Women-Owned Businesses, Cell Biology, Sultan Baybars’ Qur’an, More: Wednesday Buzz, May 9, 2018


CBS Minnesota: Database Helps Consumers Tap Into 700K Women-Owned Businesses. “Anyone interested in boosting businesses owned by women will want to see what two Twin Cities women just created. [MAIA Community] is an online directory that puts the names, addresses and phone numbers of 700,000 woman-owned businesses at your fingertips.”

GeekWire: Biologists use artificial intelligence to flesh out 3-D views of a cell’s inner workings. “What happens when you cross cell biology with artificial intelligence? At the Allen Institute for Cell Science, the answer isn’t super-brainy microbes, but new computer models that can turn simple black-and-white pictures of live human cells into color-coded, 3-D visualizations filled with detail. The online database, known as the Allen Integrated Cell, is now being made publicly available — and its creators say it could open up new windows into the workings of our cells.”

Asian and African Studies Blog: Over 2,000 pages in gold: Sultan Baybars’ Qur’an now online. “In 2002 selected pages of this Qurʼan were made available online as a ‘virtual’ manuscript in our ‘Turning the Pages’ Project (Sultan Baybars’ Qurʼan). We have now had the opportunity to digitise all seven volumes cover-to-cover and present them in our new Universal Viewer… Well-known to art historians and exhibition visitors, these amazing volumes can now be appreciated by anyone, anywhere with an internet connection!” I am a big fan of illuminated manuscripts and this set looks like a real work of art.


News18: Google I/O 2018: New Google Features For Gmail, Photos, News And More at a Glance. “Google showcased its plans for the next several months as it kicked off its annual developers’ conference Tuesday. Many of the new features centre on the use of artificial intelligence to help save time. Many of the updates have a practical bent, designed to ease tasks such as composing emails, making lists, navigating city streets and lessening the digital distractions that have increasingly addled people’s lives as a result of previous tech industry innovations.” I might do links to individual Google features, but if I tried to cover every announcement from Google I/O, ResearchBuzz would go All Google for a few days and I don’t want that.

CNET: Twitter may be tinkering with encrypted direct messages. “Twitter may be working on beefing up the security of messages sent directly between users, according to code spotted in the app’s developer tools. The feature, dubbed ‘Secret Conversation’ in the Android APK, appears to allow users to trade encrypted direct messages, putting it in competition with secure messaging apps like Signal, Telegram or WhatsApp.”

PC Gamer: A Google Chrome update breaks the audio in numerous web-based games. “Google Chrome was recently updated to block auto-playing videos on websites by default. It quickly came to light that the way the change was implemented has a pretty big downside, as a number of game developers including ‘Getting Over It With’ Bennett Foddy and VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh, hit up Twitter to say that the change had killed the audio in their games, and potentially thousands of others.”


Business Insider: A guide to the confusing world of sponsored Facebook posts, which make it hard to distinguish between ads and journalism. “It used to be pretty easy to tell the difference between advertising and editorial content on Facebook. If a post had a little ‘sponsored’ label on it, that was a red flag telling you, ‘Hey, a brand paid for this, you should treat it as an advertisement.’ But that line has gotten blurrier for Facebook users, especially over the last few months as Facebook has limited how far posts from media companies can spread on their own (so-called ‘organic reach’).”


Research Remix (what a great blog name!): Where’s Waldo With Public Access Links. “Was digging into some publisher pages today, and I noticed a trend. Links to Public Access author manuscripts that CHORUS says are publicly available thanks to funder mandates are often very difficult to actually find on publisher pages. Want to see what I mean?”

New Zealand Herald: Google, Amazon, Facebook to attend White House AI meeting. “Officials from top tech companies including Alphabet’s Google, Amazon and Facebook are among those planning to attend a meeting at the White House Thursday on artificial intelligence. The White House is inviting over 100 business leaders, senior government officials, and experts for an AI summit to address issues including development, regulatory barriers and specific applications.”


TechCrunch: Equifax filing reveals hack was somehow even worse than previous estimates. “The 2017 hack of Equifax, already among the largest ever recorded, just got bigger. Well, they’re admitting that it was bigger than they had previously, which amounts to the same thing. Documents filed with the SEC reveal that more people, more IDs, and more info in general was stolen when the company utterly failed to protect its ‘users,’ many of which didn’t even know they were in the database.”

Krebs on Security: Microsoft Patch Tuesday, May 2018 Edition. “Microsoft today released a bundle of security updates to fix at least 67 holes in its various Windows operating systems and related software, including one dangerous flaw that Microsoft warns is actively being exploited. Meanwhile, as it usually does on Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday — the second Tuesday of each month — Adobe has a new Flash Player update that addresses a single but critical security weakness.”


EurekAlert: New software, HyperTools, transforms complex data into visualizable shapes . “Every dataset in the observable universe has a fundamental geometry or shape to it, but that structure can be highly complicated. To make it easier to visualize complicated datasets, a Dartmouth research team has created HyperTools– an open-source software package that leverages a suite of mathematical techniques to gain intuitions about high-dimensional datasets through the underlying geometric structures they reflect. The findings are published in the Journal of Machine Learning Research.” Good morning, Internet…

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