Natural History, Bing Autocomplete, LinkedIn, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, September 13, 2016


Google is adding a lot of natural history to its Arts & Culture app. “We’ve partnered with 50+ of the world’s leading natural history institutions to bring this lost world to life again online. More than 150 interactive stories from experts, 300,000 new photos and videos, and more than 30 virtual tours await you…”


Bing has updated its autocomplete game. “Microsoft recently upgraded Bing Academic Suggestions using new technologies from the company’s Technology and Research team and the Bing semantic graph. Academic Suggestions is an intelligent autocomplete feature that helps students and researchers find academic papers on a variety of topics from a host of authors and generates results similar to Google’s ‘Scholarly articles’ feature.”

LinkedIn has launched LinkedIn Lite. “Tech companies are increasingly realizing that if they want to make their services more accessible to Indians, they need to adapt to India’s slow internet speeds. After Facebook, Google and Twitter, LinkedIn is the latest to launch a ‘Lite’ version of its service, specifically for India. The light version of LinkedIn’s mobile website, called LinkedIn Lite, is aimed at users with slow internet connections or those on metered internet connections with low download limits.” How about more of this in the US? Not all of us have California-grade Internet speeds.


From Betanews: How to increase Chromebook volume. (It can be ridiculously low sometimes.)

Hey! make your Netflix a little more random. “Once the extension is installed, you get a random button in your Netflix menu. You can customize it so it only shows movies, documentaries, or TV shows, or any variation of those three.”


Techdirt has a roundup of Facebook’s latest weird content blocking decisions. “This is almost certainly some sort of technical glitch that will be sorted out quickly, if it hasn’t been already. But it still should serve as a reminder, to be wary of putting our faith entirely in 3rd party platforms for our media access, when they have the ability to block at will (or even somewhat arbitrarily when the bots go crazy).” The technical glitch excuse is getting really old, especially since this same company is trying to launch satellites.

From The Atlantic: Please Turn On Your Phone in the Museum. “Museum directors are grappling with how technology has changed the ways people engage with exhibits. But instead of fighting it, some institutions are using technology to convince the public that, far from becoming obsolete, museums are more vital than ever before. Here’s what those efforts look like.”

A new report says YouTube is not paying enough to British musicians. “UK Music has criticised YouTube as part of its annual Measuring Music report, which looks at what British music is worth to the UK economy. It said the site is ‘yet to deliver fair financial returns for rights owners and creators, artists, composers, songwriters and publishers.'”


Times Higher Education: Universities failing to make best use of Twitter, researchers say “Universities are failing to make best use of Twitter and may promote ‘inaccurate’ depictions of themselves via the social network, a major study says. An analysis of the Twitter accounts of 2,411 US higher education providers found that they were largely used to broadcast information or to highlight positive aspects of their institution. Examples of universities utilising Twitter to engage in dialogue or debate and to reach out to the wider community were much less widespread.”


Interesting: Hundreds of Facebook Images Get Transformed into Piano Music. “In All My Friends, experimental musician and sound artist Daniel Watkins turns image data into sonic data—but these aren’t just basic sounds. Watkins used all of his friends’ Facebook images and turned them into a cassette archive of piano compositions. To do this, Watkins transferred the raw JPEG data from his friends’ profile pictures into a sound editing program and output the results as a WAV file. He then transferred the WAV file to MIDI, assigning piano and the interpretation method.” The article links to two compositions to which you can listen.

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