Nikkei Asian Review: Japan added to EU’s design search engine. “The Japan Patent Office has teamed up with a European counterpart to share industrial design information, enabling businesses to check for similar products in other countries and combat imitations. Japanese data has been added to the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s Designview online search tool, which now boasts access to more than 13 million designs and 54 participating intellectual property offices from around the world.” A ton of different countries have been added to Designview this year.
United Nations Library: Update on UN Digitization Programme . “From A as in Acid to Z as in Zinc, the complete series of historical Statistical Yearbooks has been digitized and is now freely available online. The project comprised a joint effort between the Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. To mark the launch of the Statistical Yearbook 2017, the Library’s Digitization Unit scanned 55 volumes of past issues referencing statistics of countries and regions dating back to 1948. Currently all historical yearbooks are accessible through the website of the Statistics Division; the yearbooks will also be accessible in the UN Digital Library.”
Quartz: Silicon Valley has designed algorithms to reflect your biases, not disrupt them. “Silicon Valley dominates the internet—and that prevents us from learning more deeply about other people, cultures, and places. To support richer understandings of one another across our differences, we need to redesign social media networks and search systems to better represent diverse cultural and political perspectives.”
Foreign Policy: Russia Has Invented Social Media Blitzkrieg. “The tank was a British invention, built to penetrate German trenches during World War I. But it was the Germans who, during the interwar period, figured out how to most effectively utilize the tank, in coordination with aircraft and infantry, for offensive operations. Thus was born the blitzkrieg (‘lightning war’) that allowed the Germans to overrun much of Europe in 1939-1940. The British and the French, who still had more and better tanks, were helpless to resist the onslaught. Something similar seems to have happened with social media networks. All of the leading social media platforms — Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Google — are American inventions. Yet the Russians weaponized them to wage political war.”
US State Department: The United States Withdraws From UNESCO . “On October 12, 2017, the Department of State notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO. This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”
United Nations: United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Launches the Disarmament Digital Documents Library. “The Disarmament Digital Documents Library is a specialised archive that provides quick and easy access to an extensive collection of United Nations disarmament-related documents in one convenient location. It includes historical documents of the first General Assembly session and reports from the Special Sessions on Disarmament (SSOD-I, SSOD-II and SSOD-III), disarmament-related meetings and conferences, and treaty review declarations.”
Nature: Risk of human-triggered earthquakes laid out in biggest-ever database. “The Human-Induced Earthquake Database, or HiQuake, contains 728 examples of earthquakes (or sequences of earthquakes) that may have been set off by humans over the past 149 years. Most of them were small, between magnitudes 3 and 4. But the list also includes several large, destructive earthquakes, such as the magnitude-7.8 quake in Nepal in April 2015, which one paper linked to groundwater pumping.”