Nonprofit Financials, Machine Learning, Google Glass, More: Saturday Buzz, August 12, 2017


ProPublica: Nonprofit Explorer Update: Full Text of 1.9 Million Records. “We have updated our Nonprofit Explorer news application, adding raw data from more than 1.9 million electronically filed Form 990 documents dating back to 2010. This new trove includes the full text of more than 132,000 forms for which we did not previously have complete data. In addition to making the machine-readable XML files available to download, we are publishing the full text of many of these documents as human-readable web pages. These appear similar to the PDFs that have appeared on Nonprofit Explorer in the past, but their text can be copy-and-pasted, and they are easier to browse and analyze.”

Google Research Blog: Harness the Power of Machine Learning in Your Browser with Deeplearn.js. “Machine learning (ML) has become an increasingly powerful tool, one that can be applied to a wide variety of areas spanning object recognition, language translation, health and more. However, the development of ML systems is often restricted to those with computational resources and the technical expertise to work with commonly available ML libraries. With PAIR — an initiative to study and redesign human interactions with ML — we want to open machine learning up to as many people as possible. In pursuit of that goal, we are excited to announce deeplearn.js 0.1.0, an open source WebGL-accelerated JavaScript library for machine learning that runs entirely in your browser, with no installations and no backend.”

TechRadar: Google Glass is back, but for these people the AR wearable never went away. “Last month Google announced its intention to sell Glass Enterprise Edition to businesses across the world, and it’s now on sale. However, companies are already using an enterprise/business version of Google Glass, out of the public eye, and have been working with Google on developing for Glass since it first appeared. There’s hidden magic going on, and we’ve talked to some of the people and companies innovating with Glass to see what we’ve been missing, from building jet engines to helping out with invasive surgeries.”


Buffer: How to Create Beautiful Instagram Stories (and 10 Amazing Templates to Use). “More than 15 million businesses now use Instagram worldwide and over half of those businesses are creating Stories every month. Stories are an incredible way to connect with your audience in fresh and authentic ways. Who knows, maybe they’ll even become the new News Feed. But creating attractive Instagram Stories can be challenging and time-consuming. We’d love to help with that!”

Hongkiat: 6 Ways to Download and Read Websites Offline. “Below I have listed some ways you can download and browse web pages offline on any of your devices. Whether you want to download a single web page or an entire website, the following write up will guide you though the process. So, lets dig right into it.” Nice overview.

Social Media Explorer: The Top 10 Social Media Listening Tools for Budget Marketers. “Juggling an online presence to a single channel is a job in itself, which is why more businesses and brands are constantly seeking a single place to manage it all. There is a constant need for analyzing and listening across platforms—whether it’s to measure the success of marketing efforts, test your audience or simply stay in the loop on relevant discussions. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend your entire budget on consolidating this data in one place. Plenty of options now exist for individuals, small teams and big companies, catering to a wide variety of goals and monthly spending limits. Here are some of the best tools out there that you can use for seamless social media management.”


Law Society Gazette: Blame game begins as Google Translate stands in for court interpreter. “A blame game has begun over who should provide translation services after a barrister was forced to step in and download a translation app when a defendant unable to speak English was left without an interpreter at a court hearing. Mandarin-speaking Xiu Ping Yang had been accused by Redcar & Cleveland Council of food hygiene breaches related to a Chinese restaurant she ran in Eston, North Yorkshire.”

EdSurge: What Happened to Google’s Effort to Scan Millions of University Library Books?. “It was a crazy idea: Take the bulk of the world’s books, scan them, and create a monumental digital library for all to access. That’s what Google dreamed of doing when it embarked on its ambitious book-digitizing project in 2002. It got part of the way there, digitizing at least 25 million books from major university libraries. But the promised library of everything hasn’t come into being.”

New York Times: In China, Facebook Tests the Waters With a Stealth App. “Facebook and many of its apps have been blocked in China for years. To change that, Mark Zuckerberg has made a big point of meeting with Chinese politicians, reading stodgy Communist Party propaganda, studying Mandarin and — perhaps more daunting — speaking it in public. Now the social network is trying a different way into China: by authorizing the release of a new app there that does not carry the Facebook name.”


Radio Free Asia: China Orders ‘National Security’ Probe Into Top Three Social Media Platforms. “China’s powerful Cyberspace Administration said on Friday it has ordered investigations into several hugely popular social media platforms for hosting content that ‘harmed national security.’ The internet regulator said it had directed its Beijing and Guangdong branches to launch probes into content hosted by Tencent’s WeChat smartphone-based chat app, Sina’s Twitter-like Weibo service and Baidu’s Tieba forum platform.”


TechCrunch: Deep learning could discover new plant species hidden in centuries of herbarium data. “Machine learning techniques excel at doing a good-enough job quickly in situations where there’s lots of data to grind through. It turns out that’s a great fit for backlogs of plant samples at herbariums and other repositories around the world, which have millions of the things waiting to be digitized and identified — including some that may be new to science.”

Bloomberg Opinion: Act Now to Save the 2020 Census. “You may have missed the news that the head of the Census Bureau, John Thompson, resigned a few months ago. In normal circumstances, the departure of a government statistician would not be worth highlighting. But Thompson’s departure adds to the growing uncertainty surrounding the success of the 2020 decennial census. About that, you should worry.” Good morning, Internet…

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