Google, West Africa, Monty Python, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 5, 2019


9to5Google: Google reportedly interested in acquiring TikTok competitor in renewed social push. “The Wall Street Journal this afternoon reported on Google’s ‘discussions about acquiring a video-sharing startup’ called Firework. This is meant to counter the viral TikTok app that originated in China. In fact, Google wanting a TikTok competitor could be part of a broader push for the company to be relevant in social media, as other acquisitions are also in consideration.”

The Verge: Google has suspended its controversial ‘field research’ that allegedly scanned homeless people. “Less than two weeks ahead of the Pixel 4 flagship smartphone’s debut, Google is temporarily pulling the plug on a controversial ‘field research’ program that offered subjects in US cities a $5 gift certificate in exchange for a scan of their face — after a New York Daily News report that one Google contracting agency was actively targeting homeless people in Atlanta and tricking unwitting college students into participating by pretending they would merely be testing a new app.”


Make Tech Easier: How to Free Up Space in Google Drive. “Many of us rely on cloud storage to save our documents, but just like a physical hard drive on your computer, space is not unlimited. Google gives its users 15GB of space, but that space is not just for your documents. Your 15GB of storage includes data from your Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. Depending on the amount you store online, the 15GB can evaporate quickly. However, not everything you store on Google counts toward the storage limit.”

MakeUseOf: 7 Free Bootable Antivirus Disks to Clean Malware From Your PC. “Your antivirus or antimalware suite keeps your system clean. At least, it does most of the time. Security programs are better than ever, but some malware still squeezes through the gaps. There is also the other common issue: the human touch. Where there is a human, there is a chance for malware to slip through. When that happens, you can reach for a bootable antivirus disk. ”


Charity Digital News: Coram to digitise archives dating back to 18th century. “Coram has been handed £1.26m from the National Lottery to digitise its archives, which date back to the Eighteenth century. The UK’s oldest children’s charity has been awarded the money through the National Lottery Heritage Fund to carry out a four-year digitisation project of its archives.”

NIU Today: NIU Libraries receives $610,000 grant for Southeast Asia Digital Library. “[Northern Illinois University] Libraries has been awarded a four-year grant of $610,000 by the Henry Luce Foundation to enhance the Southeast Asia Digital Library (SEADL), a collaborative project of the Association of Asian Studies’ Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia (CORMOSEA), an association of Southeast Asia librarians and member institutions across the United States…. Most of the funding will be used to hire a web developer while the rest of the money will go toward digitization projects for Southeast Asia materials, including palm-leaf manuscripts from the National Library of Cambodia, documentary videos of the Cham people in Vietnam and storage cost.”


Thompson Reuters Foundation: Medical data breach puts details of a million New Zealanders at risk. “Nearly a million New Zealanders face the risk that their medical data has been accessed illegally after a cyber attack on the website of Tū Ora Compass Health, the company said on Saturday.”


Boston University: ASC Launches Research Project on Ajamī Literature in West Africa. ASC is the African Studies Center. “The research project will identify and digitize manuscripts in four major West African languages – Hausa, Mandinka, Fula, and Wolof, transcribe the texts and translate them into English and French, prepare commentaries, and create related multimedia resources to be made widely available within and beyond the United States. The Ajamī literatures that have developed in sub-Saharan Africa and hold a wealth of knowledge on the history, politics, cosmologies, and cultures of the region, are generally unknown to scholars and the public due to lack of access.”

New Scientist: App can detect signs of eye diseases in kids by scanning your photos. “Camera flashes often can make people’s pupils look red in photos. More rarely, flashes can make them appear white – which is usually just a trick of the light but can be a sign of disease, including an eye cancer most common in young children. Since 2014, a free app that uses artificial intelligence to scan people’s photos for instances of so-called white eye has been available for iOS or Android devices.”


BBC: Monty Python at 50. “Sick’, ‘tripe’ and ‘a delicious sense of the ridiculous’ .. 50 years ago today Monty Python shocked and delighted BBC audiences in equal measure. BBC History digs deep inside BBC Archives and lifts the lid on how the series was commissioned, aspiring writers use Monty Python for new comic creations, and our gallery unearths some rarely seen images to mark a very special birthday.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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