Ivory, Photo Captioning, WordPress, More: Thursday Buzz, April 14, 2016


A new online map plots over 100 large-scale ivory seizures — ivory from poached elephants — in the last 15 years. “A reported 117 seizures have recovered an estimated 465,000 pounds of ivory in the 15-year stretch—equivalent to about 31,000 slaughtered elephants.”

Interesting: Microsoft has a new online tool; upload an image and it tries to create a caption. I uploaded a picture of some deviled eggs and the caption it gave was “I think it’s a close up of a plate of cake.” Bzzt. You can give the captions 1-5 stars for feedback. I uploaded a picture of Jim Backus and it said, “I think it’s an old man wearing a suit and tie and he seems 😁.” There ya go.


WordPress 4.5 is now available.

Facebook Live is getting an API. “The goal, said Facebook’s Chris Cox (pictured above) is to allow ‘hundreds of people to experience the exact same moment at the exact same time.’ Cox also said the API will allow both hardware- and software-makers to integrate with Facebook Live.”

Another of Facebook’s new features sounds like it’s taking aim at Pocket. “Today at the F8 developer conference, Facebook is introducing a Save to Facebook button for the web. Publishers can now add the button to their standard article templates, and whenever a user taps the button, it will save the article or video directly to their Facebook queue. If that sounds a lot like Pocket and Instapaper, well, it is — it’s just baked into one of the most popular apps in the world.” I think I’ll stick with Pocket.


Are you and your boo on Facebook? There’s an URL for seeing your togetherness. There’s apparently also a way to easily see the Facebook relationship between you and a non-boo.


YouTube will be livestreaming Coachella — with some tweaks.

Facebook apparently wants to build AR glasses. Might want to get your Oculus Rift production delays squared away first. “On stage at the company’s annual F8 developer conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off a concept for a pair of smart glasses that he thinks we’ll all be wearing….Zuckerberg said he wants the smart glasses to be capable of both virtual reality and augmented reality. The vision is not too different from Google Glass.”


Does it feel like there are more zero-day security announcements than ever? You’re not wrong. “The number of “zero-day” exploits—a term that was coined because affected software developers have zero days to release a patch that keeps users protected—reached an unprecedented 54, according to researchers at security firm Symantec. That number compared with 24 in 2014, 23 in 2013, and 14 in 2012.”

Google will have to wait until next month to learn how much it will be fined by Russia. “In March 2016, [Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service] initiated administrative proceedings against Google to determine the amount of fine under part 2 article 14.31 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences. According to the article, abuse of dominant position on the market of operating systems for mobile devices in Russia, Google (the owner of the Android OS) can pay a fine ranging from 1% to 15% of its revenues on the Russian market in 2014.”


From the SPIE: Mining social media to task satellite data collection during emergencies “We have introduced a new methodology that uses social media during disasters or emergencies to prioritize the collection of satellite remote-sensing imagery and to ‘ fill the gaps’ in the collected imagery. We used social media platforms, such as Twitter and Flickr, along with imagery data from satellites, airplanes, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to assess the extent of damage on transportation infrastructure during the 2013 Colorado floods, which affected the city of Boulder and the surrounding regions.”

What do your emojis say about you? “When you add a smiley face to the end of a message, you may be saying more than you realise. Emoticons, faces formed from punctuation symbols such as :-), and emojis, picture symbols, are now common features of the way we communicate using phone and internet messaging services and social media. They can help your recipient understand a potentially ambiguous message, reinforce the emotion in what you’re saying, or communicate your feelings rapidly with a single character. But not everyone uses them – or interprets them – in the same way.” Good morning, Internet…

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