BooksForTopics, Google Advertising, Earthquake Alerts, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, December 28, 2022


The Bookseller: BooksForTopics relaunches children’s book listing website. “BooksForTopics has relaunched its website which features children’s booklists sorted by age or topic. The BooksForTopics website is popular among primary schools, providing booklists covering the National Curriculum and reading-for-pleasure recommendations — with everything from diverse and inclusive reading lists and books for reluctant readers to key curriculum topics and year group reading lists.” I believe the site is UK-based.


Marijuana Moment: Google Ends Ban On Advertising Certain Hemp And CBD Products In Parts Of U.S.. “Google will no longer ban the advertising of certain hemp and CBD products in select parts of the U.S. starting next month. The internet giant announced last week that it would be updating its ‘Dangerous Products and Services and Healthcare and Medicines’ to permit the cannabis advertising in California, Colorado and Puerto Rico.”


MakeUseOf: The 7 Best Apps for Earthquake Alerts and Tracking on iPhone. “Some of these apps allow you to keep track of earthquakes worldwide, whereas others can actually warn you with alerts if they detect any dangerous seismic activity around you. So, here are seven of the best iPhone apps you can install for earthquake alerts and tracking.”


ProPublica: Porn, Piracy, Fraud: What Lurks Inside Google’s Black Box Ad Empire. “Google’s embrace of publisher confidentiality means roughly 1 million publishers can remain anonymous to companies and individuals who buy ads on its network to reach customers. This opens the door to a range of abuses and schemes that steal potentially billions of dollars a year and put lives and livelihoods at risk due to dangerous disinformation, fraud and scams.”

Bloomberg: A Look at the Gold Rush to Become the New Twitter. “Amid the dysfunction comes an increasing number of alternatives vying to lure Twitterati. Some were created out of the ashes of Twitter, while many are getting a fresh start after languishing in the shadows for years. Here’s a look at the alternatives for those seeking a Plan B, and how they stack up against the Blue Bird.”

The Verge: Please don’t film me in 2023. “In a clip that’s been viewed more than 20 million times, two friends sit on a New York City stoop, observing — and recording — the people walking by. One person appears to bend down to hide from a passing emergency vehicle, looking genuinely concerned. Another stands near-motionless for a time, seemingly unable to move. It’s unclear if they’re having a medical issue, but the clip is presented as amusing. The intention is to stitch together a tapestry of things the creator considers odd. Instead, it ends up feeling like an unnecessary intrusion into a stranger’s walk home.”


The Guardian: Cabinet minister’s Twitter account hacked to promote cryptocurrencies. “The Twitter account of the British education secretary appears to have been hacked. The profile picture was changed to one showing Elon Musk and several tweets were posted promoting a cryptocurrency event.”

WIRED: Elon Musk and the Dangers of Censoring Real-Time Flight Trackers. “Aircraft operators are required to report detailed information on their flight path to various national regulators, including the Federal Aviation Administration. That data is generally a matter of public record and is published to various websites popular amongst airline enthusiasts.”

New York Times: For Sale on eBay: A Military Database of Fingerprints and Iris Scans. “The shoebox-shaped device, designed to capture fingerprints and perform iris scans, was listed on eBay for $149.95. A German security researcher, Matthias Marx, successfully offered $68, and when it arrived at his home in Hamburg in August, the rugged, hand-held machine contained more than what was promised in the listing. The device’s memory card held the names, nationalities, photographs, fingerprints and iris scans of 2,632 people.”


Mirage News: Social media and eating disorders: dangerous two-way street. “The influence of social media on the risk and development of eating disorders is well-documented – but does this go both ways? A new research paper from the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Thompson Institute is examining that relationship in reverse, with a new question: How are eating disorders affecting the way people interact with social media?”

McGill University: What AI-generated COVID news tells us that journalists don’t. “AI can help identify biases in news reporting that we wouldn’t otherwise see. Researchers from McGill University got a computer program to generate news coverage of COVID-19 using headlines from CBC articles as prompts. They then compared the simulated news coverage to the actual reporting at the time and found that CBC coverage was less focused on the medical emergency and more positively focused on personalities and geo-politics.”

Creative Commons: Patrick J. McGovern Foundation Funds New CC Initiative to Open Large Climate Datasets . “Today, Creative Commons (CC) is excited to announce one million US dollars in new programmatic support from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation (PJMF) to help open large climate datasets. The twelve-month grant will enable CC to conduct key climate data landscape analyses and expand our work, bringing people together to create policy and practices to open data that advances climate research and innovation.” Good morning, Internet…

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