Reforesting Projects, Dark Patterns Game, Texas Volunteering, More: Tuesday Evening ResearchBuzz, May 18, 2021


Mongabay: How to pick a tree-planting project? Mongabay launches transparency tool to help supporters decide. “Mongabay has put together a directory to show whether tree-planting and reforestation projects publicly disclose the criteria that experts say are keys to success. We thought this would be a useful starting point for people wanting to fund reforestation, so they could identify projects that align with their interests. Our Reforestation Directory is built on a three-month research effort to record publicly available information on more than 350 tree-planting projects in 80 countries. Rather than make an assessment (and perceived endorsement) of the quality of the projects, Mongabay’s review is based on how much information is publicly disclosed by an organization.”

The Guardian: Can you solve it? Are you smart enough to opt out of cookies?. “Today’s puzzles are taken from Terms & Conditions Apply, a free game in which you are bombarded with pop-ups and must get to the end without signing up to cookies, T&Cs, newsletters, or any other data-extraction device. The game is a send-up of the tricks used by websites to get you to things you don’t want to do, setting the player tasks including word challenges, logic puzzles, dexterity tests and optical illusions.”If you want a hair-pullingly frustrating game to show you the danger of dark patterns, look no further.

KWTX: New website makes it easier for Central Texans to find volunteer opportunities. “A recent study found that around 66 percent of volunteers decreased their time volunteering or stopped completely during the pandemic. As life is getting back to normal, there’s a new website that’s making it easier for Texans to find ways to get involved in the community again. OneStar Foundation just launched VolunterTX [sic]. It’s a website that gathers places where people can volunteer from across the state, and puts them all in one place.”


Google Blog: I/O 2021 . “This year, Google I/O went digital — available for everyone, for free — and was dedicated to showcasing a more helpful Google for all. The event brought together people from around the world for a first look at updates across our products, including new milestones in AI, helpful features in Android, Photos and Maps, and ways we’re building with security and privacy in mind. Here are more details about everything we announced this year.”

Android Police: $3 ‘Twitter Blue’ subscription may include Scroll news and better bookmarks, but not editable tweets. “The social network has some major ideas for its new service. Twitter has been working towards diversifying its platform away from ads all year, introducing Super Follows and testing a paid “Undo Send” feature. Once the acquisition is complete, Scroll will factor into these new premium plans, giving users the ability to read articles and newsletters on Twitter as a subscriber.”


Khmer Times: Cambodia to have cultural heritage listed in Asean digital archives. “Details of Cambodian cultural heritage are to be included on the ASEAN Cultural Heritage Digital Archive (ACHDA) website, in order to share knowledge of Cambodian culture and arts among Asean countries.”

Sierra Nevada Daily: Punk family album. “As an awkward 14-year-old hovering around the edges of Reno’s punk and hardcore music scene in 2006, I have some memories of chaotic nights spent in the basements of some of the city’s DIY venues. They were cramped, dirty and sometimes lit by a single bare light bulb. I was just tall enough to catch the dozens of elbows and fists swinging in the darkness with my face—as my ringing ears were assaulted by the crackling PA speaker an arm’s length away. Houses with names like Fort Ryland, House of Dread or The Spacement would pair a local and touring band for a night’s show. The crowd would pay a few bucks at the door to beat each other up—and then it would happen again the next night. As far as cheap fun goes, it couldn’t be beat.”


Los Angeles Times: Citizen app posts image of wrong man as arson suspect in Palisades fire. “An image of a young man was sent on the Citizen personal safety app to users in the Los Angeles basin after a brush fire broke out late Friday night and quickly grew…. But there was one problem: The man was not the person identified by an LAPD observer in a helicopter as the one seen igniting multiple fires that eventually swelled to consume more than 1,300 acres between Pacific Palisades and Topanga Canyon.”

Computerworld: Here’s what you can do about ransomware. “Last week, people in my neck of the woods, North Carolina, went into a panic. You couldn’t get gasoline for love or money. The root cause? Colonial Pipeline, a major oil and gas pipeline company, had been hit by a major ransomware attack. With four main fuel pipelines shut down, people throughout the southeast U.S. lined up at gas stations for every drop of gas they could get. You may not believe that ransomware is a serious threat. But I and most everyone else in the southeast? We believe.”


EurekAlert: Breakthrough Army technology is a game changer for deepfake detection. “Army researchers developed a Deepfake detection method that will allow for the creation of state-of-the-art Soldier technology to support mission-essential tasks such as adversarial threat detection and recognition. This work specifically focuses on a lightweight, low training complexity and high-performance face biometrics technique that meets the size, weight and power requirements of devices Soldiers will need in combat.” Good evening, Internet…

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