Climate Change Response, Hubble Space Telescope, TikTok, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 6, 2020

Finally got past that bug that was giving me a hard time and finished my four-part article on what made me teary (in a good way) in 2019. Part 1 is here. Apologies for the weird formatting, in the next 3 parts it’s not like that.


New-to-me, from Ensia: How can we adapt to climate change? This online hub has answers. “Even as we strive to stop the globe from getting hotter still in order to avoid another ‘lost decade,’ we’ll also have to adjust to changes already happening. The good news: There’s no need to start from scratch, thanks to the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE), a collection of more than 2,000 vetted resources on climate adaptation compiled since 2010 by EcoAdapt, a nonprofit based in Washington state.”


Hubble Space Telescope: Announcing the Hubble Space Telescope Hidden Gems. “In April 2020, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope will celebrate 30 years since its launch. ESA/Hubble has produced a commemorative calendar of the telescope’s Hidden Gems that is now available for everyone to use and enjoy.”

TechCrunch: ByteDance & TikTok have secretly built a deepfakes maker. “TikTok parent company ByteDance has built technology to let you insert your face into videos starring someone else. TechCrunch has learned that ByteDance has developed an unreleased feature using life-like deepfakes technology that the app’s code refers to as Face Swap. Code in both TikTok and its Chinese sister app Douyin asks users to take a multi-angle biometric scan of their face, then choose from a selection of videos they want to add their face to and share.”

The Guardian: Fresh Cambridge Analytica leak ‘shows global manipulation is out of control’ . “An explosive leak of tens of thousands of documents from the defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica is set to expose the inner workings of the company that collapsed after the Observer revealed it had misappropriated 87 million Facebook profiles. More than 100,000 documents relating to work in 68 countries that will lay bare the global infrastructure of an operation used to manipulate voters on ‘an industrial scale’ are set to be released over the next months.”


How-To Geek: How to Use Sparklines in Google Sheets. “When you’re working with large amounts of data in a Google Sheets spreadsheet, it isn’t always convenient to drop a chart into the mix. To help you, you can create one-cell charts using the SPARKLINE function instead. A sparkline chart is a very small line chart that allows you to quickly visualize your data. It’s useful if you want to quickly see if share price data in a spreadsheet was going up or down, for instance.”


CNN: Nanobots, ape chauffeurs and flights to Pluto. The predictions for 2020 we got horribly wrong. “History is littered with predictions and future projections. Many of these are given with supreme confidence, before they fade conveniently into insignificance as they whiz wide off the mark. But as we charge into the third decade of the 21st century, it’s time to ask: Where did we think we’d be in 2020?”

New York Times: Wanted: A Home for Three Million Records. “Housed in a nondescript building in TriBeCa is the Archive of Contemporary Music, a nonprofit founded in 1985. It is one of the world’s largest collections of popular music, with more than three million recordings, as well as music books, vintage memorabilia and press kits. For point of comparison, the Library of Congress estimates that it also holds nearly three million sound recordings…. Rent in the neighborhood has continued to rise, challenging the organization to stay on budget, said Bob George, the founder and director of the archive. Recently, Mr. George reached an agreement with his landlord to get out of his lease early. He has until June to find another space.”


Decrypt: A malicious Google Chrome extension cost one user $16,000. “A user of a malicious cryptocurrency wallet, Ledger Secure, claims to have lost $16,000 worth of the privacy coin Zcash. Ledger Secure, an extension for Google Chrome, isn’t related to Ledger, the hardware wallet makers of a similar name. Instead, it passes a user’s seed phrase back to the creator of the extension, claimed @BTCSchellingPt.”


SF Gate: Old journals shed light on climate change. “n the 1940s and 1950s, the hunting guide L.S. Quackenbush lived in a cabin in remote Oxbow, Maine. He rented cabins to hunters, cut, stacked and split wood and used his daily walks to keep detailed notes on the spring arrivals of songbirds and the first appearances of flowers and tree leaves. His journals meticulously documenting the changing seasons grew and grew, eventually totaling more than 5,000 pages. Now they are filling gaps on how trees and migratory birds are responding to a changing climate in northern Maine, where historical data is sparse.”

Blake’s Sanctum: SEGA MegaZone Preservation Archive NEEDS YOUR HELP!. “Being an Australian magazine (presumably with no international distribution) this great old magazine and piece of video game history from the early to mid 90s, arguably the greatest era in retro gaming due to the 16bit console wars and the rise of mainstream PC gaming (Point & click adventures, 1st person shooters, and RTS+TBS strategy games) has sadly disappeared into near obscurity with only a small internet presence and a few mangy old mags occasionally appearing on ebay. There is currently NO COMPLETE DIGITAL RECORD OF THIS MAGAZINE IN EXISTENCE. I want to try and change that…” Good afternoon, Internet…

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