EcoWatch: 7 Outdoor Citizen Science Projects to Join This Summer

EcoWatch: 7 Outdoor Citizen Science Projects to Join This Summer. “Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you’re already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one’s home or backyard.”

University of Connecticut: UConn Library, School of Engineering to Expand Handwritten Text Recognition

University of Connecticut: UConn Library, School of Engineering to Expand Handwritten Text Recognition. “The UConn Library and the School of Engineering are working to develop new technology that applies machine learning to handwriting text recognition that will allow researchers to have improved access to handwritten historic documents. Handwritten documents are essential for researchers, but are often inaccessible because they are unable to be searched even after they are digitized. The Connecticut Digital Archive, a project of the UConn Library, is working to change that with a $24,277 grant awarded through the Catalyst Fund of LYRASIS, a nonprofit organization that supports access to academic, scientific, and cultural heritage.”

The Block: Arweave aims to make the Internet Archive’s data accessible forever

The Block: Arweave aims to make the Internet Archive’s data accessible forever. “The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of digital content, ranging from websites to music and even software. But this ‘amazing resource’ is also ‘fundamentally centralized,’ says Sam Williams, Arweave’s founder. So, Arweave’s developers are adding torrents — files that can be distributed and accessible via a peer-to-peer network — to Arweave’s ‘next-generation archive.'”

CNET: Facebook built a new fiber-spinning robot to make internet service cheaper

CNET: Facebook built a new fiber-spinning robot to make internet service cheaper. “The robot rests delicately atop a power line, balanced high above the ground, almost as if it’s floating. Like a short, stocky tightrope walker, it gradually makes its way forward, leaving a string of cable in its wake. When it comes to a pole, it gracefully elevates its body to pass the roadblock and keep chugging along. This isn’t a circus robot. Facebook developed the machine to install fiber cables on medium-voltage power lines around the globe.”

EurekAlert: How vaping companies are use Instagram to market to young people

EurekAlert: How vaping companies are use Instagram to market to young people. “E-cigarettes are highly addictive nicotine products with unclear health impacts, particularly on young people. Instagram is a visual social media platform which is wildly popular, particularly with young people. Researchers interested in public health at Aalto university in Finland studied how vaping is represented on the platform. By using artificial intelligence, they were able to analyse hundreds of thousands of posts from a 6-month period last year, and found that a large portion of posts are promoting controversial flavoured e-liquids to young audiences.”

CNET: Give IBM your unused computing power to help cure coronavirus and cancer

CNET: Give IBM your unused computing power to help cure coronavirus and cancer. “When Sawyer Thompson was just 12 years old, he discovered his father Brett unconscious in their Washington, DC area home. Sawyer called an ambulance and Brett was rushed to the hospital, where the family learned the worst: He had brain cancer. After a year of surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy, Brett’s cancer is in remission. But Sawyer wanted to do more to fight against cancer, and is tapping his interest in tech to make a bigger difference.”

Times Higher Education: Creating and supporting digital archives to improve access and research

Times Higher Education: Creating and supporting digital archives to improve access and research. “Now more than ever, there is a demand for universities to make available content in digital form from archives and collections that include books, primary sources and multimedia material. However, the cost of this type of digital transformation is considerable. To make the job easier, Jisc, the UK education and research technology solutions not-for-profit, is bringing together libraries, publishers and academic institutions to make digital collections more accessible.”

Thinking outside the Boxing Ring: A Journey through 500 Photos (Getty Iris)

Getty Iris: Thinking outside the Boxing Ring: A Journey through 500 Photos. “It’s a quick moment of action frozen in time. Joey Maxim, World Light Heavyweight Champion, is being knocked to the side, his face contorted from a powerful blow. His opponent, fists raised, can only be seen in profile, making it nearly impossible for me to make out his facial features. This print is one of 534 boxing photographs in the Department of Photographs collection and it was making my job as cataloger difficult. I needed to figure out as much information about this photograph as possible, including when and where it took place, in order to fully catalog it. Joey Maxim’s career spanned nearly twenty years and over 100 fights. Without a name, I wouldn’t be able to place this print.”

Penn Arts & Sciences: New Database Aims to Make Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Easier and Earlier

Penn Arts & Sciences: New Database Aims to Make Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Easier and Earlier. “Do you get nervous when you can’t think of a word? Chances are it’s a momentary lapse, but problems with language are one of the symptoms that can indicate a neurodegenerative disorder like Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, diagnosing these conditions requires scoring below a rather low threshold on a test battery administered by a specialist. This often means, says Mark Liberman, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, that people have already been suffering from the disease for a decade or more when they’re diagnosed. Liberman, the director of the Linguistic Data Consortium, is working with researchers at Penn Medicine to build a database that will allow neural health to be tracked across time, so that doctors can make an earlier diagnosis and researchers can evaluate medications and other treatments.”

The Verge: How Twitter is shifting the power balance from companies to their employees

The Verge: How Twitter is shifting the power balance from companies to their employees. “Last week, the worlds of technology and journalism were transfixed by a conflict that played out across across Instagram, Twitter, and the upstart audio-only social network Clubhouse. One reason it generated so much attention — you can read thorough accounts from varying perspectives at Vice, on Quora, or this venture capitalist’s Substack — is that you can approach the drama from so many angles. But despite the best efforts of everyone here, I still think the most clarifying way to understand the story of Steph Korey, Taylor Lorenz, Balaji Srinivasan, venture capital, and Clubhouse has mostly gone unspoken. And those who fail to see it, I think, could be in for a rude awakening of their own.”

University of Hawai’i News: Facebook improves some aspects of sheltered homeless lives, UH research shows

University of Hawai’i News: Facebook improves some aspects of sheltered homeless lives, UH research shows. “By using the Facebook social networking platform, sheltered homeless in Hawaiʻi can improve their lives in ways ranging from online job searches to strengthening their connections with family and friends. That was the finding from a research team led by Wayne Buente, an associate professor in the School of Communications in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Social Sciences (CSS). The paper was published in the International Journal of Communication.”

University of Kansas: Study examines how Vietnamese journalists use social media

University of Kansas: Study examines how Vietnamese journalists use social media. “Social media plays a large role in today’s journalism practices, from media personalities sharing headlines to reporting what the president tweeted. In non-Western countries, social media and digital technology are changing the face of journalism as well, but in different ways and through different platforms. A new study from the University of Kansas explores how journalists in Vietnam view their professional roles, how they use Facebook in their work and why they defy assumptions about state-run media.”

Brookings Institution: How misinformation spreads on Twitter

Brookings Institution: How misinformation spreads on Twitter. “We examined millions of Twitter posts for events, such as mass shootings, that result in a large, international online response. A single tweet contains more than 150 data variables including the time the tweet was posted, the tweet text, the Twitter handle, locations, and more.”

EPFL: A secure, decentralized search engine for journalists

EPFL: A secure, decentralized search engine for journalists. “An EPFL laboratory has developed Datashare Network, a decentralized search engine paired with a secure messaging system that allows investigative journalists to exchange information securely and anonymously. An scientific article on this subject will be presented during the Usenix Security Symposium which will be held online from August 12 to 14.”

New York Times: Zuckerberg Never Fails to Disappoint

New York Times: Zuckerberg Never Fails to Disappoint. “Mr. Zuckerberg has tried for a while to wrap himself up in the First Amendment — getting the whole point of the words of that amendment wrong nearly every time — and he has insisted that he does not want to be an ‘arbiter of truth.’ Yet he has set up the company in such a way — completely under his sway — that suggests he has to be, in fact, an arbiter of truth. With Mr. Zuckerberg’s overwhelming voting and corporate power, there is no reason to have a board — which is why board members with backbones, like Reed Hastings and Ken Chenault, have left — and every reason to put the responsibility for cleaning up the mess squarely at Mr. Zuckerberg’s feet.”