The Star: U of T Indigenous-led lab creates new app for reporting pollution in Chemical Valley. “Vanessa and Beze Gray run an annual ‘Toxic Tour’ of the siblings’ childhood home — Aamjiwnaang First Nation. The 2,500 acres of ancestral land is wedged on three sides by sprawling petroleum and chemical companies that, for generations, have discharged pollutants into Canada’s Chemical Valley.”
Tech Xplore: Telescope: a tool to manage bioinformatics analyses on mobile devices. “A team of researchers at UCLA, the University of São Paulo, the Federal University of São Carlos and the University of Southern California has recently developed an interactive tool for managing large-scale bioinformatic analyses in real-time and from portable devices. This new tool, called Telescope, was first presented in a paper pre-published on arXiv.”
TechCrunch: This brilliant app waits on hold for you. “DoNotPay helps you get out of parking tickets and cancel forgotten subscriptions, and now it can call you when it’s your turn in a customer service phone queue. The app today is launching ‘Skip Waiting On Hold.’ Just type in the company you need to talk to, and DoNotPay calls for you using tricks to get a human on the line quickly. Then it calls you back and connects you to the agent so you never have to listen to that annoying hold music.” It’s not free, but $3 a month could pay for itself depending on how often you have to wait on hold.
MakeUseOf: 8 Obscure Social Media Apps for When You Get Bored . “After a while, mainstream social media apps like Instagram or Snapchat can get a little boring. So wouldn’t it be nice to try something new? As always, we’re here to help. That’s why we’ve found the best obscure social media apps that you can use to meet new people in new ways.” Some of these do look pretty interesting…
Phys .org: California earthquake alerts to become available statewide. “Warnings produced by the ShakeAlert system will be pushed through two delivery systems: a cellphone app called MyShake and the same wireless notification system that issues Amber Alerts, meaning people may receive both notifications…. The state earthquake app, developed at the University of California, Berkeley, is available for download to IOS users through iTunes and through GooglePlay stores for Android phones.”
Mashable: Instagram’s new security feature makes it easier to block apps from your account. “Instagram is once again beefing up its security. The app will add a new feature that makes it easier for people to control which third-party apps have access to their account and what information is shared with them, the company announced. The feature will launch ‘gradually over the next six months.'”
Cal Alumni Association: Fired Up: A Woman’s Upbringing Is Informing Better Fire Response. “[Bailey] Farren joined forces with several other Cal alums—including Trevor Greenan, who lost his family home in the Tubbs Fire—to develop Perimeter, a fire modeling and simulation platform. It integrates satellite-generated information and images with data on weather, terrain, road closures, possible evacuation routes, and suppression resources—all in real time, with rapid refresh capability. The platform is undergoing beta testing through the current fire season.”