For Faster Earthquake Alerts, Check Twitter
US Geological Survey researchers say that by simply tracking the word "earthquake," they're able to pinpoint seismic activity much more quickly than with their own specialized equipment. However, because it's Twitter, the method is far from perfect.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
At last week's annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America, US Geological Survey (USGS) National Earthquake Center director of operations Paul Earle described the effects of simply paying attention to appearances of the word "earthquake" on Twitter using a specially-designed software tool. With it, the agency was able to detect an average of 19 earthquakes a week over the last 10 months. Remarkably, the vast majority were confirmed within two minutes, which is considerably faster than the USGS' own seismometers.
What's the Big Idea?
This method of detection isn't perfect -- for example, a bare minimum of users provide a GPS location with their tweets -- but it "help[s] fill the data gap in regions with a sparse seismic network...[and] gives seismologists a head start in manually processing quakes that were widely felt, but might be slow to show up, or too small for the automated network to detect." The USGS now wants to see if tweets can help communicate information that's beneficial to first responders, such as the quake's intensity and the amount of damage caused.
Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.
- The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
- It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
- On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.
- Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
- Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
- Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.