Engineering Careers, Gravitational Wave Events, Google Meet, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 25, 2021


FE News: New website to help inspire the next generation of diverse engineers. “Tomorrow’s Engineers brings together free advice and guidance, curated from across the engineering community, to support practitioners in providing young people with engineering careers inspiration. The website includes the latest thinking on a range of topics, from how to run virtual events and top tips for ensuring an inclusive approach, to how to survey young people and improve engaging outreach activities.”

Phys .org: The largest-ever catalog of gravitational waves released. “The aLIGO/Virgo world wide consortium has now released a catalog of 50 gravitational wave events. The Cardiff University Gravitational Exploration Institute have developed a nice tool which allows anyone to click on each of these 50 events to see for yourself how massive are the merging objects.”


CNET: Otter can now transcribe your Google Meet chats in real time. “Transcription service Otter has launched a Chrome extension that will allow groups of co-workers to keep automatic notes on meetings through Google Chat. Otter already offers a similar service for Zoom. Google Chat already has a live captioning feature, but Otter’s big draw is its editable transcript that the whole team can access and alter during and after the meeting, making it a more flexible collaborative tool.”


Mashable: 10 free online classes from Harvard to learn something new. “We’ve handpicked a selection of some of the best free Harvard courses currently available, from the study of Shakespeare to a class that will help you better understand urban life. Our varied selection is like a wish list of courses we’re hoping to find the time to take in the near future.”


Jalopnik: When Adobe Stopped Flash Content From Running It Also Stopped A Chinese Railroad. “Adobe’s Flash, the web browser plug-in that powered so very many crappy games, confusing interfaces, and animated icons of the early web like Homestar Runner is now finally gone, after a long, slow, protracted death. For most of us, this just means that some goofy webgame you searched for out of misplaced nostalgia will no longer run. For a select few in China, though, the death of Flash meant being late to work, because the city of Dalian in northern China was running their railroad system on it.”

Reporting Democracy: Fakebooks In Hungary And Poland. “The creators behind Hundub in Hungary and Albicla in Poland both cite the dominance of the US social media companies and concern over their impact on free speech as reasons for their launch – a topic which has gained prominence since Facebook, Twitter and Instagram banned Donald Trump for his role in mobilising crowds that stormed the Capitol in Washington DC on January 6. It is notable that both of the new platforms hail from countries with nationalist-populist governments, whose supporters often rail against the power of the major social media platforms and their managers’ alleged anti-conservative bias.”


AP: Russian hack of US agencies exposed supply chain weaknesses. “The elite Russian hackers who gained access to computer systems of federal agencies last year didn’t bother trying to break one by one into the networks of each department. Instead, they got inside by sneaking malicious code into a software update pushed out to thousands of government agencies and private companies.”

New York Times: Intelligence Analysts Use U.S. Smartphone Location Data Without Warrants, Memo Says. “The disclosure sheds light on an emerging loophole in privacy law during the digital age: In a landmark 2018 ruling known as the Carpenter decision, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution requires the government to obtain a warrant to compel phone companies to turn over location data about their customers. But the government can instead buy similar data from a broker — and does not believe it needs a warrant to do so.”

RESEARCH & OPINION Oxford study finds social media manipulation in all 81 countries surveyed. “A report published by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) has found evidence of organised social media manipulation campaigns in all 81 countries surveyed in 2020, a 15% increase compared to last year’s report. The study points to the rising influence of ‘cyber troops’. This refers to social media accounts that spread doctored images, use data-driven strategies to target specific sections of the population, troll political opponents, and mass-report opponents’ content so that it is reported as spam. These accounts can be either automated or human.”

EurekAlert: AI trained to read electric vehicle charging station reviews to find infrastructure gaps. “Although electric vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions attract many drivers, the lack of confidence in charging services deters others. Building a reliable network of charging stations is difficult in part because it’s challenging to aggregate data from independent station operators. But now, researchers reporting January 22 in the journal Patterns have developed an AI that can analyze user reviews of these stations, allowing it to accurately identify places where there are insufficient or out-of-service stations.” Good afternoon, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply