Computers in Movies, Wolfram Data, WordPress, More: Monday Buzz, April 24, 2017


New-to-me: a database of computer appearances in film and television. “Starring the Computer is a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. Each appearance is catalogued and rated on its importance (ie. how important it is to the plot), realism (how close its appearance and capabilities are to the real thing) and visibility (how good a look does one get of it). Fictional computers don’t count (unless they are built out of bits of real computer), so no HAL9000 – sorry.”

Wolfram Blog: Launching the Wolfram Data Repository: Data Publishing that Really Works. “It’s been one of my goals with the Wolfram Language to build into it as much data as possible—and make all of that data immediately usable and computable. And I have to say that it’s worked out great. Whether you need the mass of Jupiter, or the masses of all known exoplanets, or Alan Turing’s date of birth—or a trillion much more obscure things—you just ask for them in the language, and you’ll get them in a form where you can immediately compute with them.”


WordPress 4.7.4 is now available. “This release contains 47 maintenance fixes and enhancements, chief among them an incompatibility between the upcoming Chrome version and the visual editor, inconsistencies in media handling, and further improvements to the REST API.”

Times of Oman: Haitham launches revamped website of Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture. “As part of a major digital transformation programme, His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, inaugurated the fully revamped ministry website in collaboration with Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel)—the first provider of integrated telecommunications services in the Sultanate.”

Neowin: uTorrent is moving to your web browser with its next major update. “uTorrent (also known as μTorrent) is the world’s most popular BitTorrent client, with over 150 million monthly active users around the world. It’s now preparing for one of the biggest changes in its history.”

Business Insider: Instagram is starting to crack down on fake account activity. “Instagram is cracking down on fake account activity with the closing of Instagress, a popular third-party service that advertised itself as an automated way to ‘get real Instagram followers and become incredibly popular.'”


From Joyce Valenza at School Library Journal: JSTOR Text Analyzer. “JSTOR Labs recently announced Text Analyzer. If you have access to the JSTOR database, you’ll want share this new search strategy with your students and faculty. Upload or drag a document–an article, a Google document, a paper you are writing, a PDF or even an image–into what JSTOR is calling its magic box, and Text Analyzer will analyze it to identify prioritized terms.”


Yahoo: Yahoo Sports Announces Live Show Coverage for the NFL Draft. “On Thursday, April 27 beginning at 8pm ET, the Yahoo Sports team will air a live show covering the NFL Draft. Host Mike Hill will be joined by Charles Robinson, Pat Forde, Tank Williams, Brad Evans, Brandon Funston and former Super Bowl champion Tony Siragusa in our New York City studios along with live reports and interviews from Eric Edholm with the draft’s top prospects from Philadelphia.”


TechCrunch: Ambient noise could be your next multi-factor authentication token. “We’re all pretty used to two-factor authentication now, and it isn’t much of an inconvenience to have to type in a four-digit code when you log in from a new location. But some Swiss security researchers came up with a smart way to authenticate without even that tiny amount of work: ambient noise.”


UMass Amherst: Why Is This Linguist #Talmbout Twitter?. “The lickety-split spread of the phrase stay woke is just one linguistic development you can clearly track via Twitter, says Lisa Green ’93, professor of linguistics at UMass Amherst….Green recently collaborated with Brendan O’Connor, assistant professor at the College of Information and Computer Sciences, and computer science doctoral student Su Lin Wang Blodgett on a case study of dialect in Twitter conversations among African Americans. They collected a whopping 59 million tweets from 2.8 million users, including 830,000 tweets aligned with Twitter users in African American English-speaking neighborhoods.”

Retraction Watch, and man is my blood boiling: A new record: Major publisher retracting more than 100 studies from cancer journal over fake peer reviews. “Springer is retracting 107 papers from one journal after discovering they had been accepted with fake peer reviews. Yes, 107. To submit a fake review, someone (often the author of a paper) either makes up an outside expert to review the paper, or suggests a real researcher — and in both cases, provides a fake email address that comes back to someone who will invariably give the paper a glowing review. In this case, Springer, the publisher of Tumor Biology through 2016, told us that an investigation produced ‘clear evidence’ the reviews were submitted under the names of real researchers with faked emails. Some of the authors may have used a third-party editing service, which may have supplied the reviews. The journal is now published by SAGE.”


Gizmodo: This Machine Makes It Easy for Libraries to Clean Thousands of Books. “How often have you pulled a rarely needed book off your shelf and needed to blow a layer of dust off of it? Now imagine what libraries have to deal with, given the tens of thousands of tomes in their collections. But it turns out someone’s already invented a machine that cleans books like a tiny waterless carwash.” This thing looks awesome! Good morning, Internet…

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