Security Camera Video, Twitter, Google Search Console, More: Thursday Buzz, January 11, 2018


Digital Journal: The AI-Powered Search Engine for Security & Surveillance Video is Here: Meet Ella (PRESS RELEASE). “From the moment Ella comes online and is connected, it begins learning and tagging objects the cameras sees. The deep learning engine lives in the cloud and comes preloaded with recognition of thousands of objects like makes and models of cars; within the first minute of being online, users can start to search their footage. Hardware agnostic, Ella also solves the issue of limited bandwidth for any HD streaming camera or NVR. Rather than push every second of recorded video to the cloud, Ella features interest-based video compression. Based on machine learning algorithms that recognize patterns of motion in each camera scene to recognize what is interesting within each scene, Ella will only record in HD when it recognizes something important.”


Engadget: Twitter may have resumed verifying users. “Twitter took heat all through 2017 for bungling its delicate balance between protecting free speech and enforcing its policies to protect users from harassment. One of the flashpoints was the unintended validation Twitter gave to users it ‘verified,’ which ended up including a number of white supremacists and other terrible people. The platform stopped allowing public requests to get the coveted blue checkmarks in mid-November while it re-evaluated the process. But over the last few days, at least one user has been quietly verified.”

VentureBeat: Google’s new Search Console opens to all, now offers 16 months of site performance data. “Google has announced that it’s rolling its new Search Console to website owners globally. Formerly known as Webmaster Tools, the Google Search Console is a place where those in charge of maintaining websites can analyze their site’s indexing on Google Search, view analytics, peruse inbound links, submit and remove content for crawling, monitor malware, and more.”

Bloomberg: New Google Headset, Camera Aim to Spread VR Beyond Gaming. “Virtual reality devices are still mostly purchased by a niche market: gamers. Google wants to change that. The Alphabet Inc. unit released a new VR headset with Lenovo Group Ltd. on Tuesday, along with specialized cameras to support the technology.”

Quartz: Facebook is shuttering M, its personal assistant aided by AI and humans. “Facebook is killing a buzzy version of its personal assistant ‘M,’ which was powered by artificial intelligence and real-life humans. The service, which helped people set up appointments and buy things, was available through a Messenger bot—but only to about 2,000 in California people throughout its two-year lifespan.”


Arizona State University: ASU awarded $380K Mellon Foundation grant to design and develop inclusive library print collections. “As libraries adapt to new pathways for organizing information and access in the digital age, institutions face the important challenge of preserving print collections in ways that best serve the public. What becomes of the print collection that users see on open shelves in an age when more and more of libraries’ collections are shelved offsite? Rather than viewing these new forms of access as a threat to print, ASU Library recognizes a vital opportunity to leverage the design and curation practices in ways that engage a broader spectrum of students and scholars in new ways.”

CBC: Google mistakenly labels local Ethiopian restaurant permanently closed. “A Winnipeg restaurant owner is searching for answers after Google search results said her Ethiopian restaurant was ‘permanently closed’ for at least two weeks while it was very much open. ‘When I checked, it says permanently closed.’ said Desta Negatu, proprietor of Harman’s Café. ‘I was shocked.'” This is happening far too much and needs to stop.

Telesur TV: Pope Francis to Declassify Files on Uruguay Dictatorship. “Pope Francis is the second head of Catholicism to begin a declassification process of Vatican documents. Pope Francis ratified Monday his intention of declassifying Vatican’s archives on Uruguay’s military dictatorship, a process promoted by Pope Francis for a year.”


ZDNet: Sneaky malware disguises itself as an Adobe Flash Player installer. “A state-sponsored hacking operation is targeting diplomats, using a new attack that bundles malware with a legitimate software update. Uncovered by researchers at ESET, the attacks are targeting embassies and consulates in eastern European post-Soviet states and have been attributed to Turla, a well-known advanced persistent threat group.”

Ars Technica: Hackers find new ways to print digital money for free. “The sky-high valuations of cryptocurrencies isn’t lost on hackers, who are responding with increasingly sophisticated attacks that covertly harness the computers and electricity of unwitting people to generate digital coins worth large sums of money. One example is a recently uncovered mass hack of servers that has mined about $6,000 worth of the cryptocurrency known as AEON in the past 23 days. ”

TechCrunch: How AI and copyright would work. “It’s easy — and tempting! — to get wrapped around the axle when it comes to the prospects for artificial intelligence (AI) programs and their creation of original works. When works created by self-running software applications become more common, the result is both more possibilities and more challenges to existing copyright law. But let’s take a step back and consider what we know already, and then move on to what may soon be coming.”


The Next Web: It’s about time Alexa, Google, and Siri learn to play nice. “On one hand, I firmly believe in the utility of voice assistants. You really appreciate the hands-free experience when you need to set a timer while juggling two or three pans of burning food, or when you’re too lazy to get out of bed and find the remote. In theory, having more voice-enabled devices should make it more efficient to perform mundane tasks at home. On the other hand, there are just too many of them. At home, I have Google Assistant, Alexa, Bixby, Cortana, and Siri strewn across a variety of devices – and they don’t really get along.” Good morning, Internet…

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