Invasive Plants, New York Times, Instagram, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 23, 2021


Green Blog: UC launches WeedCUT, a new online tool to manage invasive weeds in wildlands without herbicides. “Cal-IPC and the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM), with funding from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Alliance Grants Program, developed two resources that provide land managers access to the latest information on non-herbicide practices for managing weeds in wildlands. Best Management Practices for Non-Chemical Weed Control is a free downloadable manual. The same information has been incorporated into an interactive online tool called WeedCUT.”


New York Times: Introducing Gift Articles, a New Way for Times Subscribers to Share Articles. “New York Times news subscribers can now share up to 10 gift articles with nonsubscribers each month on and soon, on iOS and Android.”

Bloomberg: Facebook’s Instagram Adds Shopping Via Images, Virtual Try-On. “Facebook Inc.’s Instagram is adding new shopping tools, like letting people search for products using an image, as it expands e-commerce offerings across its family of apps.”


Reclaim the Net: Patreon deplatforms censored video archive altCensored for “hate speech”. “altCensored, a platform that archives videos that have been censored or limited by YouTube, has been booted by the fan-funding platform Patreon for ‘hate speech.’ The platform has received around 500,000 unique monthly visitors over the last year, according to estimates based on web analytics company SimilarWeb and altCensored’s server logs.” Platforms like altCensored do important work. YouTube content removal often leads to unintended consequences like removing evidence of war crimes.

San Antonio Express-News: Black history preserved in collection donated to San Antonio African American Community Archive. “The largest known San Antonio African American history collection now resides with the San Antonio African American Community Archive Museum. Laura Thompson, CEO and creator of The African American Network, has donated her collection of biographies to the museum, located in La Villita. The collection, called 300 Voices in 300 Days, was part of the city’s tricentennial celebration.”

The Globe and Mail: How families are building a digital archive to commemorate the Air India bombing. “Air India Flight 182 was flying from Toronto to London, England. A bomb caused it to crash into the Atlantic Ocean while in Irish airspace. All 329 people on board were killed, including 280 citizens or permanent residents of Canada. The disaster was followed by long trials (which ended in acquittal), a public inquiry and an apology from the Canadian government. However, to Dr. [Chandrima] Chakraborty and many others, including victims’ families, this event was never truly perceived as a Canadian tragedy.”


BBC: Egypt detains female TikTok star after human trafficking conviction. “The verdict came five months after another court overturned prison sentences that [Haneen] Hossam and [Mawada] Adham were given for ‘violating family values’ with videos they posted on TikTok. Human rights activists say the two women have been prosecuted as part of a crackdown by Egyptian authorities targeting female social media influencers on charges that violate their rights to privacy, freedom of expression, non-discrimination and bodily autonomy.”

National Law Review: State Laws Hinder Progress of Non-Bias AI. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) relies on oceans of data, most people know this. But many people do not yet understand how data shapes AI before the AI is functional, or how data is used by AI in production. Each raises its own set of practical, technical and social issues. This lack of understanding can lead people to conflate data used in AI formation with the data AI uses as it operates.”


Nature: Ancient oaks of Europe are archives — protect them. “Fennoscandia and the United Kingdom could better safeguard their oaks using mechanisms such as those offered by the European Union’s Natura 2000 network of protected areas, or the protections conferred by UNESCO World Heritage sites in the United Kingdom. Otherwise, unsustainable management practices, deforestation, air pollution and climate change could leave these ancient species vulnerable to disease and extinction, with the loss of irreplaceable scientific information and cultural heritage.” Clueless about Fennoscandia? Me too. WorldAtlas helped me out.

EurekAlert: Using virtual populations for clinical trials. “A study involving virtual rather than real patients was as effective as traditional clinical trials in evaluating a medical device used to treat brain aneurysms, according to new research. The findings are proof of concept for what are called in-silico trials, where instead of recruiting people to a real-life clinical trial, researchers build digital simulations of patient groups, loosely akin to the way virtual populations are built in The Sims computer game.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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