Louisiana Schools, Immigrant Genealogy, Google Assistant, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, November 7, 2017


The Advocate: [Louisiana] launches new ‘School Finder’ website with extensive info on schools and child care centers. “State education leaders on Tuesday are unveiling their latest consumer tool for Louisiana families shopping for a public school. It’s called Louisiana School Finder. It’s the new home for public school report cards but goes far beyond report cards of the past.”

From Dick Eastman: MyHeritage Adds Significant Collection of New York Immigration Records with Unique Content. ” MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the addition of the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957 collection to SuperSearch™, the company’s global search engine containing more than 8.25 billion historical records. The records are of major significance for anyone looking to trace their immigrant ancestors’ arrival in America, and include names, dates, countries of origin, addresses of family members and friends, occupations, and physical descriptions, among many other details.”


Engadget: Google Assistant can ID that song for you . “You don’t need to have a Pixel 2 to get a built-in song identifier anymore: Google has finally given Assistant the ability to compete with Shazam. Next time you hear a nice tune playing, you can simply ask Assistant ‘What song is this?’ and it will reply with the title and artist. It will also toss in an info card with the title of the album where you can find the track, the date it was released and embedded links to Search, YouTube and Play that make it easier to get the song or to listen to it again.”


The Next Web: This site uses machine learning to enhance your low-res photos for free. “We’ve recently seen a number of interesting approaches to improving low-resolution images using machine learning, including ones from researchers at Google, and at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. Now, you can try an AI-powered enhancing tool for yourself with just a couple of clicks.”


The Register: Transparent algorithms? Here’s why that’s a bad idea, Google tells MPs . “Opening up the processes that underpin algorithms may well magnify the risk of hacking, widen privacy concerns and stifle innovation, Google has told MPs. The comments came in Google’s response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into algorithmic decision-making, which is questioning whether organisations should be more open about how machines influence such choices.”

Hyperallergic: Can Social Tagging Deepen the Museum Experience?. “In 2004, an information architect named Thomas Vander Wal coined the term ‘folksonomy’ to describe language that originates from the masses up. He and other information architects were observing this process on the internet through social tagging — users generating and pairing keywords to images to make them easier to find later. A folksonomy behaves like a taxonomy in that it is meant to assign meaning to things by classifying them. But while a taxonomy strives for scientific accuracy, a folksonomy is by nature imperfect. The internet has democratized cultural sectors whose vocabulary was defined by a small elite; the art museum community, inspired by Vander Wal, is one of them.”

The Times: Museum fees are killing art history, say academics. “Historians say that they are abandoning academic projects because of a ‘tax on scholarship’ imposed by museums. The Tate and the British Museum are among institutions that charge scholars to reprint historic artworks in journals, books and lectures, even though the originals are out of copyright.”

Reuters: After WhatsApp threat, Indonesia steps up Internet obscenity purge. “Indonesia said on Tuesday it will summon executives of messaging services and search engines, including Google, to demand they remove obscene content, but dropped a threat to block WhatsApp Messenger after ‘GIF’ images were taken off the service.”


Quartz: The titans of AI are getting their work double-checked by students. “We trust in science because we can verify the accuracy of its claims. We test and verify that accuracy by repeating the scientist’s original experiments. What happens when those tests fail, particularly in a field that has the potential to create billions of dollars of revenue?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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