Amazon, Tech Industry, Social Media, More: Saturday Buzz, July 21, 2018


TechCrunch: Amazon launches Part Finder, built by technology it acquired from Partpic in 2016. “Got an odd screw, nut, bolt, washer or fastener you need to buy more of, but have no idea to how to find the right one? Amazon’s ‘Part Finder’ can help. The company has rolled out a new feature on mobile that lets you point your camera at the item in question, so Amazon can scan it, match it, then direct you to matching items from its product catalog.”

BetaNews: Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter team up on open source Data Transfer Project to ease your data moving woes. “Four giants of the technology world have joined forces in an attempt to make it easier for people to move data between services. The collaboration between Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter takes the form of the open source Data Transfer Project, the aim of which is to make it possible to ‘transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it’.”

New York Times: Facebook to Remove Misinformation That Leads to Violence. “Facebook, facing growing criticism for posts that have incited violence in some countries, said Wednesday that it would begin removing misinformation that could lead to people being physically harmed. The policy expands Facebook’s rules about what type of false information it will remove, and is largely a response to episodes in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India in which rumors that spread on Facebook led to real-world attacks on ethnic minorities.”


MakeUseOf: 5 Smart Recipe Sites and Apps to Simplify and Reinvent Cooking. “The internet is a giant, free recipe book. So giant that it can be overwhelming. A few new apps and sites are solving this problem of plenty with smart ideas that reinvent how you cook or look for recipes.”


Belleville News-Democrat: New tactic by politicians: Set up fake news websites as a campaign gambit. “Despite complaints from Congress about the Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign that included ‘fake news’ sites designed to sway voters, at least three members of Congress seeking re-election have posted similar sites designed to help them win re-election. Three sitting senators fighting tough re-election campaigns as well as at least one House member, have created sites that masquerade as internet news pages.”

CIDRAP: ARMADA seeks to create ‘criminal database’ of drug-resistant pathogens. “Using a big-data approach and a network of hospitals and clinical laboratories around the world, a new non-profit initiative aims to create a comprehensive ‘criminal database’ of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains that can be recognized by their genetic fingerprint.”

303 Magazine: This Photographer Is Creating A Digital Archive Of Old Denver. “Born in Mexico but a native son of Denver’s Northside, Fuentes is the curator of the @olddenver Instagram account and a documentarian of the city’s historical yet disappearing cultural landscapes. Through both his photographic work and curating others via the #olddenver hashtag, Fuentes crafts a digital archive of the Denver communities he was raised in. Through his documenting, he aims to promote spaces he feels are being forgotten in the current narrative of the city.”


CNET: One in four Singapore residents hit in medical data theft. “Hackers stole the personal data of 1.5 million people in Singapore by breaking into a government health database, officials said Friday. The data, taken between June 27 and July 4, included names and addresses of those who had visited health clinics since May 2015, but not full medical records. However, details about medications were stolen from about 160,000 people, according to a government statement.”


Select/All: Does Facebook Need a Constitution?. “This is the impasse that we’ve been at for the last two years (at least): On the one hand, we’re uncomfortable with placing Zuckerberg & Co. in roles where they explicitly act as censors. (And have been extremely critical of Facebook when it has enacted that role.) On the other hand, well, you know, it’s Infowars, for Christ’s sake. It’s Holocaust deniers. Come on!”

A thesis from Iowa State University: Using Google Cardboard to perform a visual field screening test . “The visual field test is used to detect areas on the retina where there is a loss of vision. The equipment used to conduct the test is bulky and can cost a significant amount to patients to take the test. Google Cardboard is an inexpensive headset which is paired with a mobile phone to run virtual reality applications. In this work, a visual field screening test is developed to enable people to do an eye exam with a low-cost and portable device such as a Google Cardboard and a smart phone. The Google Cardboard application helps reduce the cost of performing a visual field test by enabling a patient to do a self-administered visual field test before going into a clinic or hospital to do a more detailed eye exam. The patient can perform the test at home and with greater frequency, indications of advancing vision loss can be identified and treated earlier to prevent any irreversible damage to the eye caused by diseases.” The thesis is available for download from this page.

EurekAlert: Eagle-eyed machine learning algorithm outdoes human experts . “Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have trained computers to quickly and consistently detect and analyze microscopic radiation damage to materials under consideration for nuclear reactors. And the computers bested humans in this arduous task.” Good morning, Internet…

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