India Digital Library, Instagram, Google Chrome, More: Saturday Buzz, June 23, 2018


Open Gov Asia: India launches National Digital Library. “On 19 June, the Union Human Development Minister, Mr Prakash Javadekar launched the National Digital Library in the country’s capital. The library is a source of millions of academic texts from around the world which will be open to the general public.”


Washington Post: Instagram now has its own version of YouTube. “Social media network Instagram made a more aggressive push into the “media” side of its business Wednesday, hosting a splashy launch for a new service for long-form video called IGTV. Several celebrities with prominent social media accounts joined Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom to kick off the new platform. The launch party, in true tech industry fashion, featured colored lights, loud music and photoworthy scenes set in the alcoves of a former Honda dealership — located steps away from a homeless encampment in the heart of San Francisco.”

CNET: Google Chrome will automatically download articles you haven’t asked for yet. “Want to browse the news but don’t have connection to the internet? Google Chrome is getting a new feature for Android that automatically downloads articles when you’re connected to Wi-Fi for you to read offline — even if you haven’t asked for them.”

In the Open: Offsetting as a path to full Open Access: MIT and the Royal Society of Chemistry sign first North American ‘read and publish’ agreement. “Over the past few years the MIT Libraries – like many US research libraries– have been watching with interest the development of ‘offsetting’ agreements in Europe and the UK. In offsetting agreements, a single license incorporates costs associated with access to paywalled articles and costs associated with open access publication. This type of agreement has emerged in Europe and the UK and been the source of both new deals and broken deals.”

Engadget: Pocket Casts opens up Android beta to the public. “Pocket Casts, the incredibly popular podcast application, announced today that it is opening up a public beta program for Android users. This will allow any interested user access to the app’s newest features, with the caveat that builds might be broken or unstable. If you’d like to sign up for the public beta on Android, you can do so at this Google Play link.” I’ve used Pocket Casts on iOS for ages and I love it. If you’re looking for a podcast client, I encourage you to give it a try.


Indivigital: New GDPR Tool Targets Google, Facebook With ‘Automated’ Right To Be Forgotten Requests. “…some of the newest GDPR tools have inverted the target market and are helping users partly automate the process of sending erasure requests, colloquially referred to as ‘the right to be forgotten,’ to organizations that store their data. One such tool… allows users to search a database of 5,000 organizations for appropriate contact details of personnel or departments responsible for erasure requests. Upon selecting an organization to contact, the tool also opens a user’s email client and populates a new message with a template email.”

IEEE Spectrum: Build Your Own Google Neural Synthesizer. “NSynth uses a deep neural network to distill musical notes from various instruments down to their essentials. Google’s developers first created a digital archive of some 300,000 notes, including up to 88 examples from about 1,000 different instruments, all sampled at 16 kilohertz. They then input those data into a deep-learning model that can represent all those wildly different sounds far more compactly using what they call ’embeddings.’ That exercise supposedly took about 10 days running on thirty-two K40 graphics [PDF] processing units. Why do that? Well, with those results, you can now answer a question like ‘What do you get when you cross a piano with a flute?’ (Musicians: Insert joke here.)”


CNET: World Cup sees Google Translate use within Russia jump 30%. “Fans are making an effort to communicate with Russian locals in their own language during the World Cup, according to Google. Visitors have been using Google Translate to get some of the most useful phrases, and the company has seen a 30 percent increase in Translate use on mobile from within the country, the company said in a statement.”

EurekAlert: Digitalisation meets the Middle Ages . “Smartphones, touch screens and holograms could make museum visits a digital and multimedia experience. For example, books that for reasons of protection may not be touched by visitors, could be leafed through on tablets. Or flesh and skin could be projected on the skeleton of a dinosaur with virtual and augmented reality. The research project MEETeUX (Multi-Device Ecologies Towards Elaborate User Experience), coordinated by St. Pölten UAS, develops approaches and solutions for digital forms of exhibition design. The presentation of the Abrogans is a first prototype from the project.”

CNN: American media keeps falling for Russian trolls. “Russian trolls posing as an American college student tweeted about divisive social, political and cultural issues using an account that amassed thousands of followers — and appeared in dozens of news stories published by major media outlets — as recently as March.”


The Hacker News: Thousands of Mobile Apps Expose Their Unprotected Firebase Hosted Databases. “Mobile security researchers have discovered unprotected Firebase databases of thousands of iOS and Android mobile applications that are exposing over 100 million data records, including plain text passwords, user IDs, location, and in some cases, financial records such as banking and cryptocurrency transactions.”


Open Science: Sharing Data Do Not Indicate Twitter Significantly Augments Article-Level Citation Impact of Recent Research Results. “Guest-authoring a post, published on June 12, 2018, for the Altmetric Blog, Stefanie Haustein, an information science scholar from the University of Ottawa and Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada, has drawn attention to the mixed findings on the connection between Twitter mentions and citation counts of recently published articles. While social media, such as Facebook, can be assumed to contribute to the visibility of scientific research results, the collection of essays on Internet-based indicators for the impact of science edited by Wolfgang Glänzel, Henk Moed, Ulrich Schmoch and Mike Thelwall, to be published later in 2018, incidentally opens the discussion on the degree to which altmetrics can be helpful for the assessment of article-level impact.” Good morning, Internet…

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