Depression didn’t spike after initial pandemic wave: social media data

Researchers who used AI to analyze keywords on Twitter say people were more resilient than anticipated

Depression didn’t spike after initial pandemic wave: social media dataResearchers who analyzed language related to depression on social media during the pandemic say the data suggest people learned to cope as the waves wore on. University of Alberta researcher Alona Fyshe and her collaborators at the University of Western Ontario hypothesized that depression-related language would spike during each wave of COVID-19. But their study shows…

What we can expect from an online regulator

A cash grab by cable and satellite providers?

What we can expect from an online regulatorThe federal government is on the verge of further empowering the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as our regulator of Internet content, including as it pertains to streaming companies. To really appreciate the all-encompassing grasp of Canada’s soon-to-be online regulator, look no further than its history of managing religion and pornography. It all goes…

Canadians not as polarized about energy policy as we imagine

There’s actually a striking amount of broad-based consensus around energy

Canadians not as polarized about energy policy as we imagineA new artificial-intelligence-powered social media tool is showing that Canadians aren’t as polarized about energy policy and transition as we might imagine. Developed by University of Alberta engineering professor Lianne Lefsrud and an interdisciplinary team of researchers, Ai4Buzz uses targeted keywords to harvest, aggregate and examine Twitter conversations about energy and energy policies. Organized by category into a series…

Does the internet make us better naturalists?

While the amount of information available is astounding, it is usually hard to find the answers

Does the internet make us better naturalists?When I was a kid, we didn’t have cellphones, the internet or even computers. Facebook, TikTok, Tumblr, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram or myriad other social media platforms didn’t exist. Add to that the many apps that are available to help us learn bird songs or identify everything from plants, mammals and insects to mushrooms, and we…

Disinformation, misinformation are the new energy battlegrounds

But what happens when disinformation campaigns run headlong into reality?

Disinformation, misinformation are the new energy battlegroundsI’m not a fan of making predictions because there are usually way too many variables at play. Trying to guess the price of oil leaves me speechless despite the pathetically large number of hours I spend trying to understand the market. Yet, given the way 2022 is unfolding, I offer the following predictions as more…

How can I be happy with what I have?

Celebrating the small wins in life will make you happy in no time

How can I be happy with what I have?There will always be conversations within our minds that dictate our words and actions and how we perceive the world. The things we tell ourselves have the power to raise us to the greatest heights or plummet us to the deepest depths. It can be argued that there’s nothing so telling regarding our success as…

Don’t count on government to police the internet

Instead of embracing its liberating capabilities, the government is opting for woke conformity

Don’t count on government to police the internetWho should police the internet? The big tech platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – or is this a role for government? Our right to free expression on the internet is being challenged by both the tech platforms and governments that want to control not only activities that are already illegal, but any news…

Musk has a real opportunity to change Twitter’s toxic culture

Making it less of a sewer and echo chamber

Musk has a real opportunity to change Twitter’s toxic cultureLast week’s Troy Media column asked: “Can Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter succeed?” We now have an answer: Yes, it can. On Monday afternoon, it was announced that Musk will buy Twitter for US$44 billion. Investors will receive US$54.20 for each share, which is 38 per cent higher than the publicly-traded company’s share value close…

Can Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter succeed?

Purchasing Twitter is a huge risk for Musk’s net worth and investments

Can Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter succeed?A meme that’s been popular on social media for several years features two photos posted side-by-side. One is labelled “How it started” and the other has “How it’s going.” This meme has typically been used for light-hearted posts about relationships, marriages, children and so forth. It could be used for other purposes – maybe a…

Big data is useless without visual analytics

Having trouble spotting trends in endless spreadsheets? Visual analytic tools can help

Big data is useless without visual analyticsWith its vast volumes, big data is useless without the analytic and presentation functionality of visual analytical tools. Think how difficult it is to spot anomalies or trends in endless rows of spreadsheet data. Visual analytic tools solve that overload problem. Big data is an in-vogue topic in the information technology world. Many executives see…

U of A Institute a source of hope, truth amid Ukraine invasion

Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies a cultural and intellectual beacon for Canadian Ukrainians

U of A Institute a source of hope, truth amid Ukraine invasionDuring her interview with Folio, Natalia Khanenko-Friesen is simultaneously texting her father in Kyiv – urging him to find a landline before cellular networks are knocked out – while providing moral support to a colleague fleeing shelling in the city with a child. As the director of the University of Alberta’s Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Khanenko-Friesen is…

Free expression is still under threat with Bill-C11

Same pig with different lipstick

Free expression is still under threat with Bill-C11In the spring of 2021, the federal government faced considerable backlash for its clumsy attempt at regulating Canadian content on the Internet. Bill C-10 was concerned with “compelling companies like Netflix Inc and TikTok Inc to finance and promote Canadian content.” It was controversial, not least because the law could be read to target content…

Censorship déjà vu on Parliament Hill

With Bill C-11, the government is simply farming out its dirty work to the CRTC

Censorship déjà vu on Parliament HillBuried in a news cycle dominated by former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s sacking and honking truckers, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez unveiled the government’s replacement for Bill C-10. That bill died in a storm of controversy when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called last September’s election. At this moment of peak distraction, Rodriguez decided to revive it.…

Danhausen poised to powerslam pro wrestling

The 31-year-old pro wrestler has quickly become one of sports entertainment’s most intriguing phenomena

Danhausen poised to powerslam pro wrestlingWhen it comes to pro wrestling in North America, Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment is the largest and most profitable promotion. But in just three years, Tony Khan’s All Elite Wrestling has become the second-biggest promotion and is starting to gain ground in popularity, viewing numbers and recognizable names. Established veterans like Adam Cole, Bryan…

Helping small businesses succeed in the digital economy

Going digital is “kind of a life-or-death situation for small businesses”

Helping small businesses succeed in the digital economyA group of students led out of the University of Alberta School of Business is helping small businesses get ahead of the pandemic-induced warp-speed retail overhaul that is pushing customers online in droves. The students are at the heart of the new Digital Economy Program (DEP), a free initiative that sees a team of U of…
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