Space Music, Political Money, Google News, More: Sunday Buzz, May 6, 2018


Science Alert: You Can Now Listen to The Weird ‘Music’ Made by Our Rotating Galaxy. “Ever wondered what the Milky Way might sound like as it rotates on its axis? According to a new ‘musical expression’ by an astronomer, it has distinctly jazz-like tones. Mark Heyer of the University of Massachusetts Amherst developed an algorithm that expresses the movement of gases in the Milky Way’s disc as musical notes. He’s titled the resulting composition Milky Way Blues.” The end of the article features a pointer to a new Web site called “Astronomy Sound of the Month”.

ProPublica: How You Can Keep Track of the Money Political Committees Spend at Trump Properties. “In our FEC Itemizer database, we’ve started tracking details on which committees spend money at Trump-owned properties and how much they spend. The data comes from expenditure reports submitted to the Federal Election Commission by the committees. The data will be updated monthly, and more often when, closer to the election, multiple filing days occur in a month.”


Neowin: Google to revamp its Google News app, to add more video and improve speed. “Google will hold its annual developer conference, Google I/O, starting on Tuesday, May 8, and the conference, as usual, will come with a plethora of announcements. We know through some session listings spotted on the official I/O app that Android Auto will receive major updates. We also expect Google to take the wraps off the official name for Android P, but we aren’t holding our breath for that. A new report from AdAge India suggests that as per people familiar with the matter, Google will announce a revamp of the Google News app, bringing in more video and making the app faster. The announcement is expected to be made at the conference next week.”

TechCrunch: Google rolls out new policies for U.S. election ads. “Google announced on Friday a new set of policies around how it will verify election advertisers in the U.S. Specifically, any advertiser who want to buy an election ad on Google in the U.S. will now have to go through additional verification to prove they are a citizen or lawful permanent resident, as required by law. This process will involve having to provide a government-issued I.D. and other key information, Google says, and will roll out this week.”


SEO Roundtable: Google Maps Highlight Icons Legend. “Brad Brewer posted on Twitter a collection of all the Google Maps Highlight Icons he has spotted to date.”


CNET: It’s still hard to tell just how many bad accounts are on Facebook. “The world’s largest social network continues to report that ‘undesirable’ accounts on its service represent a small percent of its service, but it won’t say exactly how many.”

SPACE: ‘Spacing Out with the Everyday Astronaut’ Launches on Facebook Watch with a ‘Marswalk’. “The Everyday Astronaut will take you on a simulated trip to Mars today (May 4), just a few hours before NASA launches its latest mission toward the Red Planet. Photographer Tim Dodd created the Everyday Astronaut persona after buying a used Russian spacesuit in an online auction in 2013. What started as a lark has become a long-running, elaborate art-and-education project that takes Dodd around the world — and now, onto your computer screen, in the new Facebook Watch series ‘Spacing Out with the Everyday Astronaut.'”

Poynter: Fake war videos are using footage from gamers on YouTube. “The video shows crosshairs hovering over what looks like a collection of buildings. In the background, you can hear what sounds like Turkish soldiers on walkie-talkies. Then, a drone strike. But the video didn’t depict a bombing at all — at least, not a real one. It was taken from a video game.”

Matridox: Hands-On: Flitter for iOS is the Twitter App You Deserve. “It seems every few weeks, there’s some sort of new social media app or client that tries to shake things up. Twitter, for instance, as seen its own fair share of clients over the past few years for both iOS and Android. They seem to arrive a dime a dozen while not exactly packing features that would grab a user’s attention. But then I heard about Flitter. If you haven’t, it’s a new Twitter client by Shihab Mehboob that aims to provide a killer user experience while packing all the necessary features you’d want from a paid app. When it went up for preorder, the sample screenshots of the app really caught my eye. I was given a code to download the app in advance and have been using it this past week as my main Twitter client. In short, it’s the Twitter app you deserve.”


Techdirt: Malaysian ‘Fake News’ Law Claims Its First Victim. “The Malaysian government got a jump on the rest of the world by being the first to actually enact a ‘fake news’ law. The government had several hundred million good reasons to do so, most them residing in the prime minister’s bank account. Lawmakers cited concern for the public’s well-being, but critics noted the law was just an efficient way for the government to shut down reporting it doesn’t like.”


Fanatical Futurist: A new form of “Master algorithm” could pave the way for super intelligent machines. “You can be excused for not noticing that a scientist named Daniel Buehrer, a retired professor from the National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan, recently published a white paper proposing a new class of mathematics that many feel could one day lead to the birth of machine ‘consciousness,’ and perhaps even Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) itself which is slated to arrive circa 2045. After all, keeping up with all the breakthroughs in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), from the development of new Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) architectures to the AI’s, for example, from DeepMind, that are self-evolving and fighting each other, can be exhausting.”

UPI: Study: Excessive social media use could harm female self-esteem. “Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest may not be good for women’s self-esteem, a new study suggests. Women are less likely to be happy with their bodies if they spend more than an hour a day on social media, the findings showed.” Good morning, Internet…

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