Tamara Kvesitadze, George Washington Thumb Bible, Wikipedia, More: Tuesday Buzz, February 20, 2018

Tamara Kvesitadze, George Washington Thumb Bible, Wikipedia, More: Tuesday Buzz, February 20, 2018


Agenda: Artist Tamara Kvesitadze’s work showcased on Google Arts and Culture. “The extensive online database of Google Arts and Culture now features contemporary art from Georgia, after the online platform launched a display of works by artist Tamara Kvesitadze. Tamara Kvesitadze or the Triumph of Ambivalence is a collection of over 20 works by the creative who has exhibited at the Venice Biennial and major venues in Europe and beyond.”

National Library of Israel: The George Washington Thumb Bible Goes Online . “Some two centuries after it was published, a rare miniature bible dedicated to ‘His Excellency G. Washington’ has come to Jerusalem, where the National Library of Israel has made it freely accessible online for the first time. According to experts, less than a dozen copies of this edition remain in public hands.”


The Next Web: Wikipedia’s no-cost version for people without mobile data plans is dead. “The Wikimedia Foundation has killed off Wikipedia Zero, an initiative to deliver the online encyclopedia at no charge to mobile users around with the world. The zero-rated service was launched back in 2012 and saw the nonprofit partner with mobile carriers to waive the cost for accessing Wikipedia; it was available through 97 mobile operators in 72 countries, with a cumulative 800 million subscribers.”


Scroll: What a fossil revolution can tell us about the history of ‘big data’. “…far from spending his time climbing dangerous cliffs and digging up dinosaurs, Jack Sepkoski spent most of his career in front of a computer, building what would become the first comprehensive database on the fossil record of life. The analysis that he and his colleagues performed revealed new understandings of phenomena such as diversification and extinction and changed the way that palaeontologists work. But he was about as different from Indiana Jones as you can get. The intertwining tales of my father and his discipline contain lessons for the current era of algorithmic analysis and artificial intelligence and points to the value-laden way in which we see data.”

Wired: The Quest To Recreate The Olympics With Mechanical Turk. “SHAMIK GHOSH HAD been picking up tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk for several months when he logged on in winter 2010 and saw a perplexing request: Someone wanted him to act out a series of Winter Olympic sports—snowboarding, ice hockey, figure skating, etc.—and they were offering to pay him $3.50 for every video that he uploaded to YouTube. Given that conceptualizing, filming, and uploading a video would take 10 minutes at most, that came out to an hourly wage of about $21—an immense sum for the microtask platform, where the average wage as of 2017 was $2/hour. And unlike most tasks on Mechanical Turk, this one actually seemed … fun.”

Digital Trends: Governments are stepping in to regulate social media, but there may be a better way. “Social media moderation is often about finding a balance between creating a safe online environment and inhibiting free speech. In many cases, the social media platform themselves steps up to protect users, like with Twitter’s recent rule overhaul, or to keep advertisers, like in YouTube’s recent changes after big advertisers boycotted the video platform. But, in other cases, such as Germany’s new hate speech law and a potential new similar European Union law, moderation is government mandated.”


Motherboard: Flight Simulator Add-On Tried to Catch Pirates By Installing Password-Stealing Malware on Their Computers. “Piracy is an issue for games and other software developers. Some handle it in novel ways, like deliberately making pirated versions of a game near unplayable, or by releasing their software for free. One piece of flight simulator software had an unusual, and controversial technique: infecting pirates with malware designed to steal their Chrome passwords.”

Search Engine Land: Keyword infringement: Edible Arrangements files $209M trademark suit against Google. “Google is being sued in federal district court in Connecticut by the company behind Edible Arrangements for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The central claim is that when users search for ‘Edible Arrangements’ (or versions of that name), they’re seeing product ads for competitors, such as 1-800-Flowers. The company is seeking more than $200 million in damages for lost profits and trademark infringement. The company claims that consumers are confused about which results are genuinely associated with Edible Arrangements and says it has received phone calls supporting that contention.”


Newsweek: How An Alt-right Bot Network Took Down Al Franken. “The operation commenced on November 15, when Stone—who is now banned from Twitter for racism and profanity—tweeted from one of his accounts “Roger Stone says it’s Al Franken’s ‘time in the barrel.’ Franken next in long list of Democrats accused of ‘grabby’ behavior.” On the same day, a developer named Atsufumi Otsuka registered a web domain in Japan called, and a fake-news website soon emerged at that web address, according to research shared with the voting rights outfit Unhack the Vote.”

Science Magazine: Missing data hinder replication of artificial intelligence studies. “Last year, computer scientists at the University of Montreal (U of M) in Canada were eager to show off a new speech recognition algorithm, and they wanted to compare it to a benchmark, an algorithm from a well-known scientist. The only problem: The benchmark’s source code wasn’t published. The researchers had to recreate it from the published description. But they couldn’t get their version to match the benchmark’s claimed performance, says Nan Rosemary Ke, a Ph.D. student in the U of M lab. ‘We tried for 2 months and we couldn’t get anywhere close.'”

Phys. org: Add-on clip turns smartphone into fully operational microscope . “Australian researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) have developed a 3D printable ‘clip-on’ that can turn any smartphone into a fully functional microscope. Reported in the research journal Scientific Reports, the smartphone microscope is powerful enough to visualise specimens as small as 1/200th of a millimetre, including microscopic organisms, animal and plant cells, blood cells, cell nuclei and more. ” The team has made the files for printing the clip-on freely available. Good morning, Internet…

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