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African-American Duluth, NOAA on Google Cloud, Ekoru, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, December 20, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

University of Minnesota Duluth: Duluth African American Oral History Project. “The African American Oral History Project includes interviews designed to document particular aspects of Duluth’s history and/or important local institutions, such as the Institute for Afro-American Awareness, the local branch of NAACP, St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, Calvary Baptist Church, and the Juneteenth Celebration committee, as well as document African American life more generally. The interviews were conducted between November 2016 and February 2017.” The archive will be updated over time.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Cloud: Big data, big world: new NOAA datasets available on Google Cloud. “A vast trove of NOAA’s environmental data is now available on Google Cloud as part of the Google Cloud Public Datasets Program and NOAA’s Big Data Project, opening up possibilities for scientific and economic advances. We are thrilled to make this valuable data available for your exploration. Google Cloud will host 5 PB of this data across our products, including BigQuery, Cloud Storage, Google Earth Engine, and Kaggle. The stored data is available at no cost, though usual charges may still apply (processing, egress of user-owned data, for example).”

Green Queen: Hydro-Powered Search Engine Ekoru Helps Divert Ocean Waste With Every Browse. “Ekoru, a new hydro-electric powered search engine lets you browse the internet while helping clean ocean waste and keeping users’ data private. Founded this year by Australian techie Ati Bakush, Ekoru dedicates 60% of its revenue to climate change charities involved in animal welfare, reforestation and ocean conservation.”

Neowin: Linux Mint 19.3 ‘Tricia’ now available in three editions. “The team behind Linux Mint has announced the availability of Linux Mint 19.3, the announcement comes less than a week after we reported that the final disc images were undergoing tests. As is the case with the last few Linux Mint version, Tricia will be available in three editions: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.”

USEFUL STUFF

Lifehacker: Transform YouTube Into a Distraction-Free Audio Player With This Extension. “YouTube can be a great place to find music to listen to. Since it’s a video site; however, often that music comes with a video that can be distracting when you’re really just looking for some tunes. Music Mode is a Chrome Extension that can help.”

Wired: Tweak These Google Chrome Settings to Level Up Your Browsing. “Chances are you spend a lot of your computing time inside a browser window, and quite possibly inside a Chrome tab; Google’s browser has come from nowhere in 2008 to dominate the browser landscape on desktop and mobile. Part of Chrome’s appeal is its ease of use, but it also has more advanced features just below the surface that can help you do more in less time. To give your time online a boost, try these Chrome tips and tweaks.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

New York Times: How the Superrich Took Over the Museum World. “MoMA is a prime example. Of its 51 trustees who have a vote, at least 45 (by my count) work in finance, the corporate world, real estate or law, or are the heirs or spouses of the superrich. Only a handful come from outside these gilded ranks, among them the writer and actress Anna Deavere Smith and the Harvard professor of history and race Khalil Gibran Muhammad. As has been widely reported, both MoMA and the Met expect wealthy newcomers to give millions of dollars as the price of membership. (Because donations to museums are for the most part tax-deductible, the giving is leavened with a sizable dose of self-interest.)”

SECURITY & LEGAL

WPVI with a side of yikes: Wawa announces massive data breach, ‘potentially all’ locations affected, CEO says. “This malware affected customer payment card information used at potentially all Wawa locations beginning at different points in time after March 4, 2019 and until it was contained last week. This malware affected payment card information, including credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names on payment cards used at potentially all Wawa in-store payment terminals and fuel dispensers.”

BuzzFeed News: A Data Leak Exposed The Personal Information Of Over 3,000 Ring Users. “Using the log-in email and password, an intruder could access a Ring customer’s home address, telephone number, and payment information, including the kind of card they have, and its last four digits and security code. An intruder could also access live camera footage from all active Ring cameras associated with an account, as well as a 30- to 60-day video history, depending on the user’s cloud storage plan.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Mashable: Study: Bing search results suck in entirely new and profound ways. “Bing continues to surprise in all the wrong ways. The Microsoft search engine has long been the butt of jokes for its perceived failings as, you know, a search engine, but a new Stanford study suggests its true faults are significantly more troubling. Specifically, according to the report, Bing returns disinformation, conspiracy theories, and white supremacist content at an alarming rate. ”

Dan McKinley: Google Reader Killed RSS. “I miss the RSS world of the early 2000’s as much as anyone. I miss it almost as much as I miss McCarren Pool having no water in it and new Spoon albums sounding fresh. This is why I feel compelled to point out that those mourning Google Reader are forgetting that it was actually responsible for ruining the whole thing.” Not sure I agree with this entirely but it’s a developer perspective I had not considered. Interesting read.

Washington Post: Justice Department investigates Sci-Hub founder on suspicion of working for Russian intelligence. “The Justice Department is investigating a woman who runs a major Internet piracy operation on suspicion that she may also be working with Russian intelligence to steal U.S. military secrets from defense contractors, according to people familiar with the matter. Alexandra Elbakyan​, a computer programmer born in Kazakhstan, is the creator of Sci-Hub, a website that provides free access to academic papers that are usually available only through expensive subscriptions.” Good morning, Internet…

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