Vinyl Records, Zimbabwe Retail, Arizona Geology, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, June 5, 2017


The Internet Archive: Dreaming of Semantic Audio Restoration at a Massive Scale. “The Great 78 Project will collect and digitize over 400,000 digitized 78rpm recordings to make them publicly available, creating a rich data set to do large scale analysis. These transfers are being done with four different styli shapes and sizes at the same time, and all recorded at 96KHz/24bit lossless samples, and in stereo (even though the records are in mono, this provides more information about the contours of the groove). This means each groove has 8 different high-resolution representations of every 11 microns. Furthermore, there are often multiple copies of the same recording that would have been stamped and used differently. So, modeling the wear on the record and using that to reconstruct what would have been on the master may be possible.”

The Herald (Zimbabwe): ‘Retail Database Critical for Planning’ . “ZIMBABWE will by year end have more accurate data on the number of retailers operating in the country and the status of the retail sector through the proposed National Retail Database being developed by the sector. The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu told a 2017 International Retailers and Wholesalers Indaba on Wednesday that his organisation is seized with the project and is on track to complete the project by December.”


Arizona Geology: AZGS receives $64k to update and publish digital geologic map data. “The AZGS was notified last week that we will be receiving $64k from the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program, administered by the USGS, for FY18. We will be supplying the required state match, for a project total of ~$130k. Funding is expected to begin in September 2017. This is an exciting opportunity to continue the very important process of bringing our older digital geologic maps up to modern standards, making the map data available in a variety of formats that are useful for current consumers of geologic data, and establishing a permanent archive for our geologic data and products.”

Oh my. TechRepublic: An $89 Raspberry Pi rival that runs full Windows 10 and Android. “A low-cost, pocket-sized computer will be released this year that will run Android Marshmallow and the full version of Windows 10. The UP Core is a single-board computer that will run a range of operating systems, including ubilinux (Debian), Ubuntu and Yocto, and seemingly offers better performance than the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.”


Entrepreneur: 5 Ways Facebook Messenger Bots Can Help Your Business. “Using a chatbot as a marketing tool requires planning and precise execution, so I’ve put together a list of five ways your chatbot can help you build a relationship with your audience and help you grow your business.”


The Next Web: Why Live Streaming is Changing The Future of Social Content. “Whether it be a music festival or protest, we’re constantly seeing events as they unfold. And when we think back to the power that social media has brought on in the past, this is only going to add more fuel to the fire. The influence that live streaming is only going to get more powerful in the future, as people will find usage for it like we’ve never seen before. Even as much as it seemed like the next logical step, live streaming is an enormous step towards changing social media forever.”


Quartz: A pioneering computer scientist wants algorithms to be regulated like cars, banks, and drugs. “It’s convenient when Facebook can tag your friends in photos for you, and it’s fun when Snapchat can apply a filter to your face. Both are examples of algorithms that have been trained to recognize eyes, noses, and mouths with consistent accuracy. When these programs are wrong—like when Facebook mistakes you for your sibling or even your mom—it’s hardly a problem. In other situations, though, we give artificial intelligence much more responsibility, with larger consequences when it inevitably backfires.”


The Economist: Peer review is a thankless job. One firm wants to change that . “Peer review underpins the entire academic enterprise. It is the main method of quality control employed by journals. By offering drafts of a paper to anonymous experts, poor arguments or dodgy science can be scrubbed up or weeded out. That is the theory. In reality, things are murkier.”

Ars Technica: Data mining astronomical records fails to falsify Einstein. “There are experiments, like the last couple of generations of particle accelerators, that create data so fast that no team of scientists, no matter how dedicated or large, can hope to analyze all of it. And there are facilities that generate data for one purpose, but that data can be used in innovative ways to yield new insights in other fields. Mining all this information is really important for very slow processes, where the data accumulates over periods that extend through generations, like climate change, and now orbital mechanics.”

The next time someone tells you that torrents are just for pirating, bust out this article from TorrentFreak: Torrents Help Researchers Worldwide to Study Babies’ Brains. “Researchers from three leading British institutions are using BitTorrent to share over 150 GB of unique high-resolution brain scans of unborn babies with colleagues worldwide. Using the popular file-sharing protocol is a ‘no-brainer,’ according to a Research Associate, who says that dealing with people’s misconceptions toward torrents was one of the biggest challenges.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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