Earth History, AirSpace Podcast, Driverless Cars, More: Sunday Buzz, January 14, 2018


Derby Telegraph: Twitter account to share entire history of Earth – in 365 days. “12.44 million years in a day, 518,264 years in an hour, and 143 years in a second. That’s how fast a new Twitter project is having to go in order to live tweet the 4.54 billion year history of Earth, condensed to fit into 2018. That means that once human history kicks in on geology graduate Chris Jennings’ project, it will be around a minute to midnight on New Year’s Eve!”

Smithsonian: Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Launches New Podcast. “Today the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum launched its first podcast, ‘AirSpace.’ The museum contains the largest and most significant collection of air- and spacecraft in the world, and this new series aims to tell the human stories of achievement, failure and perseverance behind those famous machines. Each episode will demystify the world’s most popular museum, and explore why people are so fascinated with stories of exploration, innovation and discovery.”

2025AD: The Most Important Driverless Car Studies: Check Out The 2025AD Database . “There are countless studies, research papers and surveys that revolve around automated driving – 2025AD is introducing a new database with a selection of the most relevant and informative works.


BetaNews: Spectre patch in iOS 11.2.2 is slowing down iPhones. “As technology firms around the world try to mop up the mess that the Meltdown and Spectre chip bugs are making, Intel has been keen to stress that the impact patches will have on performance will be minimal. The company has already released benchmark results that show the hardest hit will be older computers. Now new benchmarks show that iPhone users may notice slowdowns too.”


Digital Inspiration: Voice Dictation – Type with your Voice. “Introducing the all-new Voice Dictation v2.0, a speech recognition app that lets you type with your voice. There’s no software to install, there’s no training required and all you need is Google Chrome on your Windows PC, Mac OS or Linux.”

Wikimedia: How I make video ‘newsreels’ for social media—so you can too . “As a video producer and storyteller for the Wikimedia Foundation, I’ve produced a few ‘silent newsreels,’ a video format enjoying a renaissance in the age of social media. Now I’m sharing what I know with the greater Wikimedia movement.”

Gizmodo: Keep Track Of Who Facebook Thinks You Know With This Nifty Tool. “Facebook is constantly watching you. Now, you can watch Facebook back. Gizmodo Media Group’s Special Projects Desk is releasing a tool for people who want to study the friend recommendations Facebook chooses to give them. It’s called the ‘People You May Know Inspector.'” It appears this tool is Mac only.


Straits Times: Archaeologist wins inaugural Singapore history prize. “An archaeologist whose work refutes the common misperception that Singapore’s history started with the landing of Sir Stamford Raffles has been awarded the inaugural Singapore History Prize….Prof Miksic is now working with NUS Press to build an online database to classify and identify Singaporean artefacts earlier uncovered, to help fellow archaeologists. The project’s first phase, to be ready by the end of next month, classifies more than 4,000 artefacts from a 2003 excavation at Singapore Cricket Club.”

Recode: Expect to talk to your devices a lot more in the future. “If what we have seen in the first couple of days of CES is any indicator of what is in store for us in 2018, we can expect to be talking a lot. Most of the time, probably more like shouting commands right, left and center to devices scattered around our house, in the office and the car.”


TechCrunch: ECJ to rule on whether Facebook needs to hunt for hate speech. “Austria’s Supreme Court is referring a legal challenge over the extent of Facebook’s responsibility to remove hate speech postings to Europe’s top court for an opinion…. The case has clear implications for freedom of speech online. The original lawsuit against Facebook was filed by the former leader of the Austrian Green Party, Eva Glawischnig, in 2016, after she had sought to have what she claimed were defamatory postings removed from the site (and Facebook had refused to take them down).”

Gizmodo: Facebook Knows How to Track You Using the Dust on Your Camera Lens. “In 2014, Facebook filed a patent application for a technique that employs smartphone data to figure out if two people might know each other. The author, an engineering manager at Facebook named Ben Chen, wrote that it was not merely possible to detect that two smartphones were in the same place at the same time, but that by comparing the accelerometer and gyroscope readings of each phone, the data could identify when people were facing each other or walking together. That way, Facebook could suggest you friend the person you were talking to at a bar last night, and not all the other people there that you chose not to talk to.”


Pew (pew pew pew pew pew!): Across countries, large demographic divides in how often people use the internet and social media for news. “People in 38 countries were asked how often they use the internet – as well as how often they use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and other sites – to get news. Specifically, they were asked whether they did each activity several times a day, once a day, several times a week, once a week, several times a month, once a month, less than once a month or never. In the table, you can explore these data by age, education, income and gender to get a sense of the variation across the countries surveyed.”

Fordham News: Getting Through to Google. “It’s widely known in cyber circles that, when the Arab Spring protests happened in Egypt in 2011, website blockage escalated: Certain governments try to control the information flowing into and out of their countries for political and other reasons. But exactly when and where such censorship is being done has proven hard to measure. Now, researchers from the University of Michigan are enlisting 400,000 servers around the world to monitor censorship and network interference. Their project is called Censored Planet.” Good morning, Internet…

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