Yacht Racing, Speed Tests, Instagram, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, October 6, 2019


Yachts and Yachting: International Six Metre Class launches ground-breaking online archive. “The Six Metre Class has a long and illustrious history dating back to the introduction of the International Rule in 1907. That history encompasses inclusion in nine Olympic Games from 1908 to 1952, the heyday of the class in the 1920s and 30s when it was perhaps the largest and strongest class in the world and acting as a trial platform for 12 Metre America’s Cup developments from the late 1950s until the late 1980s. Even the very latest Six Metres continue to push the technical development envelope, and a review of Six Metre designs gives a fascinating insight into some of yacht racing’s most radical and important developments.”


Make Tech Easier: 4 of the Best Internet Speed Test Sites. “If you’ve swapped ISPs, or you suspect your current one isn’t giving you the speeds they promised, you can use an Internet speed test to see how fast everything is running. But which websites are the best, and why should you use them? Here are the best Internet speed tests and how to use them.”

MakeUseOf: 6 Free Web Apps to Break Instagram Restrictions and Fix Annoyances . “Instagram often feels unnecessarily restrictive in how one can use it. Thankfully, a few developers are bypassing these annoyances with simple apps. So here are a few ways to write well-formatted captions, browse someone’s top posts, or download any post or story.”


ALA: ALA receives $2 million Google. org grant to develop library entrepreneurship centers. “Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the funding for ALA as part of a $10 million pledge to help entrepreneurs from low-income and underrepresented groups start new businesses via access to training and capital. The $2 million grant builds on Google’s ongoing support of ALA and libraries, including the Libraries Lead with Digital Skills collaboration funded by Grow with Google, which gave ALA $1 million to help libraries provide digital skills training to their patrons.That initiative, announced earlier this year, has already supported 130 libraries across 18 states and will continue to all 50 states in 2020.”

New York Times: China Masters Political Propaganda for the Instagram Age. “The Communist Party indeed doesn’t hesitate to use state power to tell the Chinese people how they should think. But the displays of patriotism, especially from young people, also show that the party’s propaganda machine has mastered the power of symbol and symbolism in the mass media and social media era.”

Poynter: How The Washington Post’s TikTok guy Dave Jorgenson gets millions of views by being uncool. “Spoiler alert: TikTok’s probably not going to save journalism. But 16.2 million people under 25 use the app, and users open it eight times a day for a total of 46 minutes, according to an investment pitch reported by Digiday. Jorgenson is confident that when the video-based service adds the ability to include links in video descriptions, it could be a funnel for new Post subscribers — and for news consumers everywhere.”


CyLab: This new tool for developers can help preserve app users’ privacy . “When writing the code for an app using Coconut, the plugin’s heuristics automatically detect when a request for user data is made, triggering a popup reminder to the developer to write an annotation explaining the reasons behind their request. Rather than requiring them to write one from scratch, developers have the option of choosing one from a list of pre-written annotations explaining the reason behind the request, such as, ‘Data collection for advertising,’ ‘Location-based game,’ or ‘Maps and navigation,’ among others.”

Mashable: Report: Hackers use simple trick to target U.S. presidential campaign and government officials. “Hacking email accounts doesn’t have to be a sophisticated affair. We are reminded once again of this fact thanks to a report released Friday by the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center detailing how a group of hackers targeted the email accounts of journalists, government officials, and the campaign of a U.S. presidential candidate. And here’s the thing, the bad actors didn’t use some fancy 1337 computer skills, but rather employed the oldest trick in the book: the password reset.”

Express Tribune: Turkey fines Facebook $282,000 over privacy breach. “Turkish authorities have fined Facebook $282,000 for violation of data protection laws which affected nearly 300,000 people, the Personal Data Protection Board (KVKK) said on Thursday.


Caltech: Virtual Reality for Scientists . “When you think of virtual reality, or VR, you might conjure up images of action-packed video games or immersive tours of deep ocean waters and other exotic locale. But, in recent years, scientists have started to don VR goggles too—not for entertainment, but for analyzing and comprehending their data. At Caltech, efforts to design VR tools for the future are underway, with prototypes in development for studying everything from worms to ocean waters to biomolecules and more.”

Cornell: CVM scientists develop online tool to guide wildlife repopulation efforts. “Wildlife ecologists often turn to reintroduction programs to help sustain key species in certain habitats. While the wild turkey effort was a success, other long-term reintroduction programs struggle to see their species thrive. To help address this problem, a multidisciplinary team with the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab has created StaPOPd, an interactive online tool that tells users exactly how many plants or animals they need to introduce into a habitat in order to establish a stable population.”

Nieman Lab: College students who go off Facebook for a week consume less news and report being less depressed. “Threatening to leave Facebook, or talking about how you should spend less time on it, is common. Actually leaving is less common (though it is happening). If you do leave, it might be good for you…and you also might miss it: A study of 1,769 U.S. undergrads found that those who got off Facebook for a week consumed less news, experienced greater wellbeing…and, uh, valued Facebook 20 percent more highly, in monetary terms, than they had before they took their break.” Good morning, Internet…

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