UK Artworks, Extreme Environments, LGBTQ Kenya, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, March 19, 2020

I shouldn’t have said I would do at least one RB every day, should I? LOL. Yesterday was the first day I missed in I think two years and I’m annoyed at myself. But we keep rolling.


The Guardian: DIY curators let loose on huge online collection of British art. “The charity Art UK, which lists every publicly owned oil painting on its online database and is in the process of adding every sculpture, has announced details of a new curation tool. It will allow members of the public to curate their own online shows, choosing from more than 200,000 oil paintings and 16,000 sculptures in UK galleries from the Shetlands to Scilly.”

PLOS Blogs: Introducing the Life in Extreme Environments Collection. “We are delighted to introduce a Collection entitled Life in Extreme Environments, consisting of papers published in PLOS Biology and PLOS ONE. This interdisciplinary Collection helps us better understand the diversity of life on Earth in addition to the biological processes, geochemistry, and nutrient cycling taking place in many of the Earth’s most inhospitable environments, while also enabling us to make inferences about the potential for life beyond Earth.”

Erasing 76 Crimes: Online archive focuses on LGBT Kenyans from 1800s on. “Activist and author Denis Nzioka has launched KumbuKumbu, a new free resource that collects and preserves records documenting Kenya’s sexual and gender diverse cultures from the 1800s to today. Still in its early stages, the growing collection includes newspaper articles, book and film reviews, and research to showcase stories with ‘historical depth and understanding’.”


The Verge: Facebook is shutting down MSQRD, the AR selfie app it acquired in 2016. “On April 13th, Facebook will remove the MSQRD app from both the Android and iOS app stores. Facebook purchased MSQRD in 2016, and the AR app played a key role in boosting Facebook’s internal portfolio of AR image and video tools.”

Neowin: Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 4 available for download. “At the time of writing, the Linux Mint project is still to announce the release of Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 4 but if you check out mirror services, you can grab the new version right now. The new update brings improvements that were shipped with Linux Mint 19.3 such as Cinnamon 4.4, new default software, a boot repair tool, and more.”


Geeks are Sexy: Enlarge Your Small JPGs Without Losing Quality. “When working online, we often stumble on pictures that are too small to use, and when we enlarge them, we lose too much quality, making them blury or pixelated in the process. Now, thanks to the power of artificial intelligence, we can now enlarge those pics without losing as much quality compared to the enlarge feature of most traditional photo editors, including photoshop, IrfanView, and many others.”


Search Engine Journal: Google Warns About Assumptions Based on Site: Search. “Advanced search operators can be useful. Many people use them for diagnostic purposes, particularly the site: search. There are however solid reasons to not depend on Google’s site: search to gain insights into site rankings, indexing or Google’s algorithm itself.” It’s probably best to assume ALL of Google’s search operators can be random or incomplete.


TorrentFreak: ‘Copyright Troll’ Uses Social Media Info Against Alleged BitTorrent Pirates. “People put all sorts of information on social media nowadays. While most of it is relatively harmless, it can also be used against them in the future. The information doesn’t only allow neighbors and potential employers to spy on them, copyright trolls also use social media postings to support their cases against suspected pirates.”

Mashable: France hits Apple with a $1.23 billion anti-competitive fine. “The French Competition Authority has ordered Apple to pay a €1.1 billion ($1.23 billion) fine, for colluding with its distributors and abusing the economic dependence of its independent resellers.”

ScienceBlog: Researchers Expose Vulnerabilities Of Password Managers. “Encrypted vaults accessed by a single master password or PIN, they store and autofill credentials for the user and come highly recommended by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre. However, researchers at the University of York have shown that some commercial password managers may not be a watertight way to ensure cyber security.”


BetaNews: In a world of deepfakes, who can you trust?. “Though they seem like something out of a futuristic sci-fi movie, deepfakes are very much a reality. In fact, developers have been experimenting with deepfake technology as far back as the late 1990s. Today, deepfakes have become so advanced and believable that they can cause some serious damage in the wrong hands.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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