Political Exiles, Marine Conservation, Rihanna, More: Wednesday Buzz, September 12, 2018


Not new, but new-to-me. Eurasianet: Central Asia: Database tracks authoritarians’ long arm. “The database, now in its second edition, draws on publicly available information, such as media reports and archives. It currently includes 255 individuals, among them former regime insiders, secular opposition figures, banned clerics, alleged religious extremists, journalists, civil society activists and relatives of exiled individuals who have been persecuted for the actions of family members.”

Imperial College London: Marine ‘biodiversity crisis’ tackled with new database of conservation plans. “… researchers led by James Cook University, Imperial College London and the University of Maine have taken the first step towards a global repository by launching a database of marine conservation plans. A description of the database is published today in Biological Conservation.”


Engadget: YouTube will stream Rihanna’s fashion show on September 12th. “Paul McCartney isn’t the only superstar to have lined up a live YouTube stream these days. Rihanna is broadcasting her Savage x Fenty brand’s fashion show on Google’s service at 7:30PM Eastern on September 12th. She’s promising an ‘immersive experience’ that, to no one’s surprise, will showcase the label’s lingerie and ‘intimate accessories’ (which, of course, you can buy after the show).”

TechCrunch: Gawker is relaunching in early 2019 . “Bustle-owner Bryan Goldberg, who paid $1.35 million for rights to the defunct gossip site in a bankruptcy auction in July, wrote in a memo to Bustle staff Tuesday that Gawker would relaunch next year with Amanda Hale, the former chief revenue officer of The Outline, as its publisher.”


Amit Agarwal: Make your own Saregama Carvaan with YouTube and Google Sheets. “Saregama Carvaan, a digital music player that looks like an old-fashioned transistor radio and targets the non-millennial generation, has become a huge hit in India…. Like a radio station, Saregama Carvaan mixes nostalgia with an element of surprise – the player’s algorithm plays music in a random sequence so the listener would never know which song is coming up next. Can the Carvaan experience be recreated with YouTube? Let’s find out.”


Voice of America News: Initiative Puts Human Face on Afghan Violence. “Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization, a Kabul-based rights group, plans to exhibit mementos of war victims in several European countries in coming months. The group launched the initiative, named Memory Box, in 2011 with the aim of putting a human face on the ongoing violence in Afghanistan….In the meantime, the organization plans to launch an online museum. Work on the virtual museum is in its final stages and will soon launch make the stories of war victims available to anyone with an Internet connection.”

New Yorker: Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?. “If Facebook were a country, it would have the largest population on earth. More than 2.2 billion people, about a third of humanity, log in at least once a month. That user base has no precedent in the history of American enterprise. Fourteen years after it was founded, in Zuckerberg’s dorm room, Facebook has as many adherents as Christianity.”

Poynter: These fact-checkers were attacked online after partnering with Facebook. “The PDF file is 299 pages long. It has a table of contents, infographics and a statement of intent. And it has extensive details on 40 journalists in Brazil — including archived links and screenshots from each person’s various social media profiles. Then, it uses all of that as evidence to classify how leftist each journalist is.”


New Zealand Herald: Google blasts French bid to globalise right to be forgotten. “Google Tuesday attacked efforts by France’s privacy watchdog to globalise the so-called right to forgotten, telling European Union judges that the regulator ‘is out on a limb.'”

BetaNews: Security: Tor 0-day revealed on Twitter by vulnerability vendor. “It’s just two weeks since a Windows 0-day was revealed on Twitter, and now the same thing has happened for the Tor browser. Zerodium — self-described as ‘the premium exploit acquisition program’ — exposed a backdoor vulnerability in Tor that makes it possible to bypass security protections.”


EurekAlert: Beyond deep fakes: Transforming video content into another video’s style, automatically . “Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have devised a way to automatically transform the content of one video into the style of another, making it possible to transfer the facial expressions of comedian John Oliver to those of a cartoon character, or to make a daffodil bloom in much the same way a hibiscus would.”

CNET: Facebook’s new Rosetta AI system helps detect hate speech. “Facebook says it has a new weapon in fighting hate speech. The social network on Tuesday announced a new artificial intelligence system, codenamed ‘Rosetta,’ for helping its computers read and understand the billions of images and videos posted to the social network every day. With the new system, Facebook could more easily detect what content violate its hate speech rules.” Good morning, Internet…

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