Newfoundland Traditional Music, Modern Slavery, Embedding PDFs, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, February 13, 2020


The Telegram (SaltWire): St. John’s web developer and musician creates online database for traditional Newfoundland music. “[Allan] Farrell, who works as a web developer, can also be found most Sundays at a session of like-minded individuals plucking, strumming, bowing, beating, blowing or — as the accordion is his preferred instrument — squeezing the tunes of old Newfoundland and Ireland back to life. But carrying around all those sheets of paper was a nuisance, so he decided to make a publicly available, online database of traditional music he could access from anywhere on his phone.”

University of Nottingham: Major new database reveals slavery is still not illegal in half the world’s countries. “A new global review of antislavery legislation has busted a popular misconception that slavery is now illegal in every country in the world. The Antislavery in Domestic Legislation Database has been compiled over the past five years and is launched today at the United Nations headquarters by the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab in partnership with the Castan Centre for Human Rights (Monash University, Australia).”


Digital Inspiration: A Better Way to Embed PDF Documents in Web Pages. “If you prefer to offer a more customized and immersive reading experience for PDFs in your website, check out the new Adobe View SDK. This is part of the Adobe Document Cloud platform but doesn’t cost a penny.”

Reuters: Facebook will pay Reuters to fact-check Deepfakes and more. “Eye-witness photos and videos distributed by news wire Reuters already go through an exhaustive media verification process. Now the publisher will bring that expertise to the fight against misinformation on Facebook. Today it launches the new Reuters Fact Check business unit and blog, announcing that it will become one of the third-party partners tasked with debunking lies spread on the social network.”


Ramblers: Find. Map. Save: join the search to save thousands of miles of lost historic paths. “An estimated 10,000 miles of historic paths – the equivalent of the distance from London to Sydney – are thought to be missing from the map in England and Wales. These historic paths are a vital part of our heritage, describing how people have travelled over the centuries, yet if they are not claimed by 2026, we risk losing them forever. We want to build a movement of ‘citizen geographers’ to help find all these missing rights of way before it’s too late.”

Tubefilter: We Talked To 5 Former Top Viners About Their Initial Impressions Of Successor App ‘Byte’. “Byte was established by Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann in Nov. 2017 in the wake of Twitter-owned Vine’s demise. After persevering through various legal and financial hurdles, Byte — by most accounts a spiritual replication of its predecessor — launched in beta last May and officially arrived in the app store on Jan. 25. What feels most promising about Byte is its forthcoming monetization plans. This is a critical piece of the puzzle in the minds of creators, they said, given that a lack of monetization precipitated Vine’s downfall.”


New York Times: He Combs the Web for Russian Bots. That Makes Him a Target.. “For the last five years, Mr. [Ben] Nimmo, a founder of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, has been a leader of a small but growing community of online sleuths. These researchers serve as an informal internet police force that combats malicious attempts to use false information to sway public opinion, sow political discord and foment distrust in traditional institutions like the news media and the government.”

Lifehacker: Watch Out for Lastpass’ New Log-off Bug. “A number of LastPass users are taking to the company’s forums to complain about a pretty unfortunate bug that affects its extension’s automatic log-off features—something you’ll always want to enable as a backup security measure.”


Newswise: UCSC Genome Browser posts the coronavirus genome. “Research into the novel Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus, the deadly ‘coronavirus’ that has forced the Chinese government to quarantine more than 50 million people in the country’s dense industrial heartland, will be facilitated by the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. The Genomics Institute’s Genome Browser team has posted the complete biomolecular code of the virus for researchers all over the world to use.”

Wired: Can a Database of Animal Viruses Help Predict the Next Pandemic?. “Search ‘coronavirus’ on GenBank, a public repository for genomes, and today you’ll find more than 35,000 sequences. Alpaca coronaviruses. Hedgehog coronaviruses. Beluga whale coronaviruses. And, of course, lots and lots of bat coronaviruses. But very few people have carried out the downstream laboratory work—figuring out how these coronaviruses behave, how they get into the bodies of their hosts, and how likely it is that they could make the hop to humans.” Good evening, Internet…

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