Microbial Natural Products, Global Wildfires, Google Maps, More: Friday Evening ResearchBuzz, November 29, 2019


Chemistry World: Open access Atlas maps out microbial natural products. “A new open access database of microbial natural products has launched online. The Natural Products Atlas (NPAtlas) is free to use and contains more than 24,000 chemical structures. The tool is based on Fair data principles, making the information within it easier to search and use in secondary analysis.” I don’t put anything in RB unless I can get a basic understanding of what the resource is about. (I have skipped including items because I just didn’t get the underlying discipline or presentation.) In this case I had no idea what microbial natural products are, but I now understand better thanks to PubMed.

Nature: A global wildfire dataset for the analysis of fire regimes and fire behaviour. “Here, we present and test a data mining work flow to create a global database of single fires that allows for the characterization of fire types and fire regimes worldwide. This work describes the data produced by a data mining process using MODIS burnt area product Collection 6 (MCD64A1). The entire product has been computed until the present and is available under the umbrella of the Global Wildfire Information System (GWIS).”


Toronto Star: Google pens Twitter ode to Scarborough after depicting it as a semi-collapsed house. “A week ago, the tech giant sparked outrage among Torontonians when users discovered that a cursory search of the word ‘Scarborough’ in Google led to a sad photo of a semi-collapsed house. The company promptly removed the photo, and on Wednesday, Google Canada posted a series of tweets expressing its affection for the natural beauty and local institutions that it may have initially overlooked.”


Mic: Why the follow-unfollow method still persists on social media. “Like anyone, I’m a sucker for that jolt of endorphins when my notifications tell me I have a new follower. But that feeling of euphoria fades once I realize that account is following me again only days after they followed me the first time. That can only mean one of two things: Less likely, that they no longer liked my posts, unfollowed me, and then decided to give me another try; or more likely, that they’ve followed and unfollowed me to get my attention in the hopes that I’d follow them back. I want to tell these sweet and naïve social media users that, No, If I wanted to follow them back, I would have the first time.”

Scroll: Twitter has become toxic. Can Mastodon provide a saner, safer alternative?. “Angered by the suspension of the Twitter account of Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde, Mastodon has seen a trickle of Indian Twitter users joining its platform. Several liberal Twitter users in India had accused the micro-blogging site of censoring anti-government handles and failing to control hate speech, allegations which Twitter India refuted.”

The Conversation: On the Battle of Seattle’s 20th anniversary, let’s remember the Aussie coders who created live sharing. “Today, online publishing allows multiple people to post text and multimedia content simultaneously to websites in real time, and have others comment on posts. But this format, used on sites like Facebook and Twitter, was first conceptualised, coded and adopted by a handful of Sydney-based activists back in the 1990s. These individuals were pioneers in kickstarting the digital disruption of mainstream media, and their actions enabled the world to openly and easily share content online.”


CBC: ‘Learn how to read English’: Kijiji discrimination case highlights human rights law online. “Eight years after the complaint was made, a decision has come down in a St. John’s human rights case that centres on discrimination in the world of online commerce. The decision in Zaid Saad’s case appears to be one of the first of its kind, according to the Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador, which explicitly states a person cannot be discriminated against on online commerce websites, like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji or NL Classifieds.” I’m going to be thinking about this one a long time.

The Register: Google caught a Russian state hacker crew uploading badness to the Play Store. “Google has said it fired off 12,000 warnings to unlucky users of its GMail, Drive and YouTube services telling them that they’re being phished by state-backed hackers.”


The Guardian: How do you promote a party manifesto on social media?. “Many people will not read the proposals in full and given that many get their news exclusively through social media platforms, what the parties are saying online about their policies (and what they aren’t) matters. Today we are looking at how the parties are condensing their manifestos for Facebook and Twitter and badmouthing their rivals’ policies through Google search ads.”

BBC: Smartphone ‘addiction’: Young people ‘panicky’ when denied mobiles. “Almost a quarter of young people are so dependent on their smartphones that it becomes like an addiction, suggests research by psychiatrists. The study, from King’s College London, says such addictive behaviour means that people become ‘panicky’ or ‘upset’ if they are denied constant access.” Why am I suddenly thinking of the Ray Bradbury short story The Veldt? (That’s a PDF of the story, by the way, not a Web page.) Good evening, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

2 replies »

  1. Hi.
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    Selective Articles. Of Interest
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    re Follow/Unfollow Issues-
    on which such i Shiro
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    Till Next… Shiro 😎

    • I’m glad you commented, both for the knowledge and so I can thank you for liking my posts. Sometimes I wonder if anyone’s out there reading, and you remind me…

      (Of course, when I spell something wrong I’m immediately reminded that people are out there reading…)

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