NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Climate Change Visualization, Google News, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 14, 2021


NASA: Explore NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory With the New Virtual Tour. “The interactive tour takes visitors to several locations at the 177-acre laboratory, which together provide an overview of JPL’s rich history and its many space missions, past and present. Each location is embedded with dozens of points of interest – including videos, fun facts, and images. For example, you can drop by the control room for the Deep Space Network, where JPL staff communicate with every NASA spacecraft flying beyond the orbit of the Moon.”

News 10 ABC: UAlbany researchers launch climate change visualizer. “A new tool developed by researchers at the University at Albany Visualization and Informatics Lab (AVAIL) helps visualize the progress of climate change. AVAIL’s tool offers an interactive way to process as much as two millennia of paleoclimate data from around the globe.”


The Guardian: Google admits to running ‘experiments’ which remove some media sites from its search results . “Google has been hiding some Australian news sites from search results, in a move media outlets say is a show of ‘extraordinary power’ as the tech company bargains with the Australian government over financial payment for content.”



Mother Jones: Telegram Finally Takes Down Neo-Nazi Channels. “Since Tuesday, a wave of neo-Nazi and white nationalist accounts have come down. The removals follow an online campaign by activists, including extremist researcher Gwen Snyder, who pushed over the last week for Apple and Google to ban Telegram from their app stores, and for the app’s users to undertake reporting campaigns to prompt such channels removal.”

Vox: Is the country falling apart? Depends on where you get your news.. “Since the protests that arose in the wake of George Floyd’s death last summer, I have increasingly watched livestreams on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook to get a sense of how things feel on the ground. In particular, the Twitch channel Woke collects lots of different livestreams into a single feed, highlighting the audio from only one of them at a time (so as to avoid aural confusion) but letting viewers watch many different streams simultaneously, sometimes over a dozen at once. The feel of the channel is a little like the oft-depicted image of one person sitting in front of many televisions, all tuned to different things.”

Little White Lies: An unseen archive of movie poster artwork is being published. “The vast collection consists of thousands of pieces – from concept art to finished artwork – spanning more than half a century. Many of the designs are alternative and unused versions of classic posters you know and love, such as The Empire Strikes Back and Aliens (which was originally subtitled ‘The Return’) – but there’s also hundreds of more obscure titles, making this a fascinating look back at cinema’s forgotten history. When our friends at Feref, one of the world’s leading film marketing agencies, reached out to us about the project we knew we had to share it with our readers. They’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to turn the archive into a deluxe coffee table book, bringing this unique visual record to life.”


Ars Technica: Parler’s amateur coding could come back to haunt Capitol Hill rioters. “A key reason for her success: Parler’s site was a mess. Its public API used no authentication. When users deleted their posts, the site failed to remove the content and instead only added a delete flag to it. Oh, and each post carried a numerical ID that was incremented from the ID of the most recently published one…. Another amateur mistake was Parler’s failure to scrub geolocations from images and videos posted online. Sites like Twitter and Google routinely remove such metadata from content posted by their users. The video files hosted on Parler, by contrast, were ‘raw,’ meaning they still contained this information.”

ZDNet: Google reveals sophisticated Windows and Android hacking operation. “The exploit chains included a combination of both zero-day and n-day vulnerabilities, where zero-day refers to bugs unknown to the software makers, and n-day refers to bugs that have been patched but are still being exploited in the wild.”


News @ Northeastern: On Twitter, Journalists And Politicians Have More Credibility On Vaccines Than Medical Experts, Study Finds . “Black, Indigenous, and other non-white people in the United States are more likely to rely on trusted voices within their own communities for information about the pandemic and the coronavirus vaccine, finds a new study led by researchers from Northeastern. And, at least on Twitter, all people are more receptive to information shared by journalists and politicians on both the left and right than by epidemiologists, scientists, and medical professionals.”

Science: Scientists ‘program’ living bacteria to store data. “Hard disks and optical drives store gigabits of digital data at the press of a button. But those technologies—like the magnetic tapes and floppy drives before them—are apt to become antiquated and unreadable when they are overtaken by new technology. Now, researchers have come up with a way to electronically write data into the DNA of living bacteria, a storage option unlikely to go obsolete any time soon.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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