Elephant Ethogram, You Search Engine, Ottawa River, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, November 9, 2021


New Scientist: Do you speak elephant? With this new dictionary you will. “An ambitious directory of elephant behaviours and vocalisations offers amazing insights into their minds and culture – and could help save these magnificent beasts from extinction.”

I have no intention of using this Web site as it requires you to install a browser extension before you can do any searching if you’re using Chrome. (If you’re using Firefox it doesn’t appear to ask for anything.) But if that doesn’t bother you, go nuts. Washington Post: You, another new search engine, hopes privacy can help it take on Google. “The website is called You — not to be confused with the pronoun or the Netflix show staring Penn Badgley. The company hopes a combination of summarizing other sites’ results, similar to Google, and a private browsing mode will be enough to lure in casual searchers. Instead of a list of links, You’s results are sorted into rows, with each having a carousel of options from sites such as Twitter, Reddit and BBC, or types like images and traditional search results. The eventual idea, says the company, is to use artificial intelligence to give a more customized results page that people don’t need to leave.” Sounds like the Hotel California of search engines.

CBC: No paddles needed: Ottawa River now navigable on Google Street View. “You no longer need a boat and a lifejacket to traverse one stretch of the Ottawa River — just a good internet connection. Thanks to the efforts of The Ottawa Riverkeeper, an organization that advocates for the watershed, and Chelsea, Que., photographer Brian Redmond, a scenic stretch of the river that runs past Parliament Hill can now be navigated on Google Street View.”


Google Blog: Paws meet machine learning with Pet Portraits. “Today we are introducing Pet Portraits, a way for your dog, cat, fish, bird, reptile, horse, or rabbit to discover their very own art doubles among tens of thousands of works from partner institutions around the world. Your animal companion could be matched with ancient Egyptian figurines, vibrant Mexican street art, serene Chinese watercolors, and more.”

BNN Bloomberg: Google parent Alphabet hits US$2T market value after rally this year. “Google parent Alphabet Inc. rallied Monday to breach US$2 trillion in market value for the first time, fueled by a rebound in spending on digital ads and growth in its cloud business.”


MakeUseOf: 6 Visio Alternatives for Easy-to-Understand Diagrams. “While Visio is a great tool, it has some glaring shortcomings, like a steep learning curve, limited accessibility, and versioning issues. It also costs a lot for just personal use. There are many free options to replace Visio, but not all diagramming software are created equal. This article looks at the best free Visio alternatives you can use to create professional-looking diagrams.”


New York Times: Brazil’s Far-Right Disinformation Pushers Find a Safe Space on Telegram. “Shortly after President Donald J. Trump was banned from Twitter early this year, Brazil’s like-minded leader made a plea to his millions of followers on the site.’Sign up for my official channel on Telegram,’ President Jair Bolsonaro requested. Since then, Telegram, an encrypted messaging and social media platform run by an elusive Russian exile, has racked up tens of millions of new users in Brazil.”


MarketWatch: Robinhood says customer data was accessed in breach, stock falls in after-hours . “In a post on the company’s blog, Robinhood disclosed that a customer-support employee was tricked into giving access to systems late on Nov. 3. The hacker was then able to access a list of about 5 million email addresses as well as full names for about 2 million customers, with a smaller subset of customers — 310, according to Robinhood — potentially having more data at risk.”

The Tab Leeds: Meet the Leeds students who have created a drink spiking database. “Two masters students from The University of Leeds have created ‘a community-led spiking database to keep you and your mates safe’ called Spike Report.”


Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation: IPLC Supports arXiv. “All 13 Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation (IPLC) partner institutions* will provide financial support for arXiv in 2022. arXiv is an open-access archive for nearly 2 million scholarly articles in a variety of fields such as physics, mathematics, economics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, as well as electrical engineering and systems science.”

The Michigan Daily: The futility of gatekeeping your music taste on TikTok. “TikTok is a fascinatingly paradoxical place. After close consideration, I’ve come to realize that the wildly popular platform is equal parts a communal space for exchanging opinions, inside jokes and stories, and a space where people love to withhold information. The latter phenomenon acts in equal congruence with this conviviality, formally labeled by some as the act of ‘gatekeeping.’ In essence, gatekeeping, whether it be the name of a song or the brand of a thrifted sweater, is meant to preserve a person’s sense of individuality and provide respite from the apparent evils of the mainstream.”

9to5 Google: Comment: Google would do well to skip the social metaverse and remain focused on AR. “Ever since Mark Zuckerberg showed off Facebook’s – now Meta’s – vision for the future of technology and social interaction, I’ve been trying to imagine what the Google equivalent would be. I’ve concluded that such a metaverse direction is a direct contradiction to Google’s modern vision of tech that assists.” Good morning, Internet…

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