South America Biodiversity, Weather Disasters, Earth, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, May 26, 2020


Yale News: Yale, Field Museum map species diversity in South American national parks. “Park rangers, naturalists, tourists, educators, and land managers can now take a virtual tour of species diversity across three South American countries thanks to a new information dashboard created by researchers at Yale University and the Field Museum in Chicago. The Biodiversity Dashboard lists almost 5,500 species found in and around national parks in three of the world’s most biodiverse countries: Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.”

Weather .com: Here’s Which Type of Billion-Dollar Weather Disaster Has Occurred Most Frequently in Each State Since 1980. “Billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, such as those from severe thunderstorms, wildfires and tropical cyclones, have affected every U.S. state since 1980, and a new tool developed by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) shows us how often each type of disaster has occurred in each state over the last 40 years.”

Penn State News: Libraries virtual exhibition highlights human impact on our planet. “The virtual exhibition invites the viewer to consider a range of environmental-related topics and will serve as a growing, centralized resource for the Libraries’ rich trove of primary sources focused around key issues and themes: Climate Change and Weather Data, Energy and Extraction History, Environmental Disasters and Pollution, Arctic Exploration, Eco-Materiality and Future Speculations, Biodiversity, and Environmental Protection and Activism.”

WJAG: New website lists licensed child care providers in Nebraska. “If you need child care and can’t find any, especially during this coronavirus pandemic, a new website may be able to help. Betty Medinger, Senior Vice President of the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation says a group of early childhood stakeholders has collaborated to create the Nebraska Child Care Referral Network.”


Search Engine Journal: Google Translate Widget is Free Again for Some Websites to Use. “Google is again supporting the Google Translate website translator tool in an effort help people get the information they need amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Google had previously withdrawn support for this plugin, which gave site visitors a way to translate pages into 100+ languages for free.”

Tubefilter: Wengie To Host ‘FutureCon’, A Virtual YouTube Convention Combining Anime, Cosplay, Music, And Gaming. “FutureCon will combine the worlds of anime, cosplay, music, and gaming, according to Forbes, and will premiere on May 27 at 9 pm ET on Wengie’s second channel exclusively dedicated to her music ventures. FutureCon will feature musicians (hailing from genres like K-pop, EDM, and J-pop), and will also comprise discussions with mental health advocates, as well as an amateur cosplay content. Per Forbes, the event is being hosted during both Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month.”


Economic Times: ‘Google tax’ could draw reprisal, US cautions India. “India’s 6% equalisation levy on foreign online advertising platforms may impede its overseas trade and increase the risk of retaliation from countries where Indian companies are doing business, the US has cautioned. This is because its provisions do not provide credit for tax paid in other countries for the service provided in India, it said.”

MENAFN: Discover Puerto Rico first to offer live guided tours through Google Earth. “Discover Puerto Rico is the first destination to offer live guided tours via Google Earth, transporting at-home wanderlusters to iconic locations on the Island such as Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Toro Verde in Orocovis and Domes Beach in Rincón (pictured left to right), during National Travel and Tourism Week (May 3-9).” Old story but an interesting idea.


Wired: Inside the NSA’s Secret Tool for Mapping Your Social Network. “IN THE SUMMER of 2013, I spent my days sifting through the most extensive archive of top-secret files that had ever reached the hands of an American journalist. In a spectacular act of transgression against the National Security Agency, where he worked as a contractor, Edward Snowden had transmitted tens of thousands of classified documents to me, the columnist Glenn Greenwald, and the documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. One of those documents, the first to be made public in June 2013, revealed that the NSA was tracking billions of telephone calls made by Americans inside the US. The program became notorious, but its full story has not been told.”

TechCrunch: Hackers release a new jailbreak that unlocks every iPhone. “The jailbreak, released by the unc0ver team, supports all iPhones that run iOS 11 and above, including up to iOS 13.5, which Apple released this week. Details of the vulnerability that the hackers used to build the jailbreak aren’t known, but it’s not expected to last forever. Just as jailbreakers work to find a way in, Apple works fast to patch the flaws and close the jailbreak.”


SiliconANGLE: OpenAI debuts Jukebox, a machine learning framework that creates its own music. “Artificial intelligence research outfit OpenAI Inc. has published a new machine learning framework that can generate its own music after being trained on raw audio. The new tool is called Jukebox, and the results are pretty impressive. Although the songs it made don’t quite sound like the real thing, they’re very close approximations to the originals.”

EurekAlert: New device simulates feel of walls, solid objects in virtual reality. “Today’s virtual reality systems can create immersive visual experiences, but seldom do they enable users to feel anything — particularly walls, appliances and furniture. A new device developed at Carnegie Mellon University, however, uses multiple strings attached to the hand and fingers to simulate the feel of obstacles and heavy objects.” Good morning, Internet…

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