MIT Climate Portal, Beba’s Story, Google, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 1, 2020


MIT News: Revamped MIT Climate Portal aims to inform and empower the public. “Stepping up its ongoing efforts to inform and empower the public on the issue of climate change, MIT today announced a dramatic overhaul of the MIT Climate Portal,, which provides timely, science-based information about the causes and consequences of climate change — and what can be done to address it.”

New York Times: Beba’s Story Tells of Jewish Life Before the Nazis. “Three years ago, a large cache of artifacts, including poems, letters and notebooks by some of the greatest Yiddish writers of the first half of the 20th century, was discovered in the basement of a church in Vilnius, Lithuania. In scouring through them and other artifacts that had been rescued from Nazi efforts to destroy all traces of Jewish culture, researchers discovered a more humble document: the writing of a fifth-grade girl telling of her daily life in Vilnius in the 1930s. Now that girl, whose name was Americanized to Beba Epstein, is the central character of a YIVO Institute for Jewish Research exhibition that went up online recently.”


CNN: Google agrees to pay news publishers more than $1 billion. “Google will pay publishers more than $1 billion over the next three years through a new program for licensing news. The tech giant has signed licensing deals with about 200 publications in select countries with plans to add more and expand geographically.” I’m worried that the only outlets with the muscle to grab some pie will be large, corporate-owned places, and locally-owned small publishers are going to get shafted.

Neowin: WhatsApp working on Expiring Media feature that deletes media files once viewed . “A recent report had indicated that WhatsApp was working on allowing users to link their account to multiple devices. A new beta of WhatsApp for Android now reveals that the company is working on bringing a lot more features to the platform.”


Classical Music: The best score-reading apps for classical musicians. “I’m a busy concert pianist and teacher, and have had little time for deciphering each of the many apps. I’ve also been terrified that a tablet might crash or run out of charge midway through a concert. But technology moves quickly and the time has finally come for me to overcome these fears and plunge headlong into the brave new world of score-reading apps.”


The Guardian: British Virgin Islands commits to public register of beneficial owners. “The government of the British Virgin Islands has finally committed to introducing public registers of beneficial ownership for companies incorporated in the tax haven. The announcement, made in the islands parliament, comes in the wake of years of tax evasion and money laundering scandals, in which shell companies incorporated in the territory regularly played a central role.”

BBC: Japan ‘Twitter killer’ pleads guilty to murders. “A Japanese man has pleaded guilty to murdering nine people after contacting them on Twitter, in a high-profile case that has shocked the country. Dubbed the ‘Twitter killer’, Takahiro Shiraishi was arrested in 2017 after body parts were found in his flat.”


New York Times: a href=””>‘Birtherism’ Lies About Kamala Harris Exceed Those About Obama. “Toxic misinformation has continued reaching new heights in 2020. One sign of that? ‘Birtherism’ misinformation about Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, now exceeds that about President Barack Obama at its peak in 2017, according to a new analysis.”

Media Matters: Study: Vote-by-mail misinformation is all over YouTube thanks to right-leaning channels. “Media Matters identified the top 100 YouTube videos with at least 10,000 views that discuss mail-in voting and were posted within a six-month period from March through August. We analyzed those 100 videos and assessed the political ideology of the channels that posted them, separating these channels into three categories: right-leaning, left-leaning, or ideologically nonaligned. We found that among these categories, right-leaning channels posted the most about mail-in voting (39 of the top 100 videos) as of August 31 — accounting for approximately 47% of total views.”


Vinyl Factory: New Record Deal Simulator website launches to help artists and labels. “A new website called Record Deal Simulator, designed by CreateOS, has launched. The website allows both artists and labels to calculate profits based on streams, as well as adjusting advance and distribution fees, recording and marketing costs.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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