morningbuzz

Facebook, Library of Congress, Google Docs, More: Sunday Buzz, July 22, 2018

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Mashable: Facebook confirms it’s building an internet satellite. “It looks like Facebook is indeed building an internet satellite. The social network is working on a new satellite project that will provide broadband internet connections to ‘unserved and underserved areas,’ according to FCC documents uncovered by Wired.”

Library of Congress: Law Library of Congress and Peace Palace Library of The Hague Agree to Form Information-Sharing Relationship. “Two of the world’s most comprehensive international law libraries, the Law Library of Congress and the Peace Palace Library based in The Hague, Netherlands, have agreed to form an information-sharing relationship to better serve library users.”

USEFUL STUFF

Make Tech Easier: 3 Ways to Extract Images from Google Docs. “Google Docs has a ton of benefits. You’re less likely to lose data to corrupt or lost files, can collaborate in real-time, and can also upload your Word documents and access them anywhere. But Google Docs has one downside you can’t ignore – image extraction. That’s right, you can’t extract images directly from Google Docs. No worries, though, as there are workarounds.”

MakeUseOf: The 3 Best Subtitle Sites for Your Movies & TV Series . “While many hate subtitles because they get in the way—who wants to read while watching?—but I admit that I love them. And not just for foreign language films and TV shows, which absolutely need subtitles (if the audio isn’t dubbed), but I actually use subtitles all the time. Yes, even when watching stuff in my primary language!”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Quartz: Uganda’s government is doubling down on its controversial social media tax. “After a brief review period, Ugandan regulators have decided to double down on both the decision to charge citizens a daily levy for access to social media, and the controversial reasoning behind it. Since July 1, Ugandans have been paying 200 Uganda shillings ($0.05) a day to use social media. Whoever didn’t pay was blocked from accessing sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and 55 others. To get round the blockade, many people have been using virtual private networks rather than pay the social media tax.”

Indian Express: Fake Science: Face behind biggest of all — ‘40 countries, million articles’. “Inside an imposing glass-cased building in Hyderabad’s Gachibowli, the 36-year-old face behind more than 780 research journals and companies operating in 40 countries, has confidence written all over it. But behind all the plans, Srinubabu Gedela is at the centre of a storm that’s threatening his business empire. Gedela is the CEO of OMICS, labelled as one of the largest ‘predatory publishers’ of research articles on topics in medicine, pharmaceuticals, engineering, technology and management for charges ranging from $149 to $1,819.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

TechCrunch: Senate wants emergency alerts to go out through Netflix, Spotify, etc.. “An emergency alert goes out, trying to let you know about incoming bad news — a missile, a tsunami or something else terrifying. Your phone starts shouting… but it’s downstairs. A warning ticker pops on TVs, if you’re watching cable… but you’ve got your eyes glued to Netflix, or Hulu, or some other online streaming service. Should these services, with their ever-increasing ownership of our screen time, be prepped to broadcast these warnings?”

Bleeping Computer: Robocall Firm Exposes Hundreds of Thousands of US Voters’ Records. “RoboCent, a Virginia Beach-based political robocall firm, has exposed the personal details of hundreds of thousands of US voters, according to the findings of a security researcher who stumbled upon the company’s database online.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

McClatchy DC: Fake, misleading social media posts exploding globally, Oxford study finds. “Russia’s social media blitz to influence the 2016 U.S. election was part of a global ‘phenomenon’ in which a broad spectrum of governments and political parties used Internet platforms to spread junk news and disinformation in at least 48 countries last year, an Oxford University study has found.”

Pieknieweski’s Blog: Autopsy Of A Deep Learning Paper . “I read a lot of deep learning papers, typically a few/week. I’ve read probably several thousands of papers. My general problem with papers in machine learning or deep learning is that often they sit in some strange no man’s land between science and engineering, I call it ‘academic engineering’. Let me describe what I mean…”

SMU Data Science Review: Supervised Machine Learning Bot Detection Techniques to Identify Social Twitter Bots . “In this paper, we present novel bot detection algorithms to identify Twitter bot accounts and to determine their prevalence in current online discourse. On social media, bots are ubiquitous. Bot accounts are problematic because they can manipulate information, spread misinformation, and promote unverified information, which can adversely affect public opinion on various topics, such as product sales and political campaigns. Detecting bot activity is complex because many bots are actively trying to avoid detection. We present a novel, complex machine learning algorithm utilizing a range of features including: length of user names, reposting rate, temporal patterns, sentiment expression, followers-to-friends ratio, and message variability for bot detection. Our novel technique for Twitter bot detection is effective at detecting bots with a 2.25% misclassification rate.” The paper is available for download from this page. Good morning, Internet…

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