Western Fire Chiefs Association Fire Map, Voter Digital Literacy, Chrome OS Flex, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, July 18, 2022


Western Fire Chiefs Association: The Western Fire Chiefs Association Introduces Its Wildland Fire Map to Communities and News Sources, Protecting Lives and Land. “The WFCA Fire Map pulls data from the US Forest Service via National Interagency Fire Center IRWIN feed, and 911 Dispatch data via PulsePoint to track the location of the wildfire as they start and while they’re burning. The WFCA Fire Map is the first map of its kind to pull such data from 911 Dispatch in relevant areas.” The map seems to cover a lot of western America – I saw fires denoted in several states including Wyoming, New Mexico, and California.

Poynter: MediaWise launches a free text message course to help voters prepare for the US midterms. “With less than four months until the U.S. midterms, the social-first digital media literacy initiative MediaWise at the nonprofit Poynter Institute has launched Find Facts Fast, a free multimedia messaging service that teaches voters how to quickly discover reliable and trustworthy information online.”


The Verge: Google’s Chrome OS Flex is now available for old PCs and Macs. “Google is releasing Chrome OS Flex today, a new version of Chrome OS that’s designed for businesses and schools to install and run on old PCs and Macs. Google first started testing Chrome OS Flex earlier this year in an early access preview, and the company has now resolved 600 bugs to roll out Flex to businesses and schools today.”


CNN: Filipinos are buying books to preserve the truth about the Marcos regime. “Filipinos living abroad are snapping up books about the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, not just to read about history but to preserve it. The rush to buy books documenting Marcos’ destructive 21-year reign comes as his son, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., assumes office after a landslide election victory in May.”

Thoroughbred Daily News: Behind the Lens: Two Million Photographs, One Passionate Historian. “Two summers ago, when six-time Eclipse Award-winning photographer Barbara D. Livingston acquired the entire five-decade archive of noted 20th Century racetrack photographer Jim Raftery, she thought the hard part would be getting the 300 oversized boxes from Florida to New York in the middle of a pandemic.”


NBC Sports: New Twitter account tracks Dan Snyder’s superyacht. “Commanders owner Dan Snyder, who possibly has opted to run out the clock with the House Oversight Committee by remaining on his superyacht through at least the November election or at most the commencement of the new Congress in January, cannot secure shelter from the prying eyes of social media. A new Twitter account tracks Snyder’s massive boat, the Lady S, wherever it may be.”

Texas A&M Today: Researchers To Enhance Security Of Next-Generation Wireless Systems. “Guofei Gu, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, is the lead principal investigator of a research team that has received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Resilient and Intelligent Next-Generation Systems (RINGS) program to enhance the security of future wireless and mobile network systems.”

Reuters: South Africa’s Competition Watchdog Says Google’s Ad Practices Distort Competition. “South Africa’s Competition Commission, which has been probing online markets for over a year, has provisionally found that Google’s paid search results distort competition, making it a ‘de facto monopolist’ in general search.”


Vox EU: Social media influences the mainstream media. “This column reports on a new research project, relying on nearly two billion tweets and an innovative empirical approach, which shows that not only does Twitter set the agenda of media coverage in a quantitatively meaningful way, it also influences mainstream media due to short-term considerations generated by advertising revenue-bearing clicks.”

NewsWise: Data Governance Mapping Project Finds Most Countries Struggle to Govern Data . “A new report from the George Washington University’s Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub finds that some 68 countries and the European Union struggle to govern various types of data in a comprehensive, democratic and accountable manner. The researchers argue that this failure has huge implications for governance of technologies — such as artificial intelligence and augmented/virtual reality — which comprise the next phase of the internet.”

WIRED: How I Accidentally Broke My Doomscrolling Habit. “AS READERS OF this column know, there’s no shame in a mobile game. Despite the fact that at one point in my not-too-distant past I’d been embarrassed about my consumption of corny phone games, Merge Mansion captured my soul and in the process transformed my relationship with mobile gaming and social media. Tuning in to Merge Mansion made it possible for me to tune out doomscrolling.” Currently on level 3125 of Kitten Match and not ashamed.


Hackaday: A Home Made Sewing Machine May Be The Only One. “The sewing machine is a tool that many of us will have somewhere around our workshop. Concealed within it lies an intricate and fascinating mechanism. Some of us may have peered inside, but very few indeed of us will have gone to the effort of building our own. In case you had ever wondered whether it was possible, [Fraens] has done just that, with what he claims may be the only entirely homemade sewing machine on the Internet.” Good morning, Internet…

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