LinkedIn, Māori Books, GMail, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, November 24, 2019


LinkedIn Blog: Our Expanded Transparency Report: First Half of 2019. “Today we’re publishing our bi-annual Transparency Report for the January-June 2019 reporting period. As always, this includes our Government Requests Report, outlining how we respond to government requests about our members or the content they share. For the first time, we’re also publishing a Community Report. We’re including this new report to provide more visibility into how we enforce our Professional Community Policies and address activity and content that isn’t allowed on our platform.”

National Library of New Zealand: Mrs Grimke’s scripture cards. “Last year the Library began looking into the possibilities of digitising all the publications listed in the Books in Māori bibliography. After the helpful feedback we got from the people who attended last year’s hui and some further research into the collection, we’ve decided to begin this project with two strands of work. Firstly we will digitise Te Kāhiti o Niu Tireni up to 1900, which is one of the serials listed in ‘Books in Māori’ (BIM). Te Kāhiti was the te reo version of the New Zealand Gazette, which primarily focused on applications and decisions made by the Native Land Court (later known as the Māori Land Court).”

CNET: Gmail on your phone is about to get more interactive. “If you use Gmail on your phone, you’ll soon be able to complete tasks like RSVPing for events or responding to a Google Docs comment without leaving your inbox, Google said Thursday.”


Lifehacker: Automatically Detect Computer Generated Text With This Chrome Extension. “Artificial intelligence systems can write pretty convincingly readable text these days. A new browser extension, GPTrue or False, can test whether a given text is likely to have been generated by an AI.” Janelle Shane, an AI expert whom I’ve mentioned in RB more than once, tested it and thought it worked pretty good.


Ars Technica: DOD joins fight against 5G spectrum proposal, citing risks to GPS. “The Department of Defense has weighed in against a proposal before the Federal Communications Commission to open the 1 to 2 Gigahertz frequency range—the L band—for use in 5G cellular networks. The reason: segments of that range of radio spectrum are already used by Global Positioning System signals and other military systems.”

Bloomberg: This is not a Google product.Should it be?. “There was a time when Google might have worn its unpopularity in Washington as a badge of honor. But the company is hitting middle age now, with $140 billion in annual revenue and a desire to expand into new lines of business. That’s made military contracts enticing to Google’s leadership, which sees defense work as an important stepping stone to more business in the $200 billion market for cloud services.”

Nieman Journalism Lab: “We’re wounded animals and wondering if they’re going to shoot us”: Publishers have, um, cooled on partnerships with platforms. “The era when publishers could be just mildly skeptical of platforms while continuing to work with them enthusiastically appears to be over. Bring on the ‘just kill me now’ analogies — and a shift to, um, unenthusiastic partnerships.”


The Next Web, with a big side of YAY!: PSA: Twitter finally ditches SMS for two-factor authentication. “Twitter has finally done the impossible: it’s allowing users to enroll for its two-factor authentication (2FA) program without requiring a phone number. What’s more, it’s also providing an option to disable SMS-based 2FA, which is known to be flawed and insecure.”


Engadget: Alphabet’s rebooted robotics program starts with trash-sorting machines . “For all the advances made by robot companies like Boston Dynamics, we’re still a long way from having robots living among humans and performing assistive tasks in our day-to-day lives. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is taking on the this challenge through its experimental X Lab, where engineers are working on The Everyday Robot Project.”

Newswise: Breaking Down Biodegradable: UF Scientist Creates Guide to Bioplastics. “‘These days, I get asked about bioplastics a lot,’ said Maia McGuire, a University of Florida/IFAS Extension Florida Sea Grant agent based in Flagler County. ‘There seems to be an increased awareness of plastic being a problem and people wanting to do better. They see products labeled as “biodegradable,” “compostable,” “green” – and they want to believe that those products are better for the environment without necessarily knowing how to research what to look for or how to interpret the labeling.’ The frequent questions inspired McGuire to publish a document on UF/IFAS Extension’s online collection, EDIS, titled ‘Bioplastics—a better option for the environment?,’ which aims to decipher the labeling of such products.”

Phys .org: New tech puts virtual sense of touch at our fingertips. “The system, developed by researchers at Northwestern University and described in the journal Nature, incorporates 32 individually programmable actuators—a device that emits electric impulses or vibrations—which are embedded into a pliable material made from silicone that adheres to the skin. Controlled by a wireless touchscreen such as a smartphone or tablet, each actuator—the size of a small coin—vibrates to create the perception of touch. The user can control the pressure and the pattern of the sensation.”


The Verge: How the Hmong diaspora uses the world’s most boring technology to make something weird and wonderful. “Even on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the radio lines were busy. Other people might send a card or go out for a family breakfast, but on Hmong radio shows, you waited your turn to speak into the ether, to tell strangers across the world about your parents. Some were living, some already dead, and others were still missing years after the war. No matter the specifics, almost every speaker cried, whether in longing, regret, or simply for the foreign feeling of saying out loud what a mother or father meant to them. But what could these strangers listening know about this grief, contained for so long and finally given a place to expand and breathe?” Was “weird” really necessary for this headline? Good morning, Internet…

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