Search Atlas, Atlantic Ocean, Linux Mint, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 12, 2021


Wired: A New Tool Shows How Google Results Vary Around the World. “Search Atlas makes it easy to see how Google offers different responses to the same query on versions of its search engine offered in different parts of the world. The research project reveals how Google’s service can reflect or amplify cultural differences or government preferences—such as whether Beijing’s Tiananmen Square should be seen first as a sunny tourist attraction or the site of a lethal military crackdown on protesters.”

British Library: One-Fifth of the World’s Surface. “One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface is a digital audio-visual, multimedia web experience by artists Hakeem Adam and Maxwell Mutanda. Commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices and York Mediale, the work is, as the title suggests, an exploration of the ‘power of water as a dynamic and fluid archive’ with the Atlantic Ocean its main subject.”


Neowin: Linux Mint 20.2 arrives, upgrade path made available too. “The Linux Mint team has announced the release of Linux Mint 20.2 ‘Uma’. Surprisingly, the upgrade path has also been opened up today. In the past, users normally had to wait a week or two before upgrades were allowed from older Mint versions but it looks like the team was confident enough to allow upgrades right away.”

Poynter: No, Facebook isn’t kicking people out for supporting the NRA. “Facebook doesn’t mention the National Rifle Association in its community standards, where it outlines rules about objectionable content such as hate speech and sexual solicitation. (Facebook does ban users from buying, selling or trading guns and some other regulated products on its platform.) The NRA’s Facebook page, followed by more than 4.7 million people, is active.”


Lifehacker: The Best Podcast Apps for Your iPhone and iPad (2021). “We’ve been on this beat for a while, and have a pair of definitive recommendations for the best apps to manage podcasts on your iPhone and/or iPad (and maybe even Android or desktop, too), as well as a few backup suggestions for those seeking a more novel podcast listening experience.”


Mashable: GETTR, that site for Twitter rejects, is mad Twitter won’t let it import tweets. “GETTR, the Twitter clone helmed by Donald Trump’s former spokesperson Jason Miller, ran into additional trouble Saturday when it lost the ability to automatically import tweets directly from Twitter. So claimed Miller, who announced the latest setback for his fledgling social media platform via (where else) Twitter.” Twitter did not respond to a request for comment, so it’s not clear why this is happening.

Stuff (New Zealand): National Library signs ‘historic’ agreement to donate 600,000 books to online archive. “The National Library will donate 600,000 books that it was planning to cull from its overseas collection to a United States-based internet archive that will make digital copies of the works freely available online. National Librarian Rachel Esson announced the ‘historic’ agreement on Monday, saying books left at the end of the library’s review process would be donated to the Internet Archive, a digital library with the self-stated mission of universal access to all knowledge.”

University of Iowa Libraries: Brokaw’s Press Passes Grant Access to Unique History. “Beyond the hours of television appearances and bylines, there are unique ways in which we can come to learn and know about [Tom] Brokaw’s impressive list of journalistic endeavors. The Brokaw collection, located in the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives, is one of those places where viewers can get a glimpse into the history of the world according to the accounts of one of America’s greatest journalistic icons.”


AP: In crosshairs of ransomware crooks, cyber insurers struggle. “Before ransomware evolved into a full-scale global epidemic plaguing businesses, hospitals, schools and local governments, cyber insurance was a profitable niche industry. It was accused of fueling the criminal feeding frenzy by routinely recommending that victims pay up, but kept many from going bankrupt. Now, the sector isn’t just in the criminals’ crosshairs. It’s teetering on the edge of profitability, upended by a more than 400% rise last year in ransomware cases and skyrocketing extortion demands. As a percentage of premiums collected, cyber insurance payouts now top 70%, the break-even point.”


EurekAlert: New electronic paper displays brilliant colours. “Imagine sitting out in the sun, reading a digital screen as thin as paper, but seeing the same image quality as if you were indoors. Thanks to research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, it could soon be a reality. A new type of reflective screen – sometimes described as ‘electronic paper’ – offers optimal colour display, while using ambient light to keep energy consumption to a minimum.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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