OSINT Twitter Tools, Community Disaster Risk, Gene Updater, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, July 28, 2022


Indiana University Bloomington: New social media tools help public assess viral posts, check for bots. “The Observatory on Social Media, or OSoMe, at Indiana University has launched three new or revamped no-cost research tools to give journalists, other researchers and the public a broad view of what’s happening on social media.” They’re very Twitter-oriented and look like a lot of fun.

NOAA: NOAA tool now brings disaster risk, vulnerability down to community level. “A comprehensive update to NOAA’s Billion Dollar Disasters mapping tool now includes U.S. census tract data – providing many users with local community-level awareness of hazard risk, exposure and vulnerability across more than 100 combinations of weather and climate hazards.”

Scientific Reports: Gene Updater: a web tool that autocorrects and updates for Excel misidentified gene names. “…we developed a web tool with Streamlit that can convert old gene names and dates back into the new gene names recommended by [HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee]. The web app is named Gene Updater, which is open source…”


Phys .org: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria re-launches VicFlora database to help identify plants. “Today, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria re-launched its plant biodiversity website, VicFlora. The new portal features upgrades that allow users to identify Victoria’s plants more easily. It is based on a new, open-source core that allows Gardens botanists to easily add new usability and accessibility features to continually improve the user experience.”

Search Engine Roundtable: Google Maps May Remove Selfies, Blurry Or Poor Quality Images. “Google Maps has updated its photos and videos criteria for the Google Maps user-contributed content policy. Google added selfie photos, excessively dark or blurry images, significantly rotated compositions, and the use of filters that dramatically alter the representation of the place may be removed from Google Maps.”


New York Times: Comics That Read Top to Bottom Are Bringing in New Readers. “For decades, the fans who powered the comic book industry made weekly pilgrimages to their local comic shops to buy the latest issues about their favorite caped-and-cowled adventurers. These Wednesday Warriors, named for the day new installments typically land on shelves, still do. Voracious readers of printed comics, they skew older — and are mostly male. But now all it takes is a smartphone, as the world of comics is reshaped by the kind of digital disruption that has transformed journalism, music, movies and television.”

BBC: Google rules blocked children’s diabetes app. “An NHS-recommended app for managing Type 1 diabetes says Google won’t let it send text message alerts to the parents of young children using it, via the app.”


Techdirt: Phishing Attacks On WordPress Site Owners Disguised As Copyright Infringement Warnings. “What makes this so devious is that, though the public has somewhat learned to filter out the common email phishing attempts, disguising all of this as a copyright infringement issue pointed at website owners is likely to ensnare more people than a common phish attempt.”

The Street: Crypto: A Bernie Madoff-Style Scheme May Have Crushed Prominent Lenders. “An unprecedented crisis of confidence has affected the crypto industry for several months. To measure it, just consider the prices of cryptocurrencies, which are often attached to a platform or a project. The cryptocurrency market has lost $2 trillion in value since hitting an all-time high of $3 trillion in early November, according to data firm CoinGecko. Prices for bitcoin, the king of cryptocurrencies, are down more than two-thirds since hitting an all-time high of $69,044.77 on November 10.”


Oregon State University: Harm from blue light exposure increases with age, Oregon State University research suggests . “The damaging effects of daily, lifelong exposure to the blue light emanating from phones, computers and household fixtures worsen as a person ages, new research by Oregon State University suggests.”

Texas A&M Today: Using Historical Weather Data To Optimize Power Grid. “Weather information has been used in electric grid planning and operations since the 1880s. However, no one has yet introduced the idea of incorporating this information into the power flow, or load flow, of the grid, which is a system used to determine how the power flows from the generators through the transmission system to the distribution system (which is then used by consumers).”

Reason: You Can’t Stop Pirate Libraries. “Are the proprietors of these pirate libraries freedom fighters? Digital Robin Hoods? Criminals? That depends on your perspective, and it may also differ depending on the platform in question. But one thing is certain: These platforms are nearly impossible to eradicate. Even a greatly enhanced crackdown on them would be little more than a waste of time and resources.” Good morning, Internet…

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