Guam Unexploded Ordnance, Zorin Linux, Tracking Stocks, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, December 14, 2019


Pacific Daily News: Search our database of unexploded ordnance found on Guam. “During the 20-day battle to liberate Guam from Japanese forces, the American military bombarded the island with explosives. Today, some of the munitions remain, turning up on beaches, farms and construction sites.”


BetaNews: Zorin OS 15.1 Linux distro is ready to replace Microsoft’s dying Windows 7 on your PC. “If you are ready to ditch the soon-to-be-unsupported Windows 7 for a more secure Linux-based operating system, you have plenty of great options. One of the best choices, however, is Zorin OS — a Linux distribution that specifically targets people switching from Windows. Today, the latest version of that operating system, Zorin OS 15.1, is released to the world.” If you’ve got someone who’s used to Windows, has Windows 7, and can’t/won’t upgrade to Windows 10, Zorin is great. If all they want to do is get on the Internet and do their stuff in the cloud, it’s really great.


How-To Geek: How to Track Stocks with Google Sheets. “One of the lesser-known functions in Google Sheets is GOOGLEFINANCE, which allows you to track current or historical financial securities data on the stock market. Here’s how to use it.”

PC World: 7 free GIMP scripts and plug-ins for filters, brushes, textures and more. “Some of GIMP’s greatest assets are the plugins and scripts created by numerous independent programmers. At one time, there was a massive collection called the GIMP Plugin Registry, but that resource is no longer available. Consequently, you must search the Internet for GIMP plug-ins and scripts. To start you on the right track, we’ve selected our favorite plugins and scripts for you to try, with a brief description of each, and a link to the resource location.”


The New Yorker: The Age of Instagram Face. “This past summer, I booked a plane ticket to Los Angeles with the hope of investigating what seems likely to be one of the oddest legacies of our rapidly expiring decade: the gradual emergence, among professionally beautiful women, of a single, cyborgian face.”

Poynter: Want to search for hidden connections between companies? Meet Sinapsis. “From Mexico to Argentina, it is quite common to see fact-checkers drowning in hundreds of spreadsheets and reports regarding the companies they are investigating, besides having a terrible time keeping track of all the information they find. Animal Politico, the largest fact-checking organization in Mexico, launched Sinapsis on Monday to try to simplify these procedures. The new tool is available in Spanish and is being translated into Portuguese.”

Cornell University: Einaudi program promotes nuclear freeze movement’s legacy. “Forty years ago this month, disarmament advocate and researcher Randall Caroline Watson Forsberg told peace activists assembled for Mobilization for Survival’s annual meeting that a bilateral nuclear arms freeze ‘could change the world.’ Forsberg’s vision launched a powerful local- and state-level grassroots lobby for a U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms freeze in the 1980s.”


Computer Business Review: Ransomware’s Toll Laid Bare: Over 100 US Gov’t Agencies Now Hit. “Nearly 1,000 US government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers have been hit by ransomware attacks in 2019, with attacks reaching epidemic proportions, security firm Emsisoft warned today, saying it had tracked attacks on 103 federal, state and municipal governments and agencies, a stunning 759 healthcare providers and 86 universities, colleges and school districts.”

ProPublica: Facebook Ads Can Still Discriminate Against Women and Older Workers, Despite a Civil Rights Settlement. “For Dolese Bros. Co. construction and supply company, which has a fleet of 300 trucks, recruiting enough qualified drivers in rural Oklahoma has been a challenge….The company used Facebook’s new special ads portal, which doesn’t allow targeting by gender, age, race or ethnicity. That was fine with Dolese. While its drivers tend to be men, the company has no gender preference. ‘The gals we have in our group are fabulous,’ [Kermit] Frank said. ‘We’d take any and all of them we could ever get.’ By the time the ad stopped running ten days later, more than 20,000 people had seen it. Eighty-seven percent of them were men.”


Boing Boing: Facebook promised to provide academics data to study disinformation, but their foot-dragging has endangered the whole project . “Facebook was the most enthusiastic partner of the consortium, but 18 months later, it has failed to live up to its promises to provide access and now the leaders of the consortium have published an open letter shaming Facebook for its failures, saying that the entire project is now in jeopardy as its funders have begun to withdraw due to a lack of progress.”

Harvard Business Review: Why Crowdsourcing Often Leads to Bad Ideas. “Why do many crowdsourced ideas turn out so bad, and what can firms do about it? My recent research finds that it comes down to understanding the motivations of crowd members. The research drew on qualitative and quantitative data from InnoCentive — one of the largest global crowdsourcing platforms for innovation.”

EurekAlert: Can artificial intelligence help prevent suicides?. “According to the CDC, the suicide rate for individuals 10-24 years old has increased 56% between 2007 and 2017. In comparison to the general population, more than half of people experiencing homelessness have had thoughts of suicide or have attempted suicide, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council reported. Phebe Vayanos, assistant professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Computer Science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has been enlisting the help of a powerful ally -artificial intelligence- to help mitigate the risk of suicide.” Good morning, Internet…

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