Fish Biodiversity, Oregon Water Quality, Gmail, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 13, 2022


Tohoku University: A New Database Visualizing Fish Biodiversity Opens to the Public. “Tohoku University professor Michio Kondoh has spearheaded the launch of ANEMONE DB – a new public database of fish biodiversity based on environmental DNA (eDNA)…. Unlike traditional biological surveys, where fish must be collected to be observed, eDNA surveys are straightforward, inexpensive and can detect rare or nearly extinct species. A simple sample of water taken from rivers, seas or oceans picks up DNA left behind by organisms and reveals crucial information, like population sizes and distribution.”

State of Oregon: DEQ launches tool to improve public access to water quality data . “The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has released a new online tool that will give the public greater access to water quality monitoring data. The Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships Data Viewer is an interactive tool that displays monitoring data collected by Oregon’s Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships, a voluntary program co-managed by DEQ and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.”


Ars Technica: Gmail users “hard pass” on plan to let political emails bypass spam filters . “Earlier this month, Google sent a request to the Federal Election Commission seeking an advisory opinion on the potential launch of a pilot program that would allow political committees to bypass spam filters and instead deliver political emails to the primary inboxes of Gmail users. During a public commenting period that’s still ongoing, most people commenting have expressed staunch opposition for various reasons that they’re hoping the FEC will consider.”

KnowTechie: TikTok now shows you which topics it thinks you care about. “TikTok has added a section to its settings and privacy features that shows users exactly what the app thinks they are interested in for the purpose of targeted advertising. Additionally, users now have the ability to opt-out of targeted ads based on the different categories.”


The Verge: Read the memo Google’s CEO sent employees about a hiring slowdown. “Google has told employees that it’ll be ‘slowing down the pace of hiring for the rest of the year,’ according to an internal memo Tuesday by CEO Sundar Pichai obtained by The Verge. Pichai says the company will have to ‘be more entrepreneurial’ and work with ‘greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.’ You can read the full memo below.”

Local Journalism Initiative: Virden hopes to create dynamic oil museum in near future. “The Manitoba Oil Museum has been a corporation since 1992, and has evolved a lot since then, from a brick-and-mortar museum to a presence at trade shows. A provincial Petroleum Branch worker reached out to [Liza] Park recently, telling her they’d hired a researcher to look through the archives of the museum and compile information for an online website.”


The Conversation: Email scams are getting more personal – they even fool cybersecurity experts. “The infamous ‘prince of Nigeria’ emails are falling out of fashion. Instead, scammers are scouring social media, especially business-related ones like LinkedIn, to target people with tailored messages. The strength of a relationship between two people can be measured by inspecting their posts and comments to each other.”

Denver Post: “Digital dragnet” or necessary tool? Denver police’s use of controversial Google search technique in deadly arson draws legal fight. “More than three months had passed since five family members died in an arson fire and investigators still had no leads on who set the house ablaze on the quiet street in northeast Denver. They’d authored nearly two dozen search warrants since the Aug. 5, 2020, fire with no luck. But on Nov. 19, 2020, Denver police served a warrant asking Google to turn over information about anyone who had searched the address of the burned house in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood during the 15 days prior to the fire.”


New York University: Gender Bias in Search Algorithms Has Effect on Users, New Study Finds. “Gender-neutral internet searches yield results that nonetheless produce male-dominated output–results have an effect on users by promoting gender bias and potentially influencing hiring decisions.”

Johns Hopkins University: New Project Will Lay Groundwork For Open Access To Massive Windfarm Simulations. “Dennice Gayme, an associate professor in the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Charles Meneveau, the Louis M. Sardella Professor in Mechanical Engineering at WSE, have started a new project to create a public database of windfarm simulations, which will allow anyone with an internet connection to easily access and analyze the data in order to conduct research, generate knowledge, and evaluate models or wind field data to be used in wind farm planning or development projects.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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