NYT, Twitter, Yahoo, More: Thursday Buzz, September 24th, 2015


The New York Times has made 50 of its best pieces of journalism free to read. “The articles, op-eds and videos were selected by masthead editors and represent a tribute to the work enabled and sustained by digital subscribers, said Clifford Levy, an assistant masthead editor at The New York Times. The list runs 50 items and spans the breadth of the Times’ work, including foreign correspondence, opinion writing, cultural reporting and investigative journalism.”


Interesting: a Twitter tool looks at your last thousand tweets and draws conclusions. Doesn’t really work for me because I tweet so much ResearchBuzz stuff, but I can see where someone like Dan Lyke or Alan Levine might have a lot of fun with it.


Looks like there’s some spam popping up on Academia papers pop up regularly on the information traps I’ve set up, and in the last few days I’ve gotten two spams. Check out the screenshot on ResearchBuzz Firehose.


(Why am I reading about antivirus software in Forbes? I’m not objecting, mind you; it’s just weird to follow a string about Kaspersky and Google and so forth and find out it ends at Forbes.) Apparently there are still a bunch of issues with Kaspersky anti-virus software. “We’ve written before about how antivirus software is not only resource-intensive but in some cases can make you less secure because it can be hacked itself. Now there’s new evidence that Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus software contains bugs which could be remotely exploited in targeted attacks, as Thomas Fox-Brewster reported yesterday. Some of these bugs are detailed in a blog post written by information security engineer Tavis Ormandy, a member of Google’s Project Zero vulnerability research team.”

Yahoo has released an update to its transparency report. “This latest transparency report contains information covering the first six months of 2015 (January 1 – June 30, 2015). This includes National Security Letters (NSLs) and law enforcement data requests (such as search warrants, court orders, and subpoenas issued in criminal investigations). FISA requests included are from (July 1 – December 31, 2014), as they are subject to a six-month delay under U.S. law.”

Eww. Facebook is seeking a patent that identifies individual cameras. “According to a new ‘image fingerprinting’ patent filed by the company in January (that’s Patent Publication US 20150124107 to you), the tech Facebook is developing could identify the exact camera used to shoot a photo. It would even recognize photos of yours that are uploaded to accounts, say, other than yours.”


Google Voice Search has taken another quality step forward. “Our improved acoustic models rely on Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN). RNNs have feedback loops in their topology, allowing them to model temporal dependencies: when the user speaks /u/ in the previous example, their articulatory apparatus is coming from a /j/ sound and from an /m/ sound before. Try saying it out loud – “museum” – it flows very naturally in one breath, and RNNs can capture that. The type of RNN used here is a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) RNN which, through memory cells and a sophisticated gating mechanism, memorizes information better than other RNNs. Adopting such models already improved the quality of our recognizer significantly.”

Fascinating tech! A new service uses video sound to provide better search results. “[David Luan] calls this system ‘Site, Sound, and Motion,’ and you can see a demo on the company website. Basically, it sucks in videos that random people have posted to Twitter and gives you a way of searching through them. You can, say, search for all the Donald Trump videos, and this will bring up a video when Trump turns up only when someone asks Lady Gaga if she’s a Donald fan.” Good evening, Internet…

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