Shakespeare, Privacy Polices, Live Sports, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, March 15, 2016


A play script handwritten by William Shakespeare is going to be digitized. “The last surviving play script handwritten by William Shakespeare, in which he imagines Sir Thomas More making an impassioned plea for the humane treatment of refugees, is to be made available online by the British Library.” According to the article, Shakespeare didn’t originally write the play but was one of several people reworking it.

Very few people read those giant privacy policies most Web sites have. We should, but they’re generally awful to read. Now there’s a better way to get the gist of them. “Usable Privacy is a website launched jointly by Carnegie Mellon University and Fordham Law School to share some of their findings on privacy policy research. Right now, at launch, it has annotated privacy policies available for 193 websites; the researchers plan for that number to go up.


Google is testing live sports commentary in search results? What could POSSIBLY go wrong? “When you search for cricket and Twenty20-related terms and the names of teams and players during and after matches, it will serve up real-time commentary in search results, from cricket greats like Akash Chopra and Boria Majumdar.”


From Faculty Focus via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Free ‘Clickers’ for All: Using Google Forms to Survey Your Students”. “My use of Google Forms as a cheap, easy-to-use, device-friendly alternative to clickers has been yielding some successful results. First, my students look forward to getting the links and love how they can use devices that they already have in order to participate. Preliminary, indirect measures of learning, in the form of post-course student surveys, indicate that the use of Google Forms is helping my students learn better. Finally, I have recently started to use the software not only to ask content and concept-type questions but also to track whether my students’ perceptions about important, course-related issues change as the semester progresses.”

Want to watch the NCAA but don’t have cable? You’ve got some options. “This year all 67 games will be broadcast across four networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Based on the current schedule, we’ve put together a strategy that will allow you to watch every minute of March Madness live without a cable subscription. The options below will take you although the way through to the title game on April 4.”

From Social Media Examiner: How to successfully target a niche Facebook audience. This is just as much about Page posts as ads. If you’re looking for business- or reach- type guidance for social media, I find Social Media Examiner provides the best ratio of useful information to hype and promo. Though in this article I don’t agree about just trolling Urban Dictionary for slang terms. You shouldn’t use slang on social media unless you’re very familiar with it, or risk a lot of embarrassment.


If you’re interested in art and art history, you might want to check out this new Kickstarter to assemble a database of maker’s marks on paintings and other art. “Within art historical research there is an increased need for authentication of art works – not least in the field of old master paintings – and over the years the RKD has investigated many resources to facilitate this particular type of research. A new initiative, the MARKS ON ART database curated by the RKD, will offer open access to a unique collection of brands, quality stamps, copper and panel makers’ marks, assay master monograms, guild marks, etc. etc.”

The last game in the AlphaGo/Se-dol go series has been played, and AlphaGo won. So it ends up 4-1 AlphaGo. I really thought after winning game 4, Lee Se-dol would capitalize on whatever he did in game 4 and repeat it to win game five. At least he got one.

And apparently these victories have got Facebook talking some smack. “After a message of congratulations following the first victory, [Yann] LeCun’s Facebook posts seemed to rapidly focus on bursting DeepMind’s bubble. ‘Congrats to the DeepMind AlphaGo team for this Grand Slam,’ he posted after the group won the match with the third straight victory. ‘Now, can you do it purely through reinforcement learning, without pre-training the convolutional net on recorded games between humans?'” Dude, do you even AI?


Russia has turned down Google’s appeal in an antimonopoly case. “The Moscow Arbitration court on Monday rejected an appeal from Google and upheld a ruling that the U.S. firm broke anti-monopoly laws by abusing its dominant position with its Android mobile platform, Russia’s competition watchdog said.”


Oh, Minecraft, is there NOTHING you can’t do? Now Microsoft is using it for AI experiments. And it wants you to play, too! “Microsoft has announced that it’s starting to use Minecraft as a space in which to build, test and develop new artificial intelligence systems. The new platform, developed by academics, will be made available to everyone over the summer.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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