National Air and Space Museum, Urban Renewal, Nuclear Test Videos, More: Monday Buzz, December 18, 2017


Smithsonian: National Air and Space Museum Releases “VR Hangar” App. “People across the country and around the world can now use their mobile phones to see moments that made air and space history with the new VR Hangar from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The VR Hangar brings some of the museum’s most important milestone artifacts to life using real 3-D-scan data in immersive virtual-reality vignettes. The app is optimized for use with Google Cardboard and similar devices, and is available free of charge in the iOS and Android app stores.”

National Geographic: Maps Show How Tearing Down City Slums Displaced Thousands. “Urban renewal projects changed the landscape of American cities in the 1950s and ‘60s. The federal government gave cities billions of dollars to tear down blighted areas and replace them with affordable housing. Or at least, that’s what was supposed to happen. In many places, there was a net loss of housing as city leaders decided instead to build offices or shopping malls, or to expand hospitals and universities. Urban renewal projects displaced more than 300,000 people between 1955 and 1966, and the burden fell disproportionately on people of color, according to a new analysis by the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond, which has created a new website called Renewing Inequality packed with interactive maps and statistics on urban renewal projects.”


CNET: You can now watch 62 newly declassified nuclear test videos. “Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California made a stir earlier this year when it released a group of Cold War-era atmospheric nuclear test videos that were declassified and approved for public viewing. We now have a sequel that’s just as devastating to watch as the first round. The laboratory’s latest batch includes 62 videos posted on Thursday.”

Search Engine Land: Bing announces AI-powered new ‘intelligent search’ features. “Think of this as a kind of ‘next-gen Featured Snippets.’ But what is different and interesting is that Bing is often summarizing or comparing multiple sources of information rather than just presenting a single answer. If there are competing perspectives on an issue, for example, Bing will present them. It will also provide a ‘carousel of intelligent answers’ if there are multiple answers to a question. This is intended to replace ‘blue links’ and provide quick access to relevant information.”

MobileCrunch: A new version of Mixer, Microsoft’s Twitch rival, hits iOS and Android. “Microsoft today is officially launching a new version of its Mixer mobile gameplay streaming app, its Twitch rival. The app, which is initially available on Android with iOS arriving soon, was first introduced into beta testing this fall, with a focus on improvements to its overall user experience, content discovery, performance and personalization features.”


Baylor University: National Endowment for the Humanities Awards a Digital Advancement Grant to Baylor Researchers to Develop an Automatic Architecture Analysis System. “Elise King, assistant professor of interior design in Baylor University’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, and David Lin, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, have been awarded a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to expand and develop their prototype for an open-source system that reads and analyzes floor plans automatically. The project — ‘Digital Floor Plan Database: A New Method for Analyzing Architecture’ — will allow users to compare thousands of plans to discover common design elements, examine spatial relationships over time and mine for patterns across datasets.”

Knowledge@Wharton: Why AI Could Be Entering a Golden Age. “The quest to give machines human-level intelligence has been around for decades, and it has captured imaginations for far longer — think of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in the 19th century. Artificial intelligence, or AI, was born in the 1950s, with boom cycles leading to busts as scientists failed time and again to make machines act and think like the human brain. But this time could be different because of a major breakthrough — deep learning, where data structures are set up like the brain’s neural network to let computers learn on their own. Together with advances in computing power and scale, AI is making big strides today like never before.”

Ireland Independent: ‘Social media provides a means for anyone to build a virtual language community’. “Could tech be the champion of minority languages like Irish? Now you can be friends with someone who lives hundreds of miles away based on a shared interest in the language in a way that just wasn’t possible a few years ago. For Kevin Scannell, a professor of maths in the University of Saint Louis, Missouri, Twitter plays a big role in his Irish language use. It means he can be fully immersed in the language despite living in an American city with few other speakers.”


TorrentFreak: YouTuber Convicted For Publishing Video Piracy ‘Tutorials’. “A YouTuber in Brazil has been prosecuted and fined for publishing videos that explain how people can pirate content online using IPTV devices. A TV industry group took exception to the man’s tutorials and the Court agreed they served no other purpose than to help people infringe copyright.”

BetaNews: Windows 10 included a password manager complete with massive password-stealing potential . “Microsoft has been bundling a password manager that features a dangerous flaw with some versions of Windows 10, a Google security researcher has revealed. Tavis Ormandy noticed that his copy of Windows 10 included Keeper, which he had previously found to be injecting privileged UI into pages. The version that Microsoft was including with Windows 10 featured the same bug. What does this mean? In short, it allows any website to steal passwords from you.” The bug has since been patched.

RESEARCH & OPINION Visitor patterns and emerging activities in national parks revealed by social media posts. “Social media data provide a reliable information to support decision making in national parks. Researchers from the Digital Geography at the University of Helsinki have been studying whether social media data could be used to understand visitor’s activities in national parks and most recent results are presented in Scientific reports: ‘Instagram, Flickr, or Twitter: Assessing the usability of social media data for visitor monitoring in protected areas.'”

Georgia Tech: One in Five Materials Chemistry Papers May be Wrong, Study Suggests. “Can companies rely on the results of one or two scientific studies to design a new industrial process or launch a new product? In at least one area of materials chemistry, the answer may be yes — but only 80 percent of the time.” Good morning, Internet…

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