New Zealand Land Records, Instructional YouTube Videos, Penn State Research Metadata, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, February 4, 2021


Land Information New Zealand: New search tool makes accessing land records easier. “Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has launched a new online service so anyone can find and buy property records such as titles or survey plans for an address.” Records are 5 New Zealand dollars, which is a little over $3.50 USD..

Spotted via Reddit: a human-curated database of instructional videos on YouTube. What a brilliant idea. From the front page: “YTT Tech exists to organize, curate, and surface the wealth of instructional content on YouTube. To be a place to discover and explore new skills and tools. We’ve only scratched the surface thus far, there’s a ton of great content that hasn’t been covered yet.” The top section breaks down videos by department (carpentry, cooking, music, etc) and then section (for carpentry that’s framing, sheds, walls, etc). Not a ton here yet but I love the structure.

Penn State News: Research database centralizes information about Penn State faculty scholarship. “The Researcher Metadata Database (RMD) aggregates content from multiple scholarly research databases including Digital Measures, Pure, the Penn State Electronic Theses and Dissertations database, National Science Foundation (NSF), Open Access Button and Clarivate (formerly Web of Science). RMD’s function not only helps to create a single access programming interface (API) for faculty profiles and department web pages, but also facilitates implementation of Penn State’s Open Access Policy and the ability to generate reports on common data requests.”


Associated Press: Dormant Alaska government spending database to be revived. “The state of Alaska plans to resurrect an online tool for tracking government spending that was shut down last year. The Checkbook Online system is scheduled to be available to the public again by Friday, Alaska Public Media reported Tuesday.”

TNW: How to check your Google Meet video quality before joining a call. “We’ve all been there, especially during the age of coronavirus. We think we have our computers perfectly set up for a video call, only to find out we’re using the wrong microphone, our network connection is shoddy, or our video is lousy. To help avoid such surprises, Google Meet is rolling out a new feature that makes it easy to accurately preview how you will appear to other call participants and adjust settings on the fly.”


Glasgow Times: Tenement Tiles: Online archive collects images of Glasgow’s most creative closes. “WHEN you think of Glasgow, you think of tenement flats. The iconic architecture, which is synonymous across the West of Scotland, often tells the history of the city despite being hidden behind close doors, and now one enthusiast is helping to bring it to the masses. Zan Phee, 36, runs Tenement Tiles, an online archive which curates pictures from some of the most intricate and artistic tenement designs, which she created in 2015.”

BBC: Myanmar coup: How Facebook became the ‘digital tea shop’. “As Myanmar’s military seized control in a coup on 1 February, many Burmese watched events unfold on Facebook in real-time. It’s the primary source of information and news, where businesses operate and how authorities disseminate vital information. Its ubiquity has meant it plays an outsized role in what information is amplified and its real-world impact.”


The Register: AI brain drain to Google and pals threatens public sector’s ability to moderate machine-learning bias. “Boffins from Denmark and the UK have measured the AI brain drain and found that private industry really is soaking up tech talent at the expense of academia and public organizations. In a paper [PDF] distributed via ArXiv, authors Roman Jurowetzki and Daniel Hain, from Aalborg University Business School, and Juan Mateos-Garcia and Konstantinos Stathoulopoulos, from British charity Nesta, describe how they analyzed over 786,000 AI research studies released between 2000 and 2020 to trace career shifts from academia to industry and less frequent reverse migrations.”

New York Times: How to Fix Facebook Groups. “I don’t want to oversimplify and blame Facebook groups for every bad thing in the world…. And mitigating the harms of Facebook is not as simple as the company’s critics believe. But many of the toxic side effects of Facebook groups are a result of the company’s choices. I asked several experts in online communications what they would do to reduce the downsides of the groups. Here are some of their suggestions.”

The Guardian: Spam’s new frontier? Now even spinach can send emails. “Don’t underestimate spinach – scientists have also found that spinach converted into carbon nanosheets can help make fuel cells more efficient.” Good evening, Internet…

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