Radio Times, Primate Films, Intellectual Property, More: Thursday Buzz, December 7, 2017


BBC Genome Blog: Pages from history – Radio Times in the 1930s. “The BBC Genome Project is releasing the next batch of pages from Radio Times, this time covering the 1930s. Genome users will now be able to access the articles, editorial material, letters pages, illustrations and photographs from the 1930s. We hope this will help users correct some of the errors in the Genome data – as well as gain insights into broadcasting during this fascinating period.”

New to me: the Primate Films Database. From the homepage: “The Primate Films Database includes information about films featuring wild primates produced since the beginning of the twentieth century. The database contains entries for films (including feature films), TV specials, TV series, and single episodes of series. Currently the Primate Films Database focuses on films in which the main focus is on primates in wild settings, but it may be expanded in the future to include more films focusing on captive primates. The database includes general information about each film such as runtime, the featured species, and the narrator or host. A brief review of each film is also provided which focuses on the film’s usefulness in teaching and educational settings.” The database is available in its entirety as an 82-page PDF.


Nikkei Asian Review: Japan added to EU’s design search engine. “The Japan Patent Office has teamed up with a European counterpart to share industrial design information, enabling businesses to check for similar products in other countries and combat imitations. Japanese data has been added to the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s Designview online search tool, which now boasts access to more than 13 million designs and 54 participating intellectual property offices from around the world.” A ton of different countries have been added to Designview this year.

CNET: Google’s newest app aims to free up space on your Android phone. “Google has released an app called Files Go that wants to help you free up space on your Android phone, the company announced today on its blog. Some of the features of Files Go include personalized suggestions about which files to delete to make more space available and smart filters that automatically organize the files on your phone.”

Recode: Ziff Davis has bought Mashable at a fire sale price and plans to lay off 50 people. “Mashable, once a fast-growing digital publisher with big ambitions, has been sold at a fire sale price. Ziff Davis, a digital media subsidiary of tech company J2, is buying Mashable for less than $50 million, according to people familiar with the transaction. In the spring of 2016, Time Warner’s Turner led a $15 million investment round that valued the company at $250 million.”


Bloomberg: How the Kremlin Tried to Pose as American News Sites on Twitter. “The Kremlin-backed Russian Internet Research Agency operated dozens of Twitter accounts masquerading as local American news sources that collectively garnered more than half-a-million followers. More than 100 news outlets also published stories containing those handles in the run-up to the election, and some of them were even tweeted by a top presidential aide. These news imposter accounts, which are part of the 2,752 now-suspended accounts that Twitter Inc. has publicly disclosed to be tied to the IRA, show how the Russian group sought to build local communities of followers to disseminate messages.”

Enigma: Theranos: Tracking a Startup in Trouble Through Public Data. “Theranos, a medical technology startup born in the dormitories of Stanford University, had a meteoric rise and an equally spectacular fall. To better understand how Theranos rose to prominence only to succumb to its present, diminished state, we traced the company’s footprint through public data and news reports. In doing so, we gained a nuanced view into the health of the company over time. While some of the information became publicly available only after hard-hitting news stories, the data provides valuable context around both Theranos and the potential risk associated with other similar companies.”


BBC News: Millions caught in virtual keyboard app data breach. “Security researchers claim to have found the personal data of 31 million Android users of the keyboard app Ai.type after finding an open database online. The app offers themed keyboards for phones and tablets. The researchers claimed data left visible included names, phone numbers, locations and Google queries.”

The Register: Mailsploit: It’s 2017, and you can spoof the ‘from’ in email to fool filters. “Penetration tester Sabri Haddouche has reintroduced the world to email source spoofing, bypassing spam filters and protections like Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC), thereby posing a risk to anyone running a vulnerable and unpatched mail client.”


MIT Technology Review: Google Has Released an AI Tool That Makes Sense of Your Genome. “Almost 15 years after scientists first sequenced the human genome, making sense of the enormous amount of data that encodes human life remains a formidable challenge. But it is also precisely the sort of problem that machine learning excels at. On Monday, Google released a tool called DeepVariant that uses the latest AI techniques to build a more accurate picture of a person’s genome from sequencing data.”

Digital Trends: GIF research from Tenor suggests we had a pretty bad 2017 . “When it comes to telling a story, we can depend on GIFs to do a good job. Alas, the story of 2017 isn’t a particularly fun one, at least not according to GIF research conducted by Tenor, the GIF keyboard that launched back in 2014. The platform now sees around 9 billion GIF searches every month, and sadly, it appears that many of these searches in 2017 weren’t for the happiest of topics.”

Premium Times Nigeria: Did We Lose Tomorrow Yesterday?, By Simbo Olorunfemi. “With the passage of time and how events of today are increasingly interlocking with those of yesterday, one begins to realise that the key to unlocking a part of tomorrow might actually be in the hands of yesterday. But how do you do that when we have some who only know today, rejecting the authentic yesterday, simply because it does not suit their history-bereft understanding of today’s ever-shifting narrative of what tomorrow should be like. But how do we navigate tomorrow successfully when we cannot recall or accurately situate yesterday? How do you properly place the ancient of days seeking to take hold of your tomorrow when you have no knowledge of their yesterday? Yet sadly, increasingly, some shallow and intemperate voices are beginning to dominate discourse in the polity, especially in the social media space, as it appears that some of the sane and moderate voices are beginning to tactically withdraw from this space as it increasingly becomes polluted by shallow partisanship, impolitic conduct and discourteous engagement.” Good morning, Internet…

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