Global Library of Underwater Biological Sounds, Radar Interference Tracker, Shakespeare and Company, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, February 21, 2022


EurekAlert: Global Library of Underwater Biological Sounds, “GLUBS,” will help monitor changing marine life. “…a team of 17 experts from nine countries has set a goal of gathering on a single platform huge collections of aquatic life’s tell-tale sounds, and expanding it using new enabling technologies – from highly sophisticated ocean hydrophones and artificial intelligence learning systems to phone apps and underwater GoPros used by citizen scientists. The Global Library of Underwater Biological Sounds, ‘GLUBS,’ will underpin a novel non-invasive, affordable way for scientists to listen in on life in marine, brackish and freshwaters, monitor its changing diversity, distribution and abundance, and identify new species.”

Bellingcat: Radar Interference Tracker: A New Open Source Tool to Locate Active Military Radar Systems. “The Radar Interference Tracker (RIT) is a new tool created by Ollie Ballinger that allows anyone to search for and potentially locate active military radar systems anywhere on earth. Click here to access the tool and read on for a full description of how to use it (as well as learning about the fascinating research it builds upon).”

Thanks to Esther S. for giving me a heads-up on this one. Journal of Cultural Analytics: Shakespeare and Company Project Data Sets. “This article describes three data sets from the Shakespeare and Company Project. The data sets provide information about Shakespeare and Company, Sylvia Beach’s bookshop and lending library in interwar Paris. The first data set focuses on the members of the lending library. The second, on the books that circulated in the lending library. The third, on the events—borrows, purchases, subscriptions, renewals, deposits, reimbursements—that connected members and books. Together, the three data sets promise to address and bridge concerns in modernist studies, the digital humanities, and the public humanities. Work on the data sets began in 2014. The first two versions of the data sets were released in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The current version, 1.2, was released in 2022. Over forty people have contributed to the data sets.”


Engadget: Skype can now make 911 calls in the United States. “Microsoft has released Skype version 8.80, and it comes with the ability to make 911 calls if you’re in the US. As first noticed by XDA Developers, the app’s release notes list its new emergency calling support in the United States for both PC and mobile. In addition to being able to dial emergency services for you, the app can also automatically detect and share your location with emergency operators.”


MakeUseOf: Need to Remove an Image Background? Try These 5 Free Websites. “If you’ve ever taken the right picture in the wrong place, you’ll understand the need to remove an image’s background. There are a lot of different tools that can help you do this. But many of them require large downloads and installs, expensive licenses, or technical know-how that most people don’t have. That’s where online alternatives can shine. There’s a wide range of websites that can automatically remove the background from an image. Here are five of the best.”


The Guardian: ‘Making music is about making assets for social media’: pop stars battle digital burnout. “Billie Eilish abandoned Twitter to preserve her mental health; the US indie star Mitski deleted her accounts after the conclusion of her 2019 tour. The problem hits musicians in a unique way. Actors are not expected to self-promote to the same extent and often eschew social media; writers generally don’t have such large followings nor the parasocial relationships that come with them.”

CNN: Anatomy of a tweet: The behind the scenes story of how retired federal judge Michael Luttig used Twitter to try to stop an insurrection. “Retired federal judge Michael Luttig never expected to jump into the heated fight over the certification of the 2020 presidential election. And he certainly never imagined he would end up using Twitter to help former Vice President Mike Pence defy then-President Donald Trump. But on the night of January 4, while at his home in Colorado, Luttig got a call from an old friend, Richard Cullen, Pence’s personal lawyer.”


New York Times: A Child’s TikTok Stardom Opens Doors. Then a Gunman Arrives. . “TikTok’s owner, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., and many of its users emphasize the friendships, innovative content and creative collaboration enabled by the platform, but its enormous popularity among vulnerable, underage people has also been linked to mental health problems, injuries and deaths.”

Associated Press: Congress eyes more financial disclosure for federal judges. “Federal judges would have to publicly disclose more about their finances under a bill approved by the Senate this week, which aims to make the judiciary subject to similar transparency requirements as lawmakers. The bipartisan bill by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Coons, D-Del., is intended to make it easier for the public to find out if a judge’s financial holdings could pose a conflict of interest in a case they are presiding over.”

Gizmodo: Big Tech Sold Out on Its Promise of an Open Internet. “2021 was a bad PR year for Big Tech. Lawmakers, advocates, and scholars filled pages of books and held hours of hearing exalting what they viewed as an industry being strangled by a handful of players using anti-competitive practices to solidify their position as kings. Ironically, those exact same tactics were vehemently opposed by the Big Tech companies themselves less than a decade ago. Like an aging punk throwing out their raggedy jean jacket for a blazer, Big Tech sold out.”


Mashable: I got a dog. My online life changed overnight. . “The instant I got my dog — a lovely, adorable puppy named Henry — my entire online life changed. My TikTok For You Page (FYP) was suddenly dog video after dog video. My Instagram ads were entirely for dog-related products. Twitter was…still a cesspool of my own choosing, so at least there was that. But life pre-Henry was totally different online. I had interests. I jogged, I air fried, I liked NBA basketball, I spent way too much time thinking about grilling. These interests were all displaced by the algorithms practically screaming ‘YOU HAVE A DOG!'”

FedTech: Algorithms May Take Over the Job of Scanning Dense Federal Documents. “Every year, accountants at the Bureau of the Fiscal Service must read through at least 2,000 densely written pages of federal appropriations bills to determine how much money each government agency should receive. It’s a four-week marathon to create about 200 ‘warrants’ that authorize agencies to spend their new appropriations. The bureau is experimenting with ­artificial ­intelligence to speed the drudgery-filled process, hoping to use machine learning and natural language ­processing to train an algorithm to interpret legislation.” Good morning, Internet…

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