Indigenous Languages, Canada in WWI, Facebook Messenger, More: Friday Buzz, August 10, 2018


UNESCO: UNESCO launches the website for the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019). “The website will contribute to raising the awareness about this International Year and about the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages around the world. There are some 6.000-7.000 languages in the world today. About 97% of the world’s population speaks only 4 % of these languages, while only 3 % of the world speak 96% of all remaining languages. A great majority of those languages, spoken mainly by indigenous peoples, will continue to disappear at an alarming rate. Without appropriate measure to address this issue, the further loss of languages and their associated history, traditions and memory would considerably reduce the rich tapestry of linguistic diversity worldwide.”

Library and Archives Canada: Database of 620,000 First World War personnel files completed to mark anniversary of Canada’s 100 Days. “August 8, 1918, is commonly known as the beginning of ‘Canada’s 100 Days’ — when the Canadian Corps spearheaded attacks that became known as the Battle of Amiens, a major turning point that led to victory in the Great War and the Armistice of November 11. To mark the centennial of the end of the First World War and the heroic and tragic events that led up to it, we are pleased to announce the completion of the digitization of all Canadian military personnel records from the Great War.”


Neowin: Facebook gets more inspiration from Snapchat, launches AR games in Messenger . “Facebook today announced a new feature for its Messenger app: augmented reality (AR) games in video chats. These games will allow up to 6 people to play together and compete in real-time during a video call. Right now, the company is introducing the self-explanatory Don’t Smile and Asteroid Attack, which tests each player’s ability to steer a spaceship using their face.”

Mashable: Google launches Cameos, a new celebrity Q&A app for search. “Google’s making it easier for celebrities to control what appears in their search results. Thursday, the search giant released a new app called Cameos, which lets celebs record vertical full-screen video answers to commonly searched-for questions about them.”

TechCrunch: Facebook now deletes posts that financially endanger/trick people . “It’s not just inciting violence, threats and hate speech that will get Facebook to remove posts by you or your least favorite troll. Endangering someone financially, not just physically, or tricking them to earn a profit are now also strictly prohibited.”


University of North Carolina: University Libraries Receives $1.75 Million Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “Speeches that U.S. presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy delivered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recordings of Beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, performances by North Carolina icons Andy Griffith and Doc Watson and street scenes filmed across North Carolina in the 1930s are among the items that global audiences and researchers will soon be able to hear and view online. A grant of $1.75 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will allow the Southern Folklife Collection (SFC) at Carolina’s University Libraries to preserve, digitize and share unique audio and moving image recordings with the world.”

CNN: Twitter says Infowars hasn’t ‘violated our rules.’ It looks like that’s not the case. “Twitter’s vice president for trust and safety, Del Harvey, told employees in an email on Wednesday that if far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his fringe media organization InfoWars had posted to Twitter the same content that led YouTube and Facebook to take action against Jones and InfoWars, Twitter would have done something too.” CNN found InfoWars content on Twitter that violate’s Twitter’s TOS. The content disappeared shortly after this was pointed out to Twitter. It’s not clear if Twitter deleted it or if someone from InfoWars did.

BBC: ‘There are boats floating above my head in Times Square’. “Imagine holding your mobile phone up in front of Pablo Picasso’s Woman with Green Hat and seeing the portrait transform into a photo of the muse who inspired the painting. Or admiring one of Claude Monet’s many famous depictions of water lilies, only to see the image morph into video footage of the artist’s real flower garden in Giverny, the inspiration for this series of paintings. It is how visitors to Vienna’s Albertina Museum can experience its current Monet to Picasso – The Batliner Collection exhibition.”


CNET: Smart cities around the world were exposed to simple hacks. “Cities are constantly evolving, and adding technology to make processes more convenient seems like a natural step. These multi-million dollar tech upgrades to major cities are designed to make everyday life easier, whether it’s web-connected cameras on street lights in San Diego or solar-powered sensors to detect fire alarms across Louisville, Kentucky. But those high-tech conveniences come with cutting edge risks. Cities with more connected infrastructure open the door to hackers looking for vulnerabilities, a trend we’ve seen with the increased number of connected devices in our lives. But in the case of smart cities, hackers exploiting a security loophole doesn’t just affect an individual or family, but potentially millions of residents.”


New York Times: The Internet Trolls Have Won. Sorry, There’s Not Much You Can Do.. “This column is going to be a bit unusual. Typically, I write about a broad tech problem and offer some solutions. But this week, I’ve stumbled into a topic that many agree has no easy fix: online comments. Over the last decade, commenting has expanded beyond a box under web articles and videos and into social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. That has opened the door to more aggressive bullying, harassment and the ability to spread misinformation — often with difficult real-life consequences.”

The Register: Oomm-tsss, oomm-tsss, Oomm-tsss, oomm-tsss… it’s an AI beatbox. “Vid AI can now beatbox for you for hours on end using your voice, if you’re into that kind of thing. Nao Tokui – a visiting associate professor at Kyushu University in California and a CEO of Qosmo, an AI and music startup – has developed a neural-network-based system that collects about 20 seconds of any sound to produce a custom drum kit, and then automatically sequences rhythms using those utterances and noises.”

Knowledge@Wharton: How a Twitter Audience of One Can Drive Business. “Every day, another political battle overtakes Twitter. It becomes the top trend, triggers millions of tweets and often makes news to a wider audience. But there’s a whole other side to Twitter that’s getting less attention — one that makes it crucial for businesses that are trying to avoid politics. It’s one that businesses need to learn quickly, or risk being replaced by startups overnight.” Good morning, Internet…

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