Oil Refinery Air Pollution, Plastic Litter, Google, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, December 5, 2022


Spotted via my Google Alerts: Refinery Air Watch. From the home page: “This site collects fenceline air monitoring data from oil refineries and makes it available for you to download. You can find here two-week sampling data from all U.S. oil refineries, and continuous monitoring data from California refineries.”

New-to-me: an online museum of plastic litter. “Archeoplastica aims to increase public awareness of plastic pollution on beaches and oceans. Set up in 2018, it showcases a significant amount of plastic waste from 30 to 60 years ago which has been found on beaches. The items have been picked up and presented here in an online museum alongside other exhibitions.”


Gizmodo: Google Is Launching Yet Another Way to Stuff Websites With Ads. “If you’re anything like me, you spend your time online casting your eyes across the screen, desperately hoping for another way to turn your attention into advertising revenue. At last, there’s some good news on that front, thanks to our hardworking friends in the tech industry. Starting December 23rd, Google is launching a new ad format called ‘side rails’ that will show up on the sides of webpages and keep you company as you scroll.”

Wall Street Journal: FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Says He Can’t Account for Billions Sent to Alameda . “FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried said he couldn’t explain what happened to billions of dollars that customers of his failed cryptocurrency exchange sent to the bank accounts of his trading firm, Alameda Research. And he said he couldn’t rule out the possibility that money deposited by FTX customers who were told their money was theirs alone was in fact lent to Alameda.”


MakeUseOf: 5 Ways to Turn a Video Into a GIF . “While some devices and operating systems come with software that can automatically convert a video to a GIF, there are a few online tools you might consider using. Keep reading to learn about five tools that can get the job done right.”


New York Times: A Paris Museum Has 18,000 Skulls. It’s Reluctant to Say Whose.. “While France has led the way in Europe in investigating and returning colonial-era collections of artifacts — cultural objects, made by human hands — it has lagged behind its neighbors when it comes to remains.”

The Local Germany: German archive acquires trove of works by poet Rilke. “A huge collection of letters and manuscripts by modernist poet Rainer Maria Rilke has been handed over to the public German Literature Archive (DLA), the archive said Thursday.”


IANS: Google Terminates Thousand Of Youtube Channels In China, Russia, Brazil. “Google has purged thousands of YouTube channels in China, Russia and Brazil as part of its investigation into coordinated influence operations. The tech giant terminated 5,197 YouTube channels and 17 Blogger blogs as part of its ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China.”

Stuff New Zealand: Government to force Google and Facebook to pay for using NZ news. “The Government will follow Australia and Canada in proposing a law that will require internet giants Google and Meta to pay for the local news they use, with estimates of about $30 million to $50m flowing to New Zealand media.”

Route Fifty: A Governor Imposes a TikTok Ban for State Government. “South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order Tuesday banning TikTok from state devices, citing concerns about the Chinese-owned app’s data-collection practices.”


Vanderbilt University: AI-powered cruise control system may pave the way to fuel efficiency and traffic relief. “A single AI-equipped vehicle could influence the speed and driving behavior of up to 20 surrounding cars, causing a kind of positive ripple effect in day-to-day traffic. The CIRCLES Consortium will spend the next several months analyzing data collected on the AI-equipped vehicles and their impact on the flow of traffic over the duration of the experiment.”

PsyPost: Listening to podcasts may help satisfy our psychological need for social connection, study finds . “Podcast listening may help people fulfill their social needs, according to recent findings published in PLOS One. The study found that people who listened to more podcasts per month reported a greater presence of meaning in life and those who formed parasocial relationships with hosts reported a greater sense of relatedness.” Good morning, Internet…

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