The Royal Society, Africa Settlements, George IV, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, October 25, 2019

The Royal Society: Explore more than 350 years of science. “It’s Open Access Week and, to mark the occasion, all our content is currently free to access. Discover and download ground-breaking science until 27 October.”


University of Chicago: In fight against global poverty, researchers map fast-growing informal settlements in Africa. “Urban scientists at the University of Chicago’s Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation on Oct. 23 launched the Million Neighborhoods Map—a groundbreaking visual tool that provides the first comprehensive look at informal settlements across Africa, helping to identify communities most in need of roads, power, water, sanitation and other infrastructure. Updates for Central and South America, India, and parts of Europe and Asia will come online over the next several weeks.”

The Guardian: Letters shed light on lovelorn prince who became George IV. “Mary Hamilton’s advantages ‘in form and person’ over other women are eulogised in detail by the lovelorn Prince of Wales in a newly digitised letter. The revealing, magniloquent letter is one of more than 1,600 records and documents relating to George IV from the Royal Archives published online for the first time.”


TechCrunch: TikTok’s new set of safety videos teach users about features, the app’s focus on ‘positivity’. “TikTok today released a new set of safety videos designed to playfully inform users about the app’s privacy controls and other features — like how to filter comments or report inappropriate behavior, among other things. One video also addresses TikTok’s goal of creating a ‘positive’ social media environment, where creativity is celebrated and harassment is banned.”

Google Blog: Find a balance with tech using Digital Wellbeing Experiments. “Today, in support of our efforts to extend our best practices to the community, we’re launching Digital Wellbeing Experiments—a platform to encourage designers and developers to build digital wellbeing into their products. Anyone can use the platform to share their ideas and experimental tools to help people find a better balance with technology. To kick it off, we created five helpful and even playful digital wellbeing experimental apps.”

Mashable: Twitter quietly killed its secret ad-free version for fancy people . “The minds behind everyone’s favorite apocalypse-themed ticker tape confirmed today that Twitter has done away with a little-known version of the service that displayed no ads to certain high-value users. In other words, previously if your account met a certain list of criteria, then you never saw promoted tweets in your timeline.”


Bangladesh Post: Govt to set up digital archive on Bangabandhu. “The government will set up a digital archive on Bangabandhu to inform the new generation about different aspects of the life and ideology of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, reports BSS. The information was revealed on Thursday in a meeting of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee in the capital, said a press release.”

Gulf Coast News Today: Sweet Grown Alabama promotes state produced crops. “Consumers looking for locally grown products will soon have a way to identify Alabama produce under a new state program. Sweet Grown Alabama will connect consumers looking for local items and farmers looking for new markets. The program was announced Oct. 21 at three locations statewide, including Sirmon Farms in Belforest.”

Poynter: Tech platforms step up their anti-misinformation game before 2020. “For nearly three years, Facebook has been working with fact-checking organizations to limit the spread of false content on the platform. That partnership, which (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact participates in, has changed a lot. (Disclosure: Being a signatory of the IFCN code of principles is a necessary condition for joining the project.) And now, it’s changing again.”


Techdirt: The Good And The Bad Of The ACCESS Act To Force Open APIs On Big Social Media. “As people here will probably know, I am a huge proponent of a “protocols, not platforms” approach to handling questions around big tech and competition (as well as privacy, content moderation and more). I even wrote a pretty long paper about it for the Knight 1st Amendment Institute at Columbia University entitled Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech. So, I was definitely curious to see what Senators Warner, Hawley and Blumenthal had cooked up with their new ACCESS Act [Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching Act] since it’s being pitched as pressuring big social media companies to open up their platforms to competitors.”

ThreatPost: Cash App Twitter Giveaway a Haven for Stealing Money. “Scammers looking to piggyback on the #CashAppFriday trending topic on Twitter are stealing between $10 to $1,000 from each victim that falls for their efforts. According to researchers at Tenable, the scams include phishing (with some links garnering up to 500 clicks each), a hoax called ‘cash-flipping’ and user impersonation (some have even impersonated Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey), among others.”

Publishers Weekly: Congress Looking into Anticompetitive Behavior in the Digital Library Market. “The American Library Association (ALA) has delivered a written report to the House Judiciary Committee telling lawmakers that ‘unfair behavior by digital market actors,’ including Amazon and some major publishers, is ‘doing concrete harm to libraries.’ The report, delivered last week to a House antitrust subcommittee investigating competition in the digital market, comes as lawmakers are taking note of the growing backlash to Big Five publisher Macmillan’s decision to impose a two-month embargo on new release e-books in public libraries.” Good morning, Internet…


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