afternoonbuzz

Glaciology, Thomas Cook, Texas Book Festival, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 6, 2021

NEW RESOURCES

University at Buffalo: GHub: The new place to be for ice sheet scientists. “The new science gateway is called GHub, short for “Glaciology Hub,” and it houses datasets, computational tools and educational materials about the science of ice sheets and sea level rise. The site seeks to centralize these resources. It also provides a space for collaboration.”

BBC: Leicestershire’s Thomas Cook archive goes online . “An ‘internationally significant’ archive from one of the most famous names in travel has begun to go online. The Thomas Cook collection features travel brochures from as early as 1858, a selection of staff uniforms and some 60,000 photographs.”

EVENTS

Austin Chronicle: Texas Book Festival Lineup and Schedule Goes Online and IRL. “Between the pandemic reducing in-person events, and the ongoing Texas legislative session taking over the Capitol grounds, this year’s Texas Book Festival (Oct. 23-31) has had to make some changes. However, today’s reveal of the full schedule shows the celebration of literature isn’t letting readers down. This year’s stripped-down lineup begins online, with eight days of virtual programming starting on Oct. 23, including conversations with Maria Hinojosa (host of NPR’s Latino USA) about her autobiography, Once I Was You, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright about his new history of the Covid-19 response, The Plague Year.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Engadget: Google Maps adds a dedicated ‘lite’ navigation mode for cyclists. “Google Maps has included cycling directions for years now, but not a dedicated navigation mode for those who like to travel from place to place on two wheels. That’s changing in the coming months with the introduction of a feature called lite navigation.”

USA Today: Google’s latest sustainable travel push? Showing carbon emissions for flights in search results. “This Wednesday, Google launched a new feature that displays a carbon emissions estimate for nearly every flight in its search results next to the price and duration of the flight. It’ll allow eco-conscious travelers to factor carbon emissions into their choice when deciding which flight to book.”

USEFUL STUFF

Consumer Reports: How to Quit Facebook. “…for anyone who’s fed up after years of bad news about Facebook, there’s no need to wait for legislators or regulatory bodies to take action. If you want to give the platform one more chance, you could just adjust your Facebook privacy settings, or follow some steps to promote a healthier experience on social media. Otherwise, if you’re ready to say goodbye to Facebook, read the following directions first to avoid some pitfalls.”

PetaPixel: How to Use Twitter as a Photographer: Here’s Some Expert Advice. This is really good for anyone who has visual images to share. “For example, Twitter might be perceived as just a witty space to carefully craft a succinct 280 characters. But it has features that distinguish it from other platforms to help you build your brand and implement your business strategies. For photographers, the short and sweet style of Twitter can help you easily advertise your photos and your distinct style.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Washington Post: Facebook is harming our society. Here’s a radical solution for reining it in.. “The system is broken. And we all suffer from it. But how to fix it? A problem that threatens the underpinnings of our civil society calls for a radical solution: A new federal agency focused on the digital economy. The idea comes from none other than a former Federal Communications Commission chairman, Tom Wheeler, who maintains that neither his agency nor the Federal Trade Commission are nimble or tech-savvy enough to protect consumers in this volatile and evolving industry.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Penn State News: At-risk teens may face increased online threats. “According to a new study where online activities were objectively observed, girls who had been sexually abused had greater odds of being cyberbullied. They were also more likely to fit a profile characterized by high pornography and social media use, which predicted being sexually solicited online and engaging in more sexual activity two years later.”

New York Times: I Designed Algorithms at Facebook. Here’s How to Regulate Them.. “Though understaffed teams of data scientists and product managers like Ms. Haugen attempt to keep the algorithms’ worst impacts in check, social media platforms have a fundamental economic incentive to keep users engaged. This ensures that these feeds will continue promoting the most titillating, inflammatory content, and it creates an impossible task for content moderators, who struggle to police problematic viral content in hundreds of languages, countries and political contexts. Even if social media companies are broken up or are forced to be more transparent and interoperable, the incentives for Facebook and its competitors to supercharge these algorithms won’t change.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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