Spider Silk, Resistant Bacteria, South Africa Languages, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, October 14, 2022


UNSW Sydney: World wide web: global spider silk database a boon for biomaterials. “What’s stronger and tougher than steel, and more elastic than rubber, weight for weight? Spider silk is, and this incredibly versatile material could transform engineering, materials science and even medicine – if we could just work out how to produce it. Now a new global study that has catalogued web silk properties of almost 1100 spiders hopes to provide a launchpad for the design of future biomaterials that emulate this wonder of nature.”

EurekAlert: Researchers build a ‘Wikipedia’ for resistant bacteria. “In the future, even a small infection can become life-threatening for people if disease-causing bacteria become resistant to traditional treatment with antibiotics. Based on 214,000 microbiome samples, DTU researchers have created a freely accessible platform that shows where in the world different types of resistant bacteria are found and in what quantities.”

North-West University: Spelling checker tool for SA languages now available to download for free. “The Spelling Checkers for South African Languages, a spelling and hyphenation checker tool for ten of South Africa’s official languages, excluding English, is now available to download for free from the website of the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR).”


Search Engine Journal: Goodbye Google Webmaster Guidelines, Hello Google Search Essentials. “Google is officially rebranding the Webmaster Guidelines as ‘Search Essentials,’ which comes with a simplified refresh consisting of only three sections. In addition to making the former Google Webmaster Guidelines easier to understand, Google’s motivation behind the refresh is to move away from the term ‘webmaster.'” Good. I’ve always hated that term and tried to use “Web wrangler”.

9to5 Google: Google Fiber launching 5 and 8 Gig service in early 2023 from $125/month. “Google Fiber will offer symmetrical upload and download speeds at 5 and 8 Gig. The 5 Gig plan will cost $125 per month, while it is $150/month for 8 Gig. It will come with a Wi-Fi 6 router (people can also use their own), up to two mesh extenders, and professional installation.”


Smithsonian Magazine: The Smithsonian Returns a Trove of Benin Bronzes to Nigeria. “In a joint ceremony today, the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art (NMAfA) collectively transferred ownership of 30 Benin bronzes, 29 of which come from the Smithsonian, to the people of Nigeria. Of the 29 items, 20 will be returned to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) and nine will remain, loaned to the NMAfA for later display.”

Washington Post: With U.S. nudges, Google and others aim to help Iranian protesters. “… the White House has relaxed sanctions and made it clear to other tech companies that they want them to serve those in Iran that are not connected to the government.”

ABC News: China quashes social media about protest banners in Beijing. “China’s internet censors moved quickly to scrub social media posts Thursday after reports that banners criticizing the Communist leadership were hung from a busy intersection in the capital Beijing.”


Sky News: Elon Musk being investigated by federal authorities, Twitter reveals in court filing. “Elon Musk is being investigated by federal authorities over his conduct in his $44bn (£39bn) takeover deal of Twitter, the social media company has said in a court filing.”

Reuters: Exclusive-Google Faces EU Antitrust Charges Over Its Adtech Business – Sources. “Alphabet unit Google could face EU antitrust charges next year over its digital advertising business, putting the company at risk of its fourth fine in the EU of more than a billion euros, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.”

Houston Chronicle: St. Luke’s Health record system is still offline a week after ransomware attack at parent company. “A cyber attack against a major U.S. nonprofit health system has snarled patient services for more than a week at six St. Luke’s Health hospitals in Houston, where online records systems have been shut down and doctors have resorted to cumbersome backup options.”


NPR: Eyeballs and AI power the research into how falsehoods travel online. “What sorts of lies and falsehoods are circulating on the internet? Taylor Agajanian used her summer job to help answer this question, one post at a time. It often gets squishy.” Good morning, Internet…

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