History of Science, North Dakota Dementia Data, Free Online Paleontology Class, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, May 21, 2022


Jisc: Digital history of science collection ready to launch with nearly one million pages. “For the first time researchers, teachers and students can access digitally more than 90% of the British Association for the Advancement of Science – Collections on the History of Science (1830s-1970s). Free to Jisc members and affiliates, the move to digitise this collection, much of which was previously unpublished, began in 2020, when leading UK university libraries and archives were invited to put forward their archives.”

KX News: ND Health Department debuts ‘Alzheimer’s and Dementia Data’ website dashboard. “North Dakota has the fourth highest mortality rate for Alzheimer’s disease in the United States (U.S.) at 52.9 per 100,000 North Dakota residents. The rate for the U.S. is 37 per 100,000 residents. In 2016, according to the dashboard, there were 405 deaths in the state from Alzheimer’s and dementia. In 2020, that number jumped to 505.”


BusinessWire: Smithsonian Institution and Varsity Tutors Team Up for a Free Paleontology Class for Learners Around the World (PRESS RELEASE). “Varsity Tutors, a Nerdy Inc. (NYSE: NRDY) company, and one of the nation’s largest platforms for live online tutoring and classes, today announced a new collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution that will give people around the world free access to Smithsonian content. On Tuesday, May 24th at 7 pm ET, the Smithsonian will spotlight select content from the National Museum of Natural History in a large group online class hosted by Varsity Tutors, “Live from the Smithsonian: Living in the World of Dinosaurs”.”


The Verge: Google reports increased Black and Latinx representation in the US. “The company saw its ‘largest increases in representation of Black and Latinx Googlers in the US ever’ at 20 percent and 8 percent respectively year over year, according to chief diversity officer Melonie Parker. Google also reported improved leadership representation of Black, Latinx and Native American employees by 27 percent, Parker says. But some data shows there is still more work to be done.”

Engadget: TikTok has been testing minigames ahead of a ‘major’ gaming push. “After entering into a partnership with Zynga last year, TikTok has been testing a pair of mobile minigames on its platform in Vietnam, Reuters has reported. The move could soon allow users to play games directly on the app in what Reuter’s sources called a ‘major push’ into gaming.” Right when Zynga is merging with Take-Two.


New York Times: All Those Celebrities Pushing Crypto Are Not So Vocal Now. “The Super Bowl was nicknamed the ‘Crypto Bowl’ this year because so many ads — which cost as much as $7 million for 30 seconds — featured the industry, several of them starring boldface names. But after investors watched hundreds of billions of dollars disappear in a sell-off this month, those famous boosters now face intensifying criticism that they helped drive vulnerable fans to invest in crypto without emphasizing the risks.”

MIC: These elderqueer influencers are showing me how to live my best life. “Since I am on my merry way to becoming an elderqueer myself, it seems more important to me than ever to have queer elders of my own. I am finding them in the absolute last place I thought I would — social media. Here are the elderqueer influencers that are helping find the hope and skills to survive and thrive in a world where it still doesn’t always feel safe to be out.”


Politico: GOP senators’ private meeting with Google turns tense over email bias claims. “Republican senators laid into a Google executive at the Capitol Wednesday over allegations that the company’s filters target GOP emails as spam. It quickly turned confrontational.”

IP Watchdog: CAFC Gives Google Second Shot at PTAB in Challenge of Communications Patents. “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today vacated and remanded three decisions of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that had found Google failed to prove the relevant claims of IPA Technologies, Inc.’s patents to be unpatentable.”

CNBC: Crypto industry wields its influence in Washington after pouring over $30 million into campaigns . “U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., called on New Yorkers to support the cryptocurrency market in a March op-ed in the New York Daily News titled, ‘A liberal case for cryptocurrency.’… Torres failed to mention two upcoming fundraisers industry backers were throwing for him in April.”


University of Amsterdam: Virtual Reality as a means to improve education . “The 4D Research Lab (4DRL) is going to use Virtual Reality (VR) technology to introduce students to archaeological sites, laboratories, museum displays and historical places that have limited access. The Virtual Past Places, Reinventing the Classroom (ViPP) project has received a grant of 165,000 euros for this purpose via the SURF incentive scheme. The Lab will also make use of the advantages that VR offers in the provision of learning materials.”

WIRED: Why It’s So Hard to Count Twitter Bots. “Counting Twitter bots has become a point of contention in Elon Musk’s ongoing $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. Last Friday, the billionaire tweeted that he was putting his purchase ‘temporarily on hold’ until the company provided details to back up its claim (as stated in its latest SEC filing) that fewer than 5 percent of ‘monetizable daily active users’ on Twitter are spam or fake. Musk also outlined a plan to count bots himself that involved sampling 100 @Twitter followers to see how many were bots and said the approach suggests over 20 percent of accounts are fake. But accurately quantifying the percentage of bots on Twitter is a lot more difficult, according to experts.”

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