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Climate Solutions Simulator, TeamTrees, Facebook Gaming, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, December 26, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

MIT Management Sloan School: See the future of global warming in less than one second. “Global warming is a defining problem of our age. But how to solve it? MIT has an answer, thanks to the En-ROADS climate solutions simulator, a new online interface that simulates 100 years of energy, land, and climate data to identify solutions in less than a second.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Engadget: YouTubers have raised $20 million to plant 20 million trees. “A few months ago, some of the top YouTubers like Jimmy ‘MrBeast’ Donaldson and former NASA engineer Mark Rober launched the TeamTrees campaign. The initiative aimed to raise $20 million dollars, which would allow the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 20 million trees. The goal seemed a bit lofty, but the campaign reached its goal with over a week to spare before the self-imposed December 31st deadline.”

CNN: Facebook Gaming has released 2 new Pokémon games. “Just in time for Christmas, Facebook has released two new Pokémon games on Facebook Gaming: ‘Pokémon Tower Battle’ and ‘Pokémon Medallion Battle.'”

USEFUL STUFF

New York Times: Get Those Records, Tapes and CDs Onto Your Smartphone. “In addition to making files that play on your smartphone or media server, digitizing your analog audio creates an electronic archive you can store online for safekeeping. The steps for converting your old recordings vary on the formats and equipment you have, but here’s a general outline of the process and the equipment you may need.”

Hongkiat: 5 Best Mozilla Firefox Privacy-focused Add-ons . “If you’re a privacy enthusiast, you might be using one of the best open-source web browsers: Mozilla Firefox. Even if you don’t care about online privacy, it’s best to opt for Mozilla Firefox, thanks to its set of pro-privacy features. That’s not all; you can do a lot more to protect your online privacy. Among the options, an easy and quick one is to install privacy-focused add-ons in Mozilla Firefox. Since Firefox is one of the oldest browsers on the planet, it offers a plethora of add-ons — for every purpose!”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

EdScoop: Upcoming database will enable universities to share policy ideas. “The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, along with CollegeSource, archiver of higher education course catalogs, is developing a searchable repository of institutional policies to help administrators, faculty and staff develop new policies or benchmark existing ones, the organizations announced Tuesday.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Hundreds of ‘pink slime’ local news outlets are distributing algorithmic stories and conservative talking points. “An investigation by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School has discovered at least 450 websites in a network of local and business news organizations, each distributing thousands of algorithmically generated articles and a smaller number of reported stories. Of the 450 sites we discovered, at least 189 were set up as local news networks across ten states within the last twelve months by an organization called Metric Media.”

BBC: Iran internet ‘disrupted’ ahead of protests. “Internet services have been disrupted in parts of Iran amid reports it is being cut off ahead of planned anti-government protests on Thursday. BBC Persian audiences reported outages, while internet monitoring service NetBlocks confirmed a drop in usage.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

TechCrunch: TikTok’s national security scrutiny tightens as US Navy reportedly bans popular social app. “TikTok may be the fastest-growing social network in the history of the internet, but it is also quickly becoming the fastest-growing security threat and thorn in the side of U.S. China hawks. The latest, according to a notice published by the U.S. Navy this past week and reported on by Reuters and the South China Morning Post, is that TikTok will no longer be allowed to be installed on service members’ devices, or they may face expulsion from the military service’s intranet.”

BuzzFeed News: Hackers Are Breaking Into Websites And Adding Links To Game Google. “This August, Molly Stillman logged on to her lifestyle blog to update a few popular old posts, freshening them up so they would continue to attract traffic from Pinterest and search engines. She was horrified at what she discovered.” This happened to me/ResearchBuzz several years ago and is the primary reason I no longer self-host.

RESEARCH & OPINION

Newswise: New MSU study corrects ‘fake news’ on social media. “A Mississippi State University researcher and a recent graduate are publishing their new study on how the dissemination of correct information on social media platforms can shift public perception amid a wave of ‘fake news.'”

The Next Web: How I fully quit Google (and you can, too). “I made this guide to show you how I quit the Googleverse, and the alternatives I choose based on my own research and personal needs. I’m not a technologist or a coder, but my work as a journalist requires me to be aware of security and privacy issues.” Good morning, Internet…

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