Sustainable Packaging Design, University of Alberta Museums, Google Docs, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, December 1, 2020


Packaging Today: BPF Launches Online Database of Sustainable Design Guides and Tools . The BPF is the British Plastics Federation. “The new online resource includes numerous design guides for making plastic packaging more recyclable, guides for incorporating recycled content in products, general guides about sustainability, as well as interactive tools such as carbon calculators. The searchable database presents a wealth of insight into plastic packaging design at a variety of technical levels, which can ultimately help to reduce the overall environmental impact of products.”

The Gateway: U of A museum collections launches new integrated search site. “The University of Alberta Museums’ online collections officially launched on October 1. The launch marks the first time all available collections will be accessible from a single, integrated site. While all collections are now accessible online, the museum’s collection has had some online capacity for almost two decades. Previously only nine were available online. Now 16 of the 29 collections held by the U of A have now made their way online.”


Android Police: PDFs imported to Google Docs will soon look better than ever. “Google Docs might be the collaboration tool of choice these days, but PDF is still a wildly popular format for sharing documents. Now Google is making the conversion process between PDF and DOC better than ever thanks to a slew of new improvements, including better formatting and image importing.”

TechCrunch: Twitter’s Audio Spaces test includes transcriptions, speaker controls and reporting features. “Earlier this month, Twitter announced it would soon begin testing its own Clubhouse rival, called Audio Spaces. The new product will allow Twitter users to gather in dedicated spaces for live conversations with another person or with groups of people. While the company showed off a handful of screenshots of the product at the time of the announcement, there were few specifics about how Audio Spaces would work. Now, we know a bit more about Audio Spaces’ feature set, thanks to some digging by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong.”

ZDNet: Linux Mint introduces its own take on the Chromium web browser. “Linux Mint is a very popular Linux desktop distribution. I use the latest version, Mint 20, on my production desktops. That’s partly because, while it’s based on Debian Linux and Ubuntu, it takes its own path. The best example of that is Mint’s excellent homebrew desktop interface, Cinnamon. Now, Mint’s programmers, led by lead developer, Clement ‘Clem’ Lefebvre, have built their own take on Google’s open-source Chromium web browser.”


New York Times: It’s Time for a Digital Detox. (You Know You Need It.). “With the holiday season upon us, now is a good time to take a breather and consider a digital detox. No, that doesn’t mean quitting the internet cold turkey. No one would expect that from us right now. Think of it as going on a diet and replacing bad habits with healthier ones to give our weary eyes some much needed downtime from tech.”

Make Tech Easier: Chrome Music Lab: An Introduction to the Easiest Music Maker Around . “You don’t need anything other than a mobile device or a computer to make your own music using the Chrome Music Lab. It’s the easiest music maker around and is completely free. You don’t even have to create an account to get started. It’s a fun music education tool and maker for people of all ages, from kids to seniors and everyone in between.”


Search Engine Land: How DuckDuckGo (and Microsoft) benefit from Google’s sprawling advertising business. “DuckDuckGo is a search engine that was founded in 2008 with a focus on protecting searchers’ privacy, notably showing all searchers the same search results and refraining from building profiles of its users. Its search volume has risen steadily over the years, and in October 2020 was up to nearly 60 million queries daily.”

BBC: Spotify reveals 2020’s most-streamed songs. “Drake, Bad Bunny, Dua Lipa and The Weeknd are among the most-streamed artists of 2020, according to figures from Spotify. Drake was the most popular artist in the UK, reclaiming the number one position from Ed Sheeran. The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights was the most-played song in the UK, while Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent was the top album.”


The Hill: Google ordered to disclose emails in Russia oligarch’s divorce. “A federal judge in San Jose, Calif., has ordered Google to hand over emails from the son of Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov, a billionaire who has been embroiled in a four-year, $600 million divorce battle with his ex-wife.”

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project: Organized Crime Has a New Tool in Its Belts – Artificial Intelligence. “As new technologies offer a world of opportunities and benefits in many sectors, so too do they offer new avenues and for organized crime. It was true at the advent of the internet, and it’s true for the growing field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to a new joint report by Europol and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Center.”


EurekAlert: Why spending a long time on your phone isn’t bad for mental health. “General smartphone usage is a poor predictor of anxiety, depression or stress say researchers, who advise caution when it comes to digital detoxes. The study published in Technology, Mind, and Behavior was led by Heather Shaw and Kristoffer Geyer from Lancaster University with Dr David Ellis and Dr Brittany Davidson from the University of Bath and Dr Fenja Ziegler and Alice Smith from the University of Lincoln.” Good morning, Internet…

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