Google Translate, Twitch, Google Search, More: Tuesday Buzz, March 7, 2017


Google is expanding its AI translation program. From the blog announcement: “Last November, people from Brazil to Turkey to Japan discovered that Google Translate for their language was suddenly more accurate and easier to understand. That’s because we introduced neural machine translation—using deep neural networks to translate entire sentences, rather than just phrases—for eight languages overall. Over the next couple of weeks, these improvements are coming to Google Translate in many more languages, starting right now with Hindi, Russian and Vietnamese.”

GeekWire: Twitch ‘Pulse’ adds Facebook-like social media tool to streaming giant’s front page. “Twitch just got a lot more social. On Monday, the Amazon-owned video-game streaming company rolled out a new social media tool called Pulse. The feature allows users to post messages, photo and video for the friends and followers. Other streamers can comment or react to your posts. It essentially mimics Facebook, but on Twitch’s platform.”

Search Engine Roundtable: Google Search Feedback Form Adds Screenshot Feature. “There is a small link in the footer of all search result pages on Google to give Google your feedback about the results on that page. In the past, it was just a way for Google to obtain your query, browser information and a message from you about the query. Now, Google lets you submit and highlight a screenshot of the actual search results page that you are looking at.” Considering all the goofiness that Google’s search results have been showing lately, this is a welcome development.

Engadget: New York Times reporters’ tweets will appear in its paper edition. “The pages just inside the print edition of The New York Times had previously been used to list corrections and article summaries for later stories. Last week, the newspaper announced a shakeup that redesigned A2 and A3 into landing pages featuring noteworthy facts from the day’s stories, historical headlines from the paper’s past and behind-the-scenes looks at its journalistic endeavors. But the new front section will also include a first for the Gray Lady: Featuring its reporters’ tweets in newsprint.”


The Outline: Google’s Featured Snippets are Worse than Fake News. “Peter Shulman, an associate history professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, was lecturing on the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s when a student asked an odd question: Was President Warren Harding a member of the KKK?” Google needs to turn off featured snippets and bring it back when it’s been thoroughly tested. This is disgusting.

BBC: Facebook failed to remove sexualised images of children. “Facebook has been criticised for its handling of reports about sexualised images of children on its platform. The chairman of the Commons media committee, Damian Collins, said he had ‘grave doubts’ about the effectiveness of its content moderation systems. Mr Collins’ comments come after the BBC reported dozens of photos to Facebook, but more than 80% were not removed.” And Facebook, instead of owning the problem, apparently REPORTED THE BBC TO THE POLICE?

The Conversation: African governments versus social media: Why the uneasy relationship?. “Many Kenyan social media users are worried that the government will shut down the internet during August’s general election. Kenya’s Communications Authority has attempted to reassure voters that this is unlikely. However, fears that internet freedoms could be at risk are not unfounded. The list of African countries that have blocked access to social media during elections and other politically sensitive periods is growing.” Excellent overview of how various African governments are treating Internet access.

Lifehacker: The Gentle Respite of Instagram. “There is only one place on the internet that is nice. There is only one place that does not add to my anxiety and actually alleviates the low level dread that comes with the ubiquitous awareness of being online all of the time. That place is Instagram.”


MacKeeper: Spammergate: The Fall of an Empire. “Today we release details on the innerworkings of a massive, illegal spam operation. The situation presents a tangible threat to online privacy and security as it involves a database of 1.4 billion email accounts combined with real names, user IP addresses, and often physical address. Chances are that you, or at least someone you know, is affected.”

Sky News: Anti-monarchists launch bid for access to Royal Archives. “Anti-monarchy campaigners have told Sky News they are launching a crowdfunding campaign in an attempt to get greater access to the Royal Archives. Republic will use the money to lobby MPs and investigate whether there are any loopholes that could provide the legal basis to open up what they describe as Britain’s most secretive institution.”


EurekAlert: More social connection online tied to increasing feelings of isolation. “The more time a young adult uses social media, the more likely they are to feel socially isolated, according to a national analysis led by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists. In addition to the time spent online, the scientists found that frequency of use was associated with increased social isolation.”

The 74 Million: New Research Shows How Common Core Critics Built Social Media ‘Botnets’ to Skew the Education Debate. “Anyone following education news on Twitter between 2013 and 2016 would have been hard-pressed to ignore the gradual curdling of Americans’ attitudes toward the Common Core State Standards. Once seen as an innocuous effort to lift performance in classrooms, they slowly came to be denounced as ‘Dirty Commie agenda trash’ and a ‘Liberal/Islam indoctrination curriculum.'” Good morning, Internet…

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