Crowded Planet, Instagram, Language Learning, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 24, 2020


Center for Biological Diversity: Nation’s First Public Database Launched Featuring Research on Links Between Human Population Growth, Extinction Crisis. “The Center for Biological Diversity today launched the nation’s first public database featuring research documenting the links between human population growth and the escalating wildlife extinction crisis. Crowded Planet is a compilation of studies, reports and reviews detailing how human population growth and its associated pressures are driving habitat destruction and other threats to wildlife. The database also features research on effective, human rights-based solutions and the barriers to population advocacy.”


PopBuzz: Instagram introduces new Suggested Posts feature and the internet hates it. “Shortly after introducing us to Instagram Reels, Instagram’s new TikTok-esque feature, the social media platform are now bringing us Suggested Posts, allowing users to see grid posts from Instagram accounts that they don’t follow.”


MakeUseOf: 5+ Creative Ways to Learn a New Language for Free. “Learning a new language is one of the best skills to acquire. Here are a few creative ways to pick up a new tongue, whether by reading, writing, or watching. There are two popular ways to learn a language. You can use Duolingo or some of the other best free language learning apps, or you can try the language immersion methodology.”

Online Journalism Blog: Here are the angles journalists use most often to tell the stories in data. “In my data journalism teaching and training I often talk about common types of stories that can be found in datasets — so I thought I would take 100 pieces of data journalism and analyse them to see if it was possible to identify how often each of those story angles is used. I found that there are actually broadly seven core data story angles. Many incorporate other angles as secondary dimensions in the storytelling (a change story might go on to talk about the scale of something, for example), but all the data journalism stories I looked at took one of these as its lead.”


HuffPost Canada: Canadian Immigrants Share The First Photo They Took In Instagram Series. “There is no universal immigrant journey, but many Canadian newcomers share a common experience: Someone back home misses them dearly and wants to see how they’re doing. Capturing the backstories behind this special exchange is ‘First Photo Here,’ a new Instagram project that shares the first photos newcomers take in Canada.”

Deccan Herald: Online ‘museum’ for queer relationships. “An e-zine that seeks to create a safe space for desi queers has collaborated with Tinder to put together what it calls the Museum of Queer Swipe Stories. Started in April, the museum is a curated archival project that collects the many moods, experiences, and complexities of queer relationships. It features people sharing details of their dates, relationships and heartbreaks.”


ABC News (Australia): Social media has provided a new marketplace for drugs and police are struggling to keep up. “With so many in lockdown because of coronavirus, or with limited access to clubs and parties where small quantities of drugs are traditionally traded, selling drugs has become more digitised than ever. And social media is the perfect forum. The internet is embraced by dealers, and buyers, for its simplicity and global reach. But while large drug trading websites like Dream Market or Silk Road have been shut down by law enforcement, social media has emerged as a flourishing new marketplace made up of thousands of small-time dealers who sell tiny amounts of drugs to individual users.”

BetaNews: Quickly manage Windows 10’s privacy and security settings with the open source Privatezilla . “We’ve covered Spydish on BetaNews before. The tool is great if you want to boost your privacy and security in Windows 10. Today Belim, the program’s developer, announces that Spydish has undergone a name change, becoming Privatezilla, and that’s not all. The program is also becoming open source. In order to achieve this, some important changes have been made, which includes replacing certain features.”

Mashable: Someone is registering election look-alike websites, FBI officials warn. “With the U.S. presidential election fast approaching, people across the country are going online to get instructions for voting by mail, the location of their polling place, and other vital Election Day information that will help them exercise their right to vote. Now, according to a Department of Homeland Security bulletin obtained by Yahoo News, unknown actors are registering website domains that mimic national and state voter information sites with unknown ends.”


MIT Technology Review: Too many AI researchers think real-world problems are not relevant. “Any researcher who’s focused on applying machine learning to real-world problems has likely received a response like this one: ‘The authors present a solution for an original and highly motivating problem, but it is an application and the significance seems limited for the machine-learning community.’ These words are straight from a review I received for a paper I submitted to the NeurIPS (Neural Information Processing Systems) conference, a top venue for machine-learning research. I’ve seen the refrain time and again in reviews of papers where my coauthors and I presented a method motivated by an application, and I’ve heard similar stories from countless others.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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