Cosplay, UAE, Translation, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, May 3, 2016


New-to-me: a database of cosplay-friendly conventions. Search by state, region, theme, cosplay group, etc… Looks like this was funded last fall, not sure when it launched.

The United Arab Emirates Digital Library has officially launched. “The project was established by the Ministry of Culture to support and encourage the industry and disseminate intellectual and cognitive content in the UAE. It also aims to provide knowledge services with the latest advanced technical means. The project targets at providing access to one million books in various local and international, cultural and scientific fields.”


Google is now apparently auto-translating some words and phrases. I’m saying “some” because I did not have this problem a few days ago when I was trying to research that resource on French travel taxes. It looks like if this annoys you, you can turn it off by setting your Google search to “verbatim”.

Is Facebook going to get “self-destructing” messages? “According to a recent tweet by @iOSAppChanges, they have shared a screenshot of what appears to be messages that can self-destruct/self-delete on Facebook Messenger.”


From Gizmodo: How to search the “deep Web” safely. The author calls it the deep Web, mostly, but it’s not what I consider the deep Web. I consider the Deep Web those non-indexed places, structured databases, etc. where Google and other search engines mostly do not index. I think the author was referring to what I define as the dark Web, the part of the Web only accessible via Tor browsers and suchlike. (He addresses this in the article but I’m just not seeing Deep Web in the article, I’m seeing Dark Web. And I really would like the source on his statement “A large part of the deep web is made up of .onion sites (like the infamous Silk Road), which use a special top-level domain only reachable by a special browser called Tor.”)

Joel Lee at MakeUseOf takes a look at search syntax in Slack. Say that three times fast. “…email does have one advantage: it’s easier to search through past correspondences to find out what someone said a few weeks, months, or even years ago. Slack does have a search function, but it’s not as refined — at least until you learn all of its secrets.”


Looks like Australia is getting on the “Google Tax” bandwagon. “Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison has said in his budget speech on Tuesday night that in response to calls from the Australian public, the Australian government would introduce a Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) on multinational companies avoiding tax. Under the new arrangements to take effect from July 1, 2017, the DPT will penalise companies that are found to have shifted profits offshore by taxing those profits at a rate of 40 percent.”

This is something I hadn’t heard of before — a Snapchat filter for commencement. “From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 7, any Snapchat user in or around The MUNY will find a special ‘Webster University Commencement’ filter available in the program. The filter will let users select a graphic with the day’s date and “Webster University Commencement” on any photo taken with the app, allowing graduates and their friends and family to easily share graduation photos with those in their Snapchat Network.”


Chinese authorities are looking into the possible role Baidu might have had in the death of a young Chinese man. “Wei Zexi, 21, died last month of a rare form of cancer….Before dying, Wei accused Baidu online of promoting false medical information, as well as the hospital for misleading advertising in claiming a high success rate for the treatment, state radio said.”


From Justin O’ Beirne: What Happened to Google Maps? “Browsing Google Maps over the past year or so, I’ve often thought that there are fewer labels than there used to be. Google’s cartography was revamped three years ago – but surely this didn’t include a reduction in labels? Rather, the sparser maps appear to be a recent development.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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