Materials Engineering, Women in Movies, Washington Post, More: Tuesday Buzz, November 14, 2017


Engineering: Free Online Material Database Speeds Material Selection Process. “Matmatch is a free-to-use, searchable online database of engineering materials from ABS to titanium, and everything in between. With this service, you can quickly gain insight into what materials fit your project’s needs, which options are feasible based on availability and location, and immediately find a supplier to source the materials—all on one platform.” The article I’m linking too was sponsored by Matmatch, and I feel I must note that here. However the article itself was informative and not fawning or obnoxious.

University of Washington-Seattle: Hooray for Hollywood? New tool reveals gender bias in movie scripts. “If, as Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” then the art of film has a lot to answer for when it comes to the perpetuation of gender stereotypes. Thanks to researchers in the Allen School’s Natural Language Processing research group, we now have a way to measure the sometimes subtle biases in how men and women are portrayed on the big screen — and increase our understanding of how language shapes our perception of gender roles…. [Yejin] Choi and her colleagues created an online database that enables researchers and members of the public to explore their findings for hundreds of popular films.”


Nieman Lab: A new feature in The Washington Post’s Opinion section will alert readers to opposite viewpoints (with the help of AI) . “What’s the role of an opinion section in a newspaper today? The Washington Post argues that its role is to expose readers to new viewpoints. As such, the paper has launched a new online feature, Counterpoint, that ‘surfaces an Opinions article with a different perspective than what a user is currently reading.'”


MakeUseOf: 5 Alternative New Browsers to Replace Chrome. “Browsers are the windows to the world wide web. Google Chrome rules the roost today, but a few new challengers might fit your needs better. For all its great features, Chrome hogs system memory and drains the battery. But that huge collection of extensions, and exclusive features like Translate and Google Cast, make it hard to give up on. So in case you’re feeling trapped in Chrome, try out one of these.” Okay, I gotta try Addap.

Digital Trends: Google Daydream View 2 vs. Oculus Go — which will be the better VR experience?. “With all the different options out there, planning your entrance into VR content might be a little confusing at this point. Hopefully, our Google Daydream View 2 vs. Oculus Go explanation will help ease some of the mental pain and provide some clarity about which is best for you.”

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: Some of the Best Tools for Creating Video Lessons. “Below is a collection of some great web tools you can use to create video lessons. As we have stated elsewhere, ‘The nature of a video lesson differs according to the purpose for which it is created; it can be an explanatory video, a step by step tutorial, a review, a demo, a recorded video presentation and many more. Video lessons are ideal for flipped classroom and can be incorporated in almost any learning situation. The tools we have curated for you are simple and easy to use, no software installation is required.”


Nanalyze: 8 Companies Using AI for Law Enforcement . “The science fiction universe is populated by all sorts of crime-fighting artificial intelligence (AI) machines. David Hasselhoff had KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) in Knight Rider. Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, relies on JARVIS (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System). RoboCop was a well-armed fighting cyborg that melded man and machine. Today, researchers and companies are turning fiction into reality by building AI to fight crime.”

Engadget: Russian Twitter accounts tried to influence the UK’s EU departure. “Russia’s attempt to influence Western politics through Twitter certainly wasn’t limited to the 2016 American elections. Wired and New Knowledge have combed through the Russia-linked accounts provided to US politicians, and it identified at least 29 bogus users that backed the UK’s European Union exit (aka Brexit). The accounts used Brexit-related hashtags, stirred Islamophobic sentiment and used racist anti-refugee language. These accounts weren’t ignored, either. Combined, they had 268,643 followers and got some posts shared hundreds of times.”

New York Times: She Warned of ‘Peer-to-Peer Misinformation.’ Congress Listened.. “Before the sun came up on Oct. 31, Renee DiResta sat in bed in her pajamas and logged into a virtual war room. For years, Ms. DiResta had battled disinformation campaigns, cataloging data on how malicious actors spread fake narratives online. That morning, wearing headphones so she wouldn’t wake up her two sleeping children, Ms. DiResta watched on her laptop screen as lawyers representing Facebook, Google and Twitter spoke at congressional hearings that focused on the role social media played in a Russian disinformation campaign ahead of the 2016 election.”


The Verge: It’s time to stop trusting Google search already. “Last weekend, in the hours after a deadly Texas church shooting, Google search promoted false reports about the suspect, suggesting that he was a radical communist affiliated with the antifa movement. The claims popped up in Google’s ‘Popular on Twitter’ module, which made them prominently visible — although not the top results — in a search for the alleged killer’s name. Of course, the was just the latest instance of a long-standing problem: it was the latest of multiple similar missteps. As usual, Google promised to improve its search results, while the offending tweets disappeared. But telling Google to retrain its algorithms, as appropriate as that demand is, doesn’t solve the bigger issue: the search engine’s monopoly on truth.”

Washington Post: Rise in teen suicide, social media coincide; is there link?. “An increase in suicide rates among U.S. teens occurred at the same time social media use surged and a new analysis suggests there may be a link. Suicide rates for teens rose between 2010 and 2015 after they had declined for nearly two decades, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Why the rates went up isn’t known.” More governments manipulate media with ‘bots,’ trolls: study. “More governments are following the lead of Russia and China by manipulating social media and suppressing dissent online in a grave threat to democracy, a human rights watchdog said on Tuesday.
A study of internet freedom in 65 countries found 30 governments are deploying some form of manipulation to distort online information, up from 23 the previous year.” Good morning, Internet…

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