Life Magazine, Hate Crimes, Internet Archive, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, March 9, 2018


Fortune: Google Just Indexed Millions of ‘Life Magazine’ Photos Using Artificial Intelligence. “Google has used its artificial intelligence to automatically index millions of photographs from the defunct Life Magazine. The search giant, which debuted a website for the photo project on Wednesday, said it was able to categorize over 4 million iconic Life Magazine photographs without human help. After clicking on a particular label like ‘skateboarding,’ for example, users are shown photos of people performing skateboard tricks along with Wikipedia’s definition of the sport.” The article does note that there are some drawbacks to the work, such as a “war” label but no “Vietnam War” label.

Business Standard: Online database of religion-based hate crimes launched. “An online repository of religious identity-based hate crimes reported in the country [India] was today launched here that seeks to bring ‘greater accountability’ on part of various justice delivery institutions for victims. Christened, Documentation of the Oppressed (DOTO), the website, currently has data pertaining to 489 incidents and 2,670 victims, Vipul Kumar, one of the members of the team that executed the project, said.”


Internet Archive: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards Grant to the Internet Archive for Long Tail Journal Preservation. “The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a research and development grant to the Internet Archive to address the critical need to preserve the ‘long tail’ of open access scholarly communications. The project, Ensuring the Persistent Access of Long Tail Open Access Journal Literature, builds on prototype work identifying at-risk content held in web archives by using data provided by identifier services and registries. Furthermore, the project expands on work acquiring missing open access articles via customized web harvesting, improving discovery and access to this materials from within extant web archives, and developing machine learning approaches, training sets, and cost models for advancing and scaling this project’s work.”

Wolfram Blog: Roaring into 2018 with Another Big Release: Launching Version 11.3 of the Wolfram Language & Mathematica. “Last September we released Version 11.2 of the Wolfram Language and Mathematica—with all sorts of new functionality, including 100+ completely new functions. Version 11.2 was a big release. But today we’ve got a still bigger release: Version 11.3 that, among other things, includes nearly 120 completely new functions.”

CNET: Twitter plans to expand its ‘verified’ service to anyone. “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a livestream Thursday that the company plans to offer its blue-check-mark verification badge to more of its users, an oft-requested feature.” Long long LONG overdue.


Mozilla Blog: Mozilla experiment aims to reduce bias in code reviews. “Mozilla is kicking off a new experiment for International Women’s Day, looking at ways to make open source software projects friendlier to women and racial minorities. Its first target? The code review process.”


US News and World Report: A Grim Task: Preserving Mementos From the Florida Shooting. “Under the unforgiving Florida sun, the stuffed animals along the makeshift memorial are beginning to fade. The prayer candles have melted, and the roses have withered. Now it’s time to collect, archive and preserve the mementos that honor the 17 students and faculty who were killed Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The grim assignment falls to Parkland city historian Jeff Schwartz, who has already heard from people associated with other mass shootings, telling him to collect the items with ‘some degree of speed.'”

LA Times: Snap is laying off 120 staffers as part of a plan to overhaul its engineering team. “Snap Inc. is laying off more than 120 of its lowest-performing engineers as part of a plan to overhaul a department that struggled to overcome problems with Android devices and saw widespread criticism for its redesign of Snapchat.”


ZDNet: New IoT security rules: Stop using default passwords and allow software updates. “Internet of Things (IoT) devices should never be equipped with universal default passwords, and any credentials or personal data within the device must be securely stored, while devices must provide be easy for consumers to configure and delete data from.”

New York Law Journal: Call for State Laws Requiring Social Media Political Ads Disclosures . “U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday it’s incumbent on states to enact laws to require social media companies to disclose who is paying for political ads amid inaction by the federal government on evidence of Russian meddling in U.S. elections.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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