North Dakota Flooding, Taiwan Tea, Google Assistant, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, January 8, 2020


KX Net: State Flood Risk Map Now Available To Residents.”The North Dakota Water Commission recently unveiled a new interactive map you can check out before the water starts to rise. Officially called the North Dakota Risk Assessment Map service, the new, free tool will show users flood depths, surface elevations as well as scenarios for 100-and 500-year floods.”


BusinessWire: MOC Elevates Tea Industry through Cultural Approaches (PRESS RELEASE). “To preserve Taiwan’s tea culture systematically, the Ministry of Culture launched the Improving Tea Industry through Cultural Approaches project, utilizing digital preservation and value-added application methods to plan a tea cultural route for the public. In 2019, the project has registered a total of 2,036 data relating to tea industry, spanning tea manufacturing equipment, tea plant varieties, cultivation, and tea diseases. It has also collected information and documents on tea activities, tea factories, and tea shops, as well as authors and researchers engaging in tea culture and studies.” I did not see an English version of the content available at the link provided.

BloombergQuint: Google Says Over 500 Million People Use Its Assistant Monthly. “On the one hand, having the voice-controlled technology on over half a billion devices far outstrips main rival Inc., which said last year that more than 100 million gadgets had been sold with its Alexa digital assistant. However, Google’s Android operating system runs on roughly 2.5 billion devices. That suggests the Google Assistant either isn’t available with some of these products, or that many people aren’t using the service.”

The Verge: Tumblr is rolling out an internet literacy initiative to help combat misinformation and cyberbullying. “The initiative, World Wide What, was developed in partnership with a nonprofit internet literacy organization based in the United Kingdom called Ditch the Label. The campaign consists of six informational videos that walk Tumbr’s community through topics like fake news and authenticity, along with other issues the platform encounters, like cyberbullying.”


7Labs: How to delete old Facebook posts in bulk. “Whether you’re looking for a fresh start or just want to clean up your old social activity, you might have wanted to delete your old Facebook posts. And unlike other social networking platforms, Facebook does give you a native way (both on the web as well as on the mobile app) to selectively edit or delete old posts in bulk. But still, it could be a slow and tedious process to go through all that history and clean it anyway. So here, we’re going to explore an alternative method to quickly remove old Facebook posts in bulk.”

Towards Data Science: A short guide to analyzing public data from Google BigQuery. “In the following paragraphs, we’ll walk through a step by step process of working with Google BigQuery and churn out a nice analysis along the way. Please note, that the scope of BigQuery is quite wide, but I will start with its most basic use, which is accessing public datasets and querying it on R (without downloading on my disk).” You will also need basic knowledge of SQL.


The West Australian: Google Maps gets overseas tourists stuck near Goldfields fire zone. “Drivers are being warned not to trust online maps in times of emergencies after two tourists were found down a backtrack near Norseman as firefighters tackled several blazes. Kalgoorlie incident control centre public information officer Drew Griffiths said emergency services had located a foreign couple who appeared to have relied on information from an online maps service to go around the road closures.”


Ars Technica: Researchers unearth malicious Google Play apps linked to active exploit hackers. “Researchers have found more malicious Google Play apps, one of which exploits a serious Android rooting vulnerability so the app can take screenshots and collect other types of sensitive user information.”

ZDNet: Search engine for Japanese sex hotels announces security breach. “HappyHotel, a Japanese search engine for finding and booking rooms in ‘love hotels,’ disclosed a security breach at the end of last year. Love hotels are hotels built and operated primarily for allowing guests privacy for sexual activities.”


Geographical: Revolutionising research through digitisation. Geographical is the official magazine of the Royal Geographical Society. “As part of our commitment to make the Society’s Collections more accessible for research purposes such as these, and to support teaching and learning, we are working with Wiley Digital Archives to digitise hundreds of thousands of items from the archives. The result is an online portal that enables digital access to a variety of both published and unpublished material, revolutionising access to the Collections, while preserving them for years to come.”

News@Northeastern: He’s Training Computers To Find New Molecules With The Machine Learning Algorithms Used By Facebook And Google. “For more than a decade, Facebook and Google algorithms have been learning as much as they can about you. It’s how they refine their systems to deliver the news you read, those puppy videos you love, and the political ads you engage with. These same kinds of algorithms can be used to find billions of molecules and catalyze important chemical reactions that are currently induced with expensive and toxic metals, says Steven A. Lopez, an assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Northeastern.”

Phys .org: Activists use shocking social media imagery to inspire action in the fight against plastic pollution. “New research into the fight against plastic pollution, published by the Academy of Management Journal, reveals the influencing power of social media as activists use emotions to convert viewers and enact change.” Good morning, Internet…

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