New Hampshire Newspapers, Snapchat, Speech Recognition, More: Wednesday Buzz, July 19, 2017


Sentinel Source (New Hampshire): Digital archive created for historical newspapers of the Monadnock Region. “The Peterborough Town Library will embark on a digitization project to make the region’s historical newspapers fully accessible online through a digital archive. The Contoocook Transcript, The Peterborough Messenger and The Peterborough Transcript will be among the first newspapers to be made available digitally. Up until now, these historical newspapers have only been available in print and on microfilm at the library.”


Mashable: You’ll never have to worry about perfectly timed Snapchat videos again. “Snapchat just answered one of its users’ biggest requests: The app will no longer limit you to single 10-second video clips at a time. Instead, Snapchat now allows you to record up to a full minute of video at once. There is, however, one catch.”

Fast Company: Mozilla is crowdsourcing a massive speech-recognition system. “From Amazon’s Alexa to Apple’s Siri, speech recognition and response are becoming mainstays of how we interact with computers, apps, and internet services. But the technology is owned by giant corporations. Now the Mozilla Foundation, maker of the free Firefox browser, is recruiting volunteers to train an open-source speech recognition system.”

TechCrunch: Google launches new security features to protect users from unverified apps. “Google has been steadily adding new security features for its G Suite users over the course of the last few months, including new anti-phishing tools and OAuth apps whitelisting, as well as an enhanced app review process. Today, it’s adding another layer on top of this with the launch of a new ‘unverified app’ screen for new web applications and Apps Scripts.”


MakeUseOf: 12 Productivity Extensions That Keep You Focused on Deep Work. “It’s almost like being a goldfish in a glass tank. It can be easy to lose track of time. There are so many online distractions attacking your eyeballs these days. Maybe a basic timer can help you escape your screen. Or perhaps you need something more severe like a tool that closes your tabs or won’t let you visit certain sites. These types of browser extensions can help you step away from the screen, when you cannot browse where you want thanks to your wayward whims.”


SUNY Polytechnic Institute: SUNY Poly Receives Grant to Archive Refugee Projects. “SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) today announced that stories told by Central New York refugee community members and recorded by SUNY Poly faculty and staff will now be preserved and archived for access by communities across the state and the nation thanks to a grant from the New York State Regional Bibliographic Database Grant program.”

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: New Data Archive Aims to Amplify Impact of Ecosystem Research. “As environmental scientists move towards understanding earth systems at greater resolution than ever before, it’s critical that they have access to needed data sets. Yet much of these data are not archived, publicly available, or collected in a standardized format, due to the multiple challenges of coordinating efforts across independent research groups and institutions worldwide. Now researchers at Berkeley Lab are taking action to address these challenges. Thanks to $3.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Science, the Lab’s Computing Sciences and Earth & Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) are partnering on a three-year project to develop an archive that will serve as a repository for hundreds of DOE-funded research projects under the agency’s Environmental System Science (ESS) umbrella.”

Internet Archive: IMLS Grant to Advance Web Archiving in Public Libraries. “Working with partners from Queens Public Library, Cleveland Public Library, and San Francisco Public Library, and with OCLC’s WebJunction, which offers education and training to public libraries nationwide, the ‘Community Webs’ project will provide training, cohort support, and services, for a group of librarians at 15 different public libraries to develop expertise in creating collections of historically valuable web materials documenting their local communities. Project outputs will include over 30 terabytes of community history web archives and a suite of open educational resources, from guides to videos, for use by any librarian, archivist, or heritage professional working to preserve collections of local history comprised of online materials.”

Wired: The Curious Comeback Of The Dreaded QR Code. “Don’t look now, but QR codes have begun to creep back. They have different names now—Snap Codes and Spotify Codes and Messenger Codes and Other Things Codes—and a much improved sense of style, but the idea hasn’t changed. Because QR codes, it turns out, were just ahead of their time.”


Naked Security: Google wants you to bid farewell to SMS authentication. “Google’s campaign to nudge its vast user base towards more secure two-step (2SV) and two-factor (2FA) authentication continues: from this week anyone logging into its services using SMS codes will start receiving notifications from something called ‘Google prompt’.”

RESEARCH & OPINION Detecting dangers with crowdsourcing. “By the time officials in Flint, Mich., declared a state of emergency in response dangerously high levels of lead in the city’s drinking water in mid-December of 2015, residents had been complaining to each other about discolored and foul-smelling drinking water for more than a year. That time lag, between residents identifying a potential hazard and government officials taking action, shocked Pooja Chandrashekar, A.B. ’18, a biomedical engineering concentrator at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.”

Digital Trends: Future Chatbots Will Be Able To Argue With You Enough To Help Change Your Mind. “Artificial intelligence tools like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa don’t really try and change your mind too much, but maybe they should! That is the idea behind new research being carried out by Dr. Samira Shaikh, an assistant professor in Cognitive Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Computer Science. She developed a smart chatbot that’s goal is not just to carry out a conversation with users, but to actually engage them in arguments and counterarguments with the specific aim of changing a person’s mind.” Good morning, Internet…

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