Handheld Video Games, Cloud Spotting, New York Times, More: Monday Evening Buzz, March 19, 2018


Internet Archive: Some Very Entertaining Plastic, Emulated at the Archive. “It’s been a little over 4 years since the Internet Archive started providing emulation in the browser from our software collection; millions of plays of games, utilities, and everything else that shows up on a screen have happened since then. While we continue to refine the technology (including adding Webassembly as an option for running the emulations), we also have tried to expand out to various platforms, computers, and anything else that we can, based on the work of the emulation community, especially the MAME Development Team. For a number of years, the MAME team has been moving towards emulating a class of hardware and software that, for some, stretches the bounds of what emulation can do, and we have now put up a collection of some of their efforts here at Introducing the Handheld History Collection.”


NASA: Calling All Cloud Gazers: NASA Needs Your Help!. “It’s almost spring, the time of year when the looming change in seasons could lead to some pretty fascinating cloud activity in the sky. NASA and the GLOBE Program are asking for your help by taking part in a citizen science cloud observation challenge. From March 15 through April 15, citizen scientists of all ages can make up to 10 cloud observations per day using the GLOBE Observer app or one of the other data entry options (for trained GLOBE members). Challenge participants with the most observations will be congratulated by a NASA scientist in a video posted on the GLOBE Program’s website and on social media.”

Nieman Labs: The New York Times has shut down its customizable keyword email alerts feature ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. “The New York Times has sunset those custom email alerts to Times stories, that users could tailor based on keywords of their interests. The feature, which met its unceremonious end Tuesday, March 13, was being used by less than half a percent of users, according to a Times spokesperson. From the outside, it didn’t seem like MyAlerts was a huge technical lift to maintain, but ‘much of the technology powering MyAlerts was built in the early 2000s.'” Happily this functionality can be replicated in IFTTT.


Mashable: How to see all the weird apps that can access your data on Facebook. “Over the years, you’ve probably logged into a lot of services on Facebook without thinking about how those services use your data. Some of those services may have leveraged your data to undermine the very foundations of American democracy. Hard to say!”

MakeUseOf: A Beginner’s Guide to Google Duo and Google Allo. “Google has so many apps, services, and projects that it’s sometimes hard to get your head around the infinite number of choices available. And while Hangouts was once its premier messaging app, the company added to its repertoire in late 2016 with the release of Allo and Duo. These two apps serve different functions, but are both handy to have at your disposal. So let’s discuss what both Duo and Allo do and how to start using them!”


OZY: A Fight Is On To Save The Sounds Of Turkey. “For years, the cacophony of Istanbul’s Kumkapi fish market evoked happy memories of childhood for Pinar Çevikayak Yelmi. As a little girl she would wander around the stalls with her father and listen to competing fish sellers holler out a bewildering array of names and prices, and share bursts of rapid repartee with customers. In March 2015, Yelmi was set to record the market for her sound archive ‘The Soundscape of Istanbul,’ but a week before her planned visit the decades-old market was abruptly torn down and its dozens of tenants displaced to make way for a mega infrastructure project — a road tunnel under the Bosporus. Istanbul has multiple fish markets, but few this large or evocative, and Yelmi felt its loss acutely. ‘It had a symbolic value for the city, but now it’s gone,’ she says.”

ABC News (Australia): Preserving the Earth and a tulip farming legacy with social media. “This 21st century farmer is using the internet like a farmer’s favourite tool, tapping into a wealth of information on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. ‘Through social media now you can connect with farmers all over the world, everyone is so helpful and you get pushed along by these other people, embracing what is really new … just by engaging you end up getting lots of feedback and lots of interest in what you’re doing,’ [Dave Roberts-Thomson] said.”


ZDNet: Microsoft researchers match human levels in translating news from Chinese to English. “A team of Microsoft researchers say they’ve created the first machine-translation system that can translate sentences of Chinese news articles to English with the same accuracy as humans.”

Quartz: The hottest trend in AI is perfect for creating fake media. “Artificial intelligence researchers have a new best friend: the ‘generative adversarial network.’ But the flip side of this technology, which can help us enhance images and train medical algorithms, is that GANs will make hoaxes, doctored video, and forged voice clips easier to execute than ever before.”

Wikimedia: Why the world reads Wikipedia: What we learned about reader motivation from a recent research study. “Wikimedia’s mission is to provide educational content and to effectively disseminate it. Doing so requires understanding the needs and motivations of the people who read Wikipedia. In this blog post, we discuss what we learned about Wikipedia reader motivations and needs across 14 languages from a recent research study.” Good evening, Internet…

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