Mapping Coral Reefs, California Government Salaries, Vlogging, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, September 13, 2021


Arizona State University: ASU center announces first-ever global coral reef maps. “On Sept. 8, the Allen Coral Atlas met a major milestone by completing global habitat maps of the world’s tropical, shallow coral reefs. A combination of satellite imagery, advanced analytics and global collaboration has resulted in maps that show the marine ecosystems’ benthic and geomorphic data in unprecedented detail. With eyes in the sky, the technology recognizes geomorphic, or seascape structures, up to about 15 meters (52 feet) underwater and benthic data, or the composition of the ocean floor, up to about 10 meters (33 feet) underwater.”

Sacramento Bee: Yee releases new database on California’s local government salaries. “State Controller Betty Yee has released a new searchable database of local government salaries, covering 602,377 positions with more than $36 billion in wages. The compilation, based on 2014 data reported by 54 of the state’s 58 counties (San Francisco filed as a city) and 468 cities, revealed that average wages in cities fell by more than 3 percent from 2013 levels to $59,614 while those in counties increased by almost 3 percent to $60,993.”


MakeUseOf: How to Start Vlogging: 11 Tips for Absolute Beginners. “It might seem as simple as turning on a camera, saying your piece, and uploading the video—but there’s a lot more that goes into vlogging, especially since it’s become a competitive multi-million dollar industry. If you’re interested in becoming a vlogger but have no idea where to start, you’re in the right place. We’re going to give you several essential tips every beginner needs to know.” This is more of a “things you need to think about,” a good place to start, but for techniques and setups, you’ll need more in-depth articles.


Radio Free Asia: Archive Find Could Hurt China’s ‘Historic’ Claim to Paracel Islands. “A rare find in the British National Archives may provide another piece of evidence discrediting China’s claim of historic rights to the disputed Paracel archipelago in the South China Sea. After months of scouring the archives, British journalist-turned-scholar Bill Hayton came across a semi-official document indicating that until the late Qing Dynasty, Chinese authorities still didn’t consider the Paracel Islands part of China’s territory.”

Business Leader: Diem raises $900,000 pre-seed funding to build a social media alternative. “Diem, a new social universe designed for women and non-binary folks is announcing a $900,000 pre-seed led by Xfactor Ventures and Acrew, with participation from leading angels such as Create & Cultivate founder, Jaclyn Johnson and Discord Executive, Amber Atherton.”

New York Times: Why Use a Dictionary in the Age of Internet Search?. “Dictionaries heighten my senses, almost like certain mind-altering substances: They direct my attention outward, into a conversation with language. They make me wonder what other things I’m blind to because I haven’t taught myself to notice them yet. Recently spotted specimens include orrery, ‘a mechanical model, usually clockwork, devised to represent the motions of the earth and moon (and sometimes also the planets) around the sun.’ The Oxford English Dictionary also tells me that the word comes from the fourth Earl of Orrery, for whom a copy of the first machine was made, around 1700. Useful? Obviously not. Satisfying? Deeply.”


CBS News: Inside Genesis: The market created by cybercriminals to make millions selling your digital identity. “The Genesis Market is an easy-to-use online shop that sells login credentials, cookies and device fingerprints, website vulnerabilities and other sensitive data that help hackers thwart security protocols. Security researchers warn that the market, along with other criminal sites, have become an important tool for hacking organizations to carry out these attacks.”

Charlotte Observer: NC criminal justice group launches database to track reports of police misconduct. “Emancipate NC, a Durham-based criminal justice organization, has launched a platform to track police misconduct throughout North Carolina. The non-profit said its online tool will allow people to report negative experiences with law enforcement officers, and that community responses will be used to form a database.”

Reuters: SolarWinds Hack: Wide-Ranging SEC Probe Sparks Fear in Corporate America. “A US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the SolarWinds Russian hacking operation has dozens of corporate executives fearful information unearthed in the expanding probe will expose them to liability, according to six people familiar with the inquiry.”


The Verge: Automated hiring software is mistakenly rejecting millions of viable job candidates. “Automated resume-scanning software is contributing to a ‘broken’ hiring system in the US, says a new report from Harvard Business School. Such software is used by employers to filter job applicants, but is mistakenly rejecting millions of viable candidates, say the study’s authors. It’s contributing to the problem of ‘hidden workers’ — individuals who are able and willing to work, but remain locked out of jobs by structural problems in the labor market.”

Michigan Daily: The Summer of Farming Simulations. “Farming sims are games in which the player typically grows and harvests crops, raises animals, and decorates their farm. There is also a large social component to most games in the genre, often involving both friendship and romance through a system of talking with the various townsfolk, giving them gifts and leveling up your relationship. These bonds and activities are not just vital to the experience of each game but have also helped me grow in unexpected ways in real life.” Sometimes you just want to fire up Stardew Valley and go fishing for a few hours.


Mashable: Ig Nobel Prize winners include scientists who cleared blocked noses with sex. “This year the 31st First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony (not a typo) was again held via live stream due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though that definitely didn’t stop scientists from getting silly. In addition to the awards, the stream featured a series of 24/7 lectures wherein speakers had 27 seconds then seven words to convey their thoughts on a topic. There was also a bridge-themed “mini-opera,” because scientists like singing too.” Good morning, Internet…

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