WWII Bombings, India Patents, Data Science Ethics, More: Saturday Buzz, September 8, 2018


The Lincolnite: Bomber Command valentine letters bring back lost voices of WWII. “A thousand lost voices of those who lived through aerial bombing campaigns of WWII have been brought to life through a new digital archive in Lincoln.”

New-to-Me, from BIP Patent Attorneys: Searching for Patents on Indian Patent Database (InPASS). “I recall a time when searching for Indian patents and applications online was almost impossible. Performing a search to identify relevant prior art would mean perusal of each and every weekly gazette published by the Indian patent office. These gazettes, being poorly scanned copies of the bibliographic data, would make patent searching a task in itself and let us not even begin to discuss the patience that was tested. It was a time when even the popular paid databases failed to provide comprehensive data on Indian patents. Today, however, performing a patent search for Indian patents has become fairly easier thanks to InPass, Indian patent advanced search system.”


Packt Hub: Introducing Deon, a tool for data scientists to add an ethics checklist. “Drivendata has come out with a new tool, named, Deon, which allows you to easily add an ethics checklist to your data science projects. Deon is aimed at pushing the conversation about ethics in data science, machine learning, and Artificial intelligence by providing actionable reminders to data scientists.”

Aw. From The Verge: Sweden’s official Twitter account will no longer be run by random Swedes. “Sweden is rightly famous for many things — its natural beauty, its health care, its wealth, Ikea — but one of the country’s most public achievements, its Twitter, doesn’t always come up in those conversations. Since 2011, the Swedish Institute has handed over the keys to the country’s official Twitter account to a new Swede every week, letting them tweet anything they want. The goal was to show the country as it really existed through the eyes of its various citizens.”


CNET: Memories in a shoebox: Digitizing old photos unlocks a flood of mixed emotions. “Rather than marooning the photos again to another closet when we bought a new house last spring, I figured it was finally time to do something with them. It was partly an exercise in purging (I’m about as far from a pack rat as you can get), but it was also a way to safeguard memories should disaster hit. I live in earthquake and fire-prone California, and storing old photos seemed as important as making a disaster kit. (Speaking of disasters, September is National Preparedness Month in the US.) Trips down memory lane are usually emotional, filled with equal parts joy, sorrow and ‘Why did I ever wear that?’ Mine was no exception, but technology has changed how we take them.”


The Guardian: Huge historical archive of mail from captured ships to go online . “An archive of thousands of undelivered personal letters from all over the world, seized from ships captured during Britain’s naval wars over three centuries, are to be digitised in a project offering an intimate glimpse into people’s lives. The letters, found in mailbags, with many bearing wax seals and some still unopened, have so far yielded personal accounts, some heart-rending, and journals, sheet music, drawings, poems and a packet of 200-year-old seeds from South Africa.”

Nieman Journalism Lab: When maps go viral: A cartographer takes a look into user-made maps (and their unintended consequences). “Fast Company’s Katharine Schwab calls attention to an paper on viral maps — ‘maps that reach rapid popularity via social media dissemination’ — and how they may be used to spread misinformation. Pennsylvania State University’s Anthony Robinson looked at Nate Silver’s ‘What if only women voted’ 2016 election map and the maps inspired by that tweet. (A Twitter search for ‘map if only voted’ turned up more than 500 unique maps — that’s them illustrating this article.)”


AZ Central: Fake military recruiting websites duped millions of students, potential recruits. “At least 13 fake military recruitment websites tricked potentially millions of people into giving their contact information to telemarketers, according to a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission. The sites falsely claimed they would not share personal information.”

MIT Technology Review: For safety’s sake, we must slow innovation in internet-connected things. “In a new book called Click Here to Kill Everybody, Bruce Schneier argues that governments must step in now to force companies developing connected gadgets to make security a priority rather than an afterthought. The author of an influential security newsletter and blog, Schneier is a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and a lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School…. Schneier spoke with MIT Technology Review about the risks we’re running in an ever more connected world and the policies he thinks are urgently needed to address them.”

Engadget: Who controls your data?. “Our phones are not only tools that help us organize our day but also sophisticated monitoring devices that we voluntarily feed with interactions we think are private. The questions we ask Google, for instance, can be more honest than the ones we ask our loved ones — a ‘digital truth serum,’ as ex-Googler and author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz writes in Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. Hoover up these data points and combine them with all of our other devices — smart TVs, fitness trackers, cookies that stalk us across the web — and there exists an ambient, ongoing accumulation of our habits to the tune of about 2.5 quintillion (that’s a million trillion) bytes of data per day.”

The Next Web: California law would make political bots illegal – unless they admit they’re bots. “A California Senate bill awaiting Governor approval would make it illegal to create and operate a social media ‘bot’ for the purpose of influencing a political vote or obtaining money unless it was made explicit that it was a bot.”


Washington Post: Google researchers say the tech industry has contributed to an ‘attention crisis’. “Google released a new paper written by its own user experience researchers that delves into the reasons that we can’t put down our phones, and starts to explore what companies can do about it. It also calls on the technology industry to reexamine the way it ties engagement to success — noting that capturing people’s attention is not necessarily the best way to measure whether they’re satisfied with a product.” Good morning, Internet…

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