Improving Literacy, Google Chrome, Collins Dictionary, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 12, 2019


University of Alabama at Birmingham: Free resource helps determine reading difficulty, provides interventions to help overcome. “UAB launched an online resource, Electronic Portal for Assistance Learning, to remediate student difficulties in literacy to help with reading comprehension, confidence, fluency, phonemic awareness and phonics. The unique resource connects reading difficulties with resources to improve literacy.”


TechCrunch: Google Chrome to identify and label slow websites. “Is it the web page that’s slow or is it your network connection? In the future, Google’s Chrome web browser may have an answer for you. Google announced today a plan to identify and label websites that typically load slowly by way of clear badging. The company says it may later choose to identify sites that are likely to be slow based on the user’s device and current network conditions, as well.”

The Guardian: ‘Climate strike’ named 2019 word of the year by Collins Dictionary. “In a year when global protests over the climate crisis were staged from Afghanistan to Vietnam, Extinction Rebellion demonstrations stopped traffic in major cities and Greta Thunberg called for young people to skip school to fight political inaction, ‘climate strike’ has been named Collins Dictionary’s 2019 word of the year.”


MakeUseOf: The Slack Cheat Sheet: Shortcuts, Commands, and Syntax to Know. “If you use Slack at work, you’ll probably agree that its layout and feature set are quite complex. Fortunately, both these elements are well planned and easy to use. But with so much going on in the interface, it’s quite natural to miss out on several features unless you go looking for them specifically.”


New York Times: Why Spy on Twitter? For Saudi Arabia, It’s the Town Square. “Saudi Arabia provides no public spaces where citizens can gather to discuss news and politics. And the kingdom’s news media are state-owned or controlled, limiting the range of perspectives they carry. But many Saudi citizens have multiple cellphones and fast internet, which have led them to use Twitter to engage both with the world and with their fellow citizens. That has given the kingdom one of the world’s largest Twitterspheres.”

Washington Post: Why did Google take action against some pro-Trump ads? It’s one of the many mysteries of its political ad rules.. “Last month, Google took action against seven ads purchased by President Trump’s 2020 campaign, claiming that they violated the company’s rules — even though they had been viewed at least 24 million times. But Google said little else: It didn’t share a copy of the ads in question or disclose what standards they had violated. To experts, those unknowns are just two of many mysteries that demonstrate the company’s continued struggles to spot and shield users from potentially problematic political content with the 2020 presidential election a year away.”

BBC: General election 2019: ‘Cyber-attack’ on Labour Party digital platforms. “The Labour Party says it has successfully defeated a cyber-attack targeted at its digital platforms. Labour said the attack ‘failed’ because of the party’s ‘robust’ security system and no data breach had occurred. The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack floods a computer server with traffic to try to take it offline.”


BuzzFeed News: She Stole Something While Struggling With Heroin Addiction. Cops Turned Her Into A Facebook Meme.. “Wanted posters, the distracted boyfriend meme, #ThugThursday. Police departments have discovered how Facebook makes negative or extreme content go viral. Experts say it ruins people’s trust in cops.”

Ars Technica: Google has access to detailed health records on tens of millions of Americans. “The endeavor, code-named ‘Project Nightingale,’ has enabled at least 150 Google employees to see patient health information, which includes diagnoses, laboratory test results, hospitalization records, and other data, according to internal documents and the newspaper’s sources. In all, the data amounts to complete medical records, WSJ notes, and contains patient names and birth dates.”


Phys .org: Even the most beautiful maps can be misleading. “From reporting election results to issuing weather forecasts, maps offer a powerful, accessible and visually appealing way to convey complex information. But as a researcher focusing on data visualisation, I’m aware that even the most beautiful maps can introduce some degree of misrepresentation.”

South China Morning Post: Chinese scholars use AI to screen newborns for genetic disorders via facial scan. “Researchers from the Shanghai Children’s Medical Centre and the Shanghai Paediatric Centre said their new assistive diagnosis tool, which they described as the first of its kind, was designed to detect more than 100 disorders with distinctive facial features, including Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) and Down syndrome, according to a report by state-owned China News Service on Friday.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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