copyright lawsuit filed by seven major publishers and supported by the Association of American Publishers is resolved.”

BBC: Twitter suspends government-run accounts in Cuba. “Twitter has suspended several accounts run by the Cuban government including those of state-run media and of officials including the daughter of Communist party leader Raul Castro.”


The Williams Record: New style Instagram features underrepresented student fashions . “Cris Young ’22, who spearheaded the project, proposed the concept on her personal finsta. Young had initially applied to work for Humans of Williams (an account modeled after Brandon Stanton’s popular Humans of New York page) but was not accepted. Young then decided to create an alternative account dedicated to style and inspired by @fashionatbrown from Brown University.”

KNOM: Alaska Native Voices from WWII Are Focus of Historical Project. “IN AUGUST, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development recognized forty Native leaders around the country for their ’40 Under 40 Awards,’ including Dr. Holly Miowak Guise, an Inupiaq woman raised in Anchorage and Unalakleet. The center recognizes Indigenous leaders across the U.S. for making significant impacts in business or their community. KNOM’s Emily Hofstaedter spoke with Dr. Guise about how she’s working to bring the history of Alaska Natives in World War II to a wider audience.” This is an audio interview but it has a lot of excerpts.


Reuters: Google wins legal battle with German publishers over fee demands. The last thing that will happen before the sun burns out is someone filing another legal brief over Google News snippets. “Google won a legal battle on Thursday after Europe’s top court said publishers in Germany could not demand copyright fees since 2013 from the tech firm because the European Commission had not been notified of the German regulation.”

Japan Times: Google pays France over $1 billion to settle tax fraud probe. “A Paris court approved a penalty of €500 million ($551 million) from the digital giant over charges of tax evasion, and Google said it paid a further €465 million ($513 million) in ‘additional taxes.'”

MarketWatch: Google ordered not to stifle its employees’ ability to speak about work. “Under the settlement with the National Labor Relations Board, Google said, the company will post notices to remind employees of their federal rights. That includes the ability to talk to each other about workplace conditions and push for changes such as pay raises and safety improvements.”


Phys .org: Chemists show how bias can crop up in machine learning algorithm results. “A team of material scientists at Haverford College has shown how human bias in data can impact the results of machine-learning algorithms used to predict new reagents for use in making desired products. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes testing a machine-learning algorithm with different types of datasets and what they found.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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