Biodiversity, Heartbeat of the Earth, Piano Classical Music, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, June 20, 2020


NASA: NASA Fosters Innovative Ways to Understand Biodiversity. “To study and monitor changes in Earth’s biodiversity, or the immense volume of organisms in the world, scientists and citizen scientists record their sightings in the field. At the same time, sensors on the ground and on board satellites and aircraft monitor flora and fauna on a regional to global scale. NASA has funded four projects to create new, virtual portals that bring into focus this wealth of biodiversity information to help inform scientists, land managers and decision makers around the world regarding the status and health of terrestrial ecosystems.”

Scoop New Zealand: UN, Google Arts & Culture Announce ‘Heartbeat Of The Earth’ – An Artistic Take On Climate Data. “On World Environment Day (June 5), UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Google Arts & Culture Lab residency program announce ‘Heartbeat of the Earth’, a series of experimental artworks inspired by climate data. Five artists—Cristina Tarquini, Fabian Oefner, Laurie Frick, Timo Aho & Pekka Niittyvirta—used key findings from the UN’s landmark 2018 IPCC report and data from scientific institutions, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the World Meteorological Organization, to create four interactive art pieces about our climate. They’ve addressed the topics of declining ocean life, food consumption, melting glaciers and rising sea levels.”

Rhinegold Publishing: Historic piano recordings database goes online. “Michael Spring, owner of historic piano recordings label APR, has launched a free, comprehensive online database of 78 rpm piano recordings, comprising more than 12,000 entries dating from the 1890s until the mid-1950s.”


CNBC: Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will allow users to turn off political ads. “Users will be able to turn off political, electoral and social issue ads from political candidates, Super PACs and ‘other organizations that have the “Paid for by” political disclaimer on them,’ the company told CNBC. The company will start rolling this feature out to some users on Wednesday, and it will become available to all U.S. users over the next few weeks, Facebook said.”

CNET: Google says it will increase diversity in leadership 30 percent by 2025. “Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday said the search giant will add more black employees, as well as employees from other ‘underrepresented groups,’ to its leadership ranks. The company vowed a 30% improvement over the next five years.”

Variety: Facebook Adds Tool to Bulk-Delete Old Posts, Hide Content From Other Users. “Facebook is making it easier for users to wipe out embarrassing or otherwise personally painful posts. The social-media giant announced Manage Activity, a new feature to make it easier for users to delete or hide many posts at once.”


The Verge: ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’ shortcut makes it easy to record police. “As protests against racial police violence have spread across the US, we’ve seen how video captured on mobile devices can help identify misconduct by law enforcement. But such evidence isn’t just useful at a protest, but during all sorts of routine interactions with the police, including traffic stops. That’s why the Siri shortcut ‘I’m getting pulled over’ exists.”

MIT Technology Review: How to protect yourself online from misinformation right now. “The logical response to seeing potentially harmful misinformation spread across the internet is to debunk, and to inform others on how they can avoid falling for it themselves. But it’s difficult to evaluate a river of information when you’re going through something traumatic—in the midst of a global pandemic, and with police escalating their use of force against people protesting police brutality.”


AdWeek: Civil Rights Groups Urge Large Facebook Advertisers to Boycott the Platform in July. “Six civil rights groups have organized a social media boycott effort against Facebook, calling on media buyers, planners and brands to stop advertising next month unless the social network takes steps to curb the proliferation of hate on its platform. The group was formed by the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, Common Sense Media, Free Press, the NAACP and Sleeping Giants, and is spreading its cause under the hashtag #StopHateForProfit.”

Media Matters: Facebook finally removed Trump campaign ads with inverted red triangle — an infamous Nazi symbol. “Since June 3, the Trump campaign has been running Facebook ads fearmongering about ‘antifa.’ On June 17, the campaign added an inverted red triangle to some variations of the ad — a symbol the Nazis used to designate political prisoners.”

The Guardian: National archives’ 90-day delay to declassify palace letters ‘extremely disappointing’. “The historian Jenny Hocking says she is ‘extremely disappointed’ that the National Archives of Australia has asserted it has 90 business days to declassify the palace letters prior to release, saying it may misunderstand the orders of the high court. The archives on Tuesday issued a statement saying it was working to prepare the letters – correspondence between the Queen, her private secretary, and the governor general, John Kerr, in the lead up to the former prime minister Gough Whitlam’s 1975 dismissal – for release following a momentous high court ruling last week.”


CNET: Facebook, Google, Twitter tell lawmakers they’re doing more to safeguard elections. “Facebook, Twitter and Google officials signaled to lawmakers on Thursday that they are more prepared for the 2020 US presidential election even as bad actors change their tactics to try to evade detection. Foreign interference has been a top concern for lawmakers after Russian trolls used social media sites to sow discord among Americans during the 2016 elections. Since then, officials from all three companies say they’ve taken steps to take down fake accounts and make it more clear who is behind political advertising.” Good morning, Internet…

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