Inorganic Thin-Film Materials, Ethiopia Patents, Movie Search, More: Thursday Buzz, April 5, 2018


NREL: NREL Opens Large Database of Inorganic Thin-Film Materials. “An extensive experimental database of inorganic thin-film materials that organizes a decade’s worth of research at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is now publicly available. The High Throughput Experimental Materials (HTEM) Database contains more than 140,000 sample entries collected by NREL scientists investigating inorganic materials for use in advanced energy applications, such as thin-film solar cells. The entries provide details about the structural, chemical, and optoelectronic properties of the materials, and their synthesis conditions.”

Ethiopian Herald: Center to release patent information. “For the first time, about 26 million copies of patent information are going to be released for free with a view to advancing an innovation culture and the country’s all round efforts of speeding up renaissance journey, Science and Technology Information Center disclosed. The Center knowledge Management and Dissemination Directorate Director Addis Belay told The Ethiopian Herald: ‘We are already begun uploading patent information on national online digital library. Currently, there are also about 1.6 million copies of free patents are made available to the public at large.'”


Digital Trends: Google’s new search feature makes picking the perfect movie simple. “Since the majority of people use the internet to search for movie times and reviews online, Google decided to make the entire process more streamlined when you search through Google on a mobile browser or use the Google app on Android devices. Starting Tuesday, April 3, users can have access to a bevy of information about movies playing in their local theaters.”

The Verge: Facebook says it will not extend GDPR privacy protections beyond EU. “Facebook has no plans to extend the user privacy protections put in place by the far-reaching General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, law to users of its social network around the globe, according to Reuters. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the news agency in an interview that Facebook would like to make such privacy guarantees ‘in spirit,’ but would make exceptions. Zuckerberg declined to explain those exceptions, according to Reuters.”

TechCrunch: Adobe brings more of its AI smarts to its video tools. “Right in time for NAB, Adobe today announced the latest updates to its Premiere CC and After Effects CC video editing and motion graphics tools. The general theme of this release is the introduction of two new AI-powered tools that will make the life of editors easier, as well as a variety of small updates that all result in an improved overall workflow.”


CNET: Fake news on YouTube shooting spreads, despite recent efforts. “Even before police secured YouTube’s headquarters after a shooting there Tuesday, social media was flooded with a familiar scourge: fake news. Every major social network has its own challenges with disinformation. They’ve enacted series of algorithmic and structural changes in order to combat its spread. ”

Axios: How to regulate Facebook. “No federal law spells out what companies trading in personal information can do with user data. No federal agency has clear jurisdiction over writing rules for internet companies. And public concern about personal data falling into the wrong hands has only recently swelled. Now lawmakers are feeling the heat, but they’re far from a consensus on the right approach.”


National Post: Canadian 9/11 conspiracy theorists sue Google over secret phone tracking. “The plaintiffs in the massive class action claims against Google are two prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorists and a retired Toronto police detective. Their pair of nearly identical actions, one each in British Columbia and Ontario, ask for $10 million in damages, among other penalties. They allege the tech giant has facilitated the illegal surveillance of thousands of Canadians by ‘hackers or undesirable state actors,’ and wrongly made money by intruding on their privacy. Ultimately, the proposed class of affected people could represent nearly half of Canadian smartphone users — anyone who has used a phone that runs Google’s free operating system, Android, whether the phone is made by Google or not.”

Bloomberg: California Would Require Twitter, Facebook to Disclose Bots. “California has proposed legislation that would require social platforms like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. to identify automated accounts, or bots, amid a push by state lawmakers to police the technology companies that have proven vulnerable to manipulation and the spread of fake news.”

BBC: YouTube shooting: Female suspect ‘angry over video postings’. “The suspect in a gun attack at YouTube’s HQ in California had expressed anger over its treatment of her video postings, media reports say. Police have named Nasim Aghdam, 39, as the suspect but say they are still investigating a motive. US media say Aghdam was angry that YouTube was filtering her videos and reducing the money she could make.”


Wired: A Drag Queen’s Guide To Protecting Your Privacy On Facebook By Breaking The Rules. “EVER SINCE NEWS broke of Cambridge Analytica’s harvesting and misuse of Facebook user data, numerous politicians, technologists, and everyday people have offered opinions on how best to respond. Many have suggested users leave the platform; others have called for government regulation. Still more have advised on ways users should lock down their privacy settings and delete content. While I’m sympathetic to all of the above suggestions—and am considering deleting my account, at least for now—there are more effective steps users can take to protect their data and privacy. It just means breaking the rules a bit.”

NoCamels: Israeli Startup Launches AI-Powered Alert App To Help Farmers Save Crops From Disease, Pests. “Saillog, a Tel Aviv-based agriculture tech startup founded just last year, has come up with an innovative way to help farmers stay ahead and devise a containment and management strategy. The company launched a free smartphone app, Agrio, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision algorithms to identify plant diseases and deficiencies. Agrio allows users to take images of crops they suspect are affected, upload them to the platform and, within moments, receive a diagnosis and recommendations on how to proceed.” Good morning, Internet…

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