Coastal Biodiversity, Google Cloud, Google Calendar: Friday ResearchBuzz, September 24, 2021


WWLP: New tool maps birds, fish in offshore wind areas. “While federal and state officials eagerly pursue a rapid and significant deployment of offshore wind turbines to generate cleaner power along the East Coast, scientists and advocates on Wednesday unveiled a new mapping tool designed to give developers, regulators and the public a better sense of the natural resources below the surface in the neighborhood of proposed wind projects.”


VentureBeat: Google Cloud research credits expand to nonprofits. “Google today announced that Google Cloud research credits, which give researchers access to computing resources via Google Cloud, are expanding to researchers at nonprofit institutions. Previously, only researchers at government and academic research institutions were eligible, limiting the scope of work that could be managed and analyzed using Google Cloud services.”

Oh this sounds useful. From The Verge: Google Calendar events now include a way to start group chats with attendees. “The new Chat button appears next to the attendee list in a Calendar event. Previously, Google only offered the ability to email attendees about a meeting, but since the company has closely integrated Chats and Gmail — seemingly to popularize Chats — this new addition makes sense.”

TechCrunch: Google powers up assistive tech in Android with facial gesture-powered shortcuts and switches. “Making smartphones more accessible is always a good idea, and Google’s latest features bring quick actions and navigation to people whose expressions are their primary means of interacting with the world. Project Activate and Camera Switches let users perform tasks like speaking a custom phrase, or navigating using a switch interface, through facial gestures alone.”


PR Newswire: Carnegie Mellon Receives $20 Million to Establish Hoskinson Center for Formal Mathematics in Dietrich College. “The Hoskinson Center will develop the technology (via the Lean platform) and techniques needed to increase world-wide access to the power of formal mathematics. The center will support the development of Lean’s digital library, develop new tools to help convert mathematical statements from natural language to a formal language, and create educational resources to make these tools widely available. Used widely, these tools have the potential to super-charge mathematics, which in turn has the power to super-charge computer science, physics and any other discipline that uses mathematics.”

ArtsHub Australia: How social media is changing the way we experience art. “From influencing creation, curation and perception, there’s no denying social media is changing the way we experience art. It’s an effective tool for generating excitement and keeping audiences engaged. But is it standing in the way of a genuine appreciation of art?”

Amateur Photographer: Social Media’s Influence On Street Photography. “Through a look behind the cameras of eight New York-based amateur street photographers, a new film called Fill the Frame records some of the challenges of the genre. With a background in film, director (and keen street photographer) Tim Huynh has always loved documentaries.”


Reuters: EXCLUSIVE-Google offers to settle EU antitrust probe into adtech – source. “Alphabet GOOGL.O unit Google is seeking to settle an EU antitrust investigation into its digital advertising business, a person familiar with the matter said, a move that could help it stave off a disruptive, lengthy probe and a possible hefty fine.”

TechRadar: Google Forms is fast becoming a favorite tool for cybercriminals. “Cybersecurity researchers have identified over half a dozen ways in which cyber scammers and malware operators abuse Google Forms, as part of a wide range of attacks. The researchers at Sophos discovered cybercriminals’ affinity for Google Forms while researching how malware operators were evading detection by increasingly adopting encrypted communication protocols.”

The Register: Remember when UK watchdog spent a bunch of cash with Google warning people about ad scams … on Google? . “Google has again refused to say whether it will reimburse Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for all the money it has spent warning consumers about dodgy financial ads carried on the tech giant’s platform.”


UC Santa Barbara: Sharing Seaweed. “UC Santa Barbara hosts a large and historic seaweed collection archived for long-term preservation. Unfortunately, this wealth is largely hidden from public view. Scientists at the university’s Vernon and Mary Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) were determined to make this valuable data freely available through a recently funded digitization program.”

Nature Communications: Neutral bots probe political bias on social media. “Social media platforms attempting to curb abuse and misinformation have been accused of political bias. We deploy neutral social bots who start following different news sources on Twitter, and track them to probe distinct biases emerging from platform mechanisms versus user interactions. We find no strong or consistent evidence of political bias in the news feed. Despite this, the news and information to which U.S. Twitter users are exposed depend strongly on the political leaning of their early connections.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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