Buddhist Works, Carbon Emissions, Underwater Malta, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, July 1, 2020


Buddhist Door: Buddhist Digital Resource Center to Launch New Online Library of Buddhist Works. “The BDRC’s new website, intended to serve as a digital resource for all three Buddhist vehicles—the Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana—will feature an enlarged collection of Buddhist texts in Chinese, Pali, Sanskrit, and Tibetan, as well as advanced tools for searching the expansive library and viewing works. The new website can currently be previewed as a public beta release, with an official launch planned for 1 August.”

Morning Consult: New Database Shows California’s Edison International Had Lowest Average Emission Rate in 2019. “New self-reported data from some of the biggest U.S. electric companies shows those emitting the least carbon per megawatt hour have taken three different avenues to their low rates, with the three topping the list boasting high shares of renewables, natural gas or nuclear in their resource mixes, respectively. Edison Electric Institute, an association representing all investor-owned electric companies in the country, worked with the World Resources Institute to create a database of carbon emission intensity, among other information, for electricity delivered by distribution company. The database was made public on June 18.”

Malta Independent: Through virtual reality, the general public can now visit underwater cultural heritage sites. “The project features 10 sites, where each site is given a detailed description and videos which show the sites in great detail. The project is in collaboration with the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), the University of Malta and Heritage Malta, with an investment of €100,000 over three years.” I can’t find a link to the actual site in the article! It’s at . Also, the headline kind of makes it sound like you need a VR headset to use the site. You don’t, it’s a great explore even without.


The Star: Google acquires Kitchener-Waterloo-based smart glasses company North. “Google has acquired Kitchener-Waterloo-based smart glasses maker North. The company formerly known as Thalmic Labs announced the sale on its website, but neither company disclosed the value or terms of the deal and in an email Google Canada spokesperson Molly Morgan refused to offer specifics.”

Techdirt: As Predicted: Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn’t Like. “On Friday we predicted that just like every other social media platform out there, the new favorite among people who falsely say that Twitter is censoring conservatives, would start taking down content and shutting down accounts just like everyone else. Because, if you run any sort of platform that allows 3rd party speech, sooner or later you discover you have to do that. In Friday’s post, we highlighted Parler’s terms of service, which certainly allows for it to take down any content for any reason (we also mocked their ‘quick read on Wikipedia’ style understanding of the 1st Amendment). What we did not expect was that Parler would prove us right so damn quickly.”

Neowin, with the caveat that I’m not sure Facebook is helping itself or anybody else with all this deck chair rearranging: Facebook announces changes to News Feed, says it will prioritize original reporting. “Facebook today announced a few changes that it is making to how it boosts news articles in the News Feed. The company says that the changes are based on user feedback suggesting that called for credible and informative stories. The company is today talking about two main areas – ‘original news content’ and ‘trusted authorship’.”


Tubefilter: DIY Pizza Kits And Choose-Your-Own Ad Pitches: A Look Behind YouTube’s First Virtual Brandcast. “YouTube’s Brandcast presentation is traditionally the centerpiece of each NewFronts week, held at illustrious landmarks like Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, and headlined by musical performances from some of the biggest musical acts in the world — from Ariana Grande to Katy Perry. So this year, in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, the video giant retooled with great agility for Brandcast Delivered, a virtual, customizable showcase that YouTube billed — in something of a shot to linear television — as ‘personal primetime.'”

Reuters: Google stymies media companies from chipping away at its data dominance. “Publishers had expected to use data privacy measures going into effect Aug. 15 to bar Google from storing insights about readers, sapping the data advantage that has enabled it to dominate a market filled with advertisers hungry for information to target potential customers. But Google said it will cut off publishers from a lucrative flow of ads if they follow through with curbing its data collection. Negotiations continue, but Google holds greater leverage because it dominates in both advertising tools and access to advertisers within the $100 billion annual global banner ads market.”

The Verge: YouTube bans Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, Richard Spencer, and more for hate speech. “YouTube has banned several prominent white supremacist channels, including those belonging to Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, and Richard Spencer. Other channels banned include American Renaissance (with its associated channel AmRen Podcasts) and the channel for Spencer’s National Policy Institute. The channels repeatedly violated YouTube’s policies, a YouTube spokesperson said, by alleging that members of protected groups were inferior. These come alongside other violations that led to YouTube taking action.”


Silicon Republic: Courtsdesk receives £70,000 to build legal database for UK journalists. “Dublin-based Courtsdesk has received £70,000 in funding to build a service supplying listings and outcomes of criminal court cases to journalists in the UK.”


Mashable: Facebook reveals the future of VR headsets, and it’s more ‘CSI Miami’ than ‘Tron’. “Immersing yourself in virtual reality can feel like a sci-fi fantasy come true, but bulky, cumbersome VR headsets almost make it more trouble than it’s worth. There have been various attempts to slim down VR headsets, such as Dlodlo’s lightweight V One headset and Panasonic’s prototype goggles shown at CES 2020. Now Facebook has revealed its own glasses-like prototype headset with a display measuring 8.9 mm thick — about the same thickness as a smartphone.”

Immuno-Oncology News: FDA’s New ‘Project Patient Voice’ to Share Symptoms Data From Cancer Trials. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched an initiative called Project Patient Voice to create a publicly available information bank describing patient-reported symptoms from cancer trials for marketed treatments. The initiative is a part of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE), which is designed to advance the development and regulation of oncology products for all types of cancers.” Good morning, Internet…

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