afternoonbuzz

Disaster Risks, Mycorrhiza, Indiana Sheriffs, More: Monday Evening ResearchBuzz, May 25, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

Fast Company: This site shows your home’s disaster risk, from climate to coronavirus. “If you want to move to avoid the impacts of climate change, you may be out of luck: Everywhere on Earth will be affected. But some places are safer than others. A new tool from a startup called Augurisk is designed to help homebuyers and business owners calculate the climate risks of any address in the U.S.—along with multiple other risks, from nuclear power plant radiation to the current spread of COVID-19 and the ability of local hospitals to handle the pandemic.”

Leiden University: New database reveals plants’ secret relationships with fungi. “Almost all vascular plants have a relationship with a fungus in their roots that allow them to obtain nutrients from the soil. This relationship, called mycorrhiza, is symbiotic, since the fungi too benefit from it. It is so important that most plant species would not be able survive without it. Until now, information on this symbiotic relationship has been scattered throughout myriad scientific publications.”

WBIW: Indiana Launches Sheriff Website Portal. “The IN.gov Program, a division of the Indiana Office of Technology, has launched the Indiana Sheriff Portal… to provide a single resource for citizens and businesses to locate information regarding each county sheriff throughout the state.”

XinhuaNet: New database on China’s biodiversity released. “China has released a database of its national annual species checklist to facilitate biodiversity research and conservation, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Monday. The database, known as the Catalogue of Life China 2020 Annual Checklist, was jointly compiled by researchers from the Institute of Zoology, the Institute of Botany, the Institute of Microbiology under the CAS as well as other institutions.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The Verge: Facebook’s new tool makes it easy to transfer photos and videos to Google Photos. “Facebook is rolling out a new tool today allowing users in the US and Canada to transfer their photos and videos to Google Photos. The tool can be accessed by heading to your Facebook settings, then heading to the tab that reads ‘Your Facebook Information.’ There you’ll find the option to transfer your photos and videos. You’ll need to connect your Google account before you can transfer your files.”

UC Today: Otter. ai Launches Meeting Transcriptions for Zoom. “With the new tool out by Otter.ai, Zoom users can open a secure, interactive transcripts directly from video conferences, both during, and after meetings. The company’s new interactive transcriptions come at a time where remote work is more prevalent than ever before. Industries such as distance learning, healthcare, sales, and customer support now depend on video conferencing tools like Zoom.”

USEFUL STUFF

Make Tech Easier: 4 Great Alternatives to Google Calendar . “Calendars seem like a fairly basic technology on the surface, but if it were that easy to make a good calendar program, there would presumably be more worthy alternatives to Google Calendar. It’s simple, effortlessly cross-platform, shareable, tweakable, and comes with a boatload of random helpful features and integrations, and there’s honestly no perfect clone out there. There are, however, a few that come quite close, so if you’re looking to make the switch with minimal friction, check out the four Google Calendar alternatives below.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Wired: I Can’t Stop Escaping Into Google Photos’ Nostalgia Vortex . ” This spring, the coronavirus pandemic shut down college campuses and canceled gatherings across the country. For those of us so privileged that our only diagnosis is to stay home, long stretches of isolation and anxiety spirals still take a mental toll. The idea that there might be an escape hatch from the fear and grief many of us are feeling, however temporary, has never been more seductive. My own colleagues have found escapist respite in Animal Crossing and reality TV, ASMR and a Barbie Polaroid camera. On sleep-starved nights, I’ve tapped through each one of my apps, in search of solace within the safe perimeter of my phone screen. This was how I opened my long-dormant Google Photos app—and unleashed the most potent diversion of them all.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

ChannelNews Australia: ‘Publisher’ Google Ordered To Pay $40K In Defamation Case. “In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of Victoria has found that Google is a publisher and has been consequently ordered to pay $40,000 in damages to Melbourne lawyer George Defteros , who had sued the Internet company for defamation. Google had argued that the automation of its search engines meant it was not a publisher and not liable, but Justice Melinda Richards ruled against that.”

New York Times: Why All the Shouting About Google?. “You may have seen (or ignored) a gazillion articles about the U.S. government preparing to sue Google for possibly being an illegal monopoly.This is going to get weird. So here’s what you need to know about this tussle, and why normal humans should care.” Good evening, Internet…

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