Pulp Science Fiction, MIT, Snapchat, More: Saturday Buzz, February 27, 2016


BoingBoing points out that the full run of If magazine is available in The Internet Archive. “The Internet Archive’s amazing Pulp Magazine Archive includes all 176 issues of If, a classic science fiction magazine that ran from 1952 to 1974. Included in the collection are all of the issues edited by Frederik Pohl from 1966-68, three years that netted him three consecutive Best Editor Hugo awards.”

MIT Media Lab and MIT Press have launched a new open access journal of design and science. “The MIT Media Lab and the MIT Press have jointly launched the Journal of Design and Science (JoDS), an online, open-access journal whose aim is to capture the antidisciplinary ethos of the MIT Media Lab while opening new connections between science and design.”


Gah! Now Snapchat has a face swap filter.

Google has started sending out notices for AMP errors. It looks like the WordPress AMP plugin might be a cause of errors?

Yahoo has jumped on the “Let’s open-source our AI tools” bandwagon with the open-sourcing of CaffeOnSpark. “Like so many other new open source AI project, CaffeOnSpark is based on deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence particularly useful in helping machines recognize human speech, or the contents of a photo or video. Yahoo, for example, uses it to improve search results on Flickr by determining the contents of different photos.”


Jan Wrede has started a Kickstarter to create an open source, online, and interactive history map. “I would like to create an ‘interactive history of the world’ website. It will show an interactive map of the world, where one can open different layers, with political borders, religion, ethinicies, population stastistics, pictures and other useful information. The more options the better. Then, there will be another option where one can change the year, which the maps shows. All information will change according to the year that is chosen.” I can imagine this developing into a platform or almost a search engine for map layers. There are so many of them being generated at the moment…

Facebook appears to be getting a lot more aggressive about booting and blocking pages. This time it has suddenly blocked the page of a parody publication that’s been on its site for five years. “Perhaps more strangely, while Facebook has informed Viz that it can appeal the unilateral blocking of its Facebook page, a loss in that appeal would result in a perma-ban.” The parody magazine is apparently fairly crude, but until this point would simply take down things that Facebook considered over the line. Blocking was not considered necessary.

Speaking of censoring content, Daily Kos is concerned about a Hillary Clinton hashtag getting removed from Twitter and a user getting suspended. Twitter has backtracked and said the suspension is a mistake, but since Twitter’s algorithms aren’t transparent it’s not really clear what happened. “Considering the nature of Twitter’s algorithm, it may just be a coincidence that Twitter suspended activist account @GuerrillaDems, at the same time that its massively popular hashtags #WhichHillary & #WhichHillaryCensored were suddenly absent from many users’ trending lists. Twitter now says that the suspension of @GuerrillaDems was a mistake.”

Here’s your Saturday weird: the new Facebook emoji also speak Pirate. The sad one is very sad. NO MR. PIRATE! PUT DOWN THE BOTTLE OF RUM AND STEP OFF THE PLANK! YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR!


Mint has added an update that checks for the Tsunami backdoor. “The TSUNAMI detection update came as part of mintUpdate, which was pushed out to Mint users on Tuesday. Rather than removing the backdoor, the patch just does a check for suspect files, if any are found the user is told their machine is infected by TSUNAMI and that they should go offline immediately, re-download Linux Mint and completely re-install it.”


A University of Toronto researcher is going to start sharing her research notes in real-time. Liveresearching? No, that looks like Liver Esearching… “University of Toronto researcher Rachel Harding will be the first known biomedical researcher to welcome the world to review her lab notes in real time. The post-doctoral fellow with U of T’s Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) is also explaining her findings to the general public through her blog. She hopes her open approach will accelerate research into Huntington’s disease.”

Digg is trying some algorithmic ways of recommending video, and there’s a nice crunchy explanation over on Medium. Good morning, Internet…

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