Podcast Searches, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts, Twitter Bots, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, October 18, 2018


From the Grapevine: A search engine for radio and podcasts is already making waves. “While we have search engines for web content and services like Spotify and Pandora for music, very little exists to help us sift through the enormous content produced daily by podcasts and radio. Israeli startup Audioburst, creators of a new search engine that indexes radio and podcast content, recognized the need for innovation in this neglected area of search after experiencing the same frustrations as the rest of us.”

British Library: Manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms online. “Ahead of the Library’s Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition, we are delighted to announce that over 200 manuscripts made or owned in England before 1100 can now be viewed in full online on our Digitised Manuscripts website, along with the surviving single-sheet documents produced before the Norman Conquest.”


Quartz: Your favorite Twitter bots are about die, thanks to upcoming rule changes. “Bots are one of the best parts of Twitter. If you’ve spent much time exploring the sprawling social-media platform, chances are you’ve followed at least a few of them. You might’ve followed @tinycarebot, for example, which periodically reminds you to breathe, go outside, or take a nap.”

CNET: Facebook accused of misleading advertisers, then trying to hide it. “Facebook knew it was misleading advertisers about the average time users spent watching videos long before admitting it. And it tried to shift attention from the error, a lawsuit says. The social network revealed in September 2016 that it artificially inflated the metric for two years because it only counted videos as viewed if they had been watched for three or more seconds — failing to taking shorter views into account — and possibly misleading advertisers.”


MakeUseOf: Amazon Photos vs. Google Photos: Which Is Best?. “Google Photos is unrivaled in terms of user numbers, mainly as a result of being the default option on Android. However, there are alternatives worth considering instead. One option most people seem to be ignoring is Amazon Photos. So, how does Amazon Photos compare to Google Photos? Should you switch from one to the other? Read on for our comparison to help you pick the one that’s right for you.”


The Conversation: America’s archaeology data keeps disappearing – even though the law says the government is supposed to preserve it . “Today, nearly all archaeological fieldwork in the U.S. is executed by private firms in response to legal mandates for historic preservation, at a cost of about a billion dollars annually. However, only a minuscule fraction of the data from these projects is made accessible or preserved for future research, despite agencies’ clear legal obligations to do so. Severe loss of these data is not unusual – it’s the norm.”

Wired: These New Tricks Can Outsmart Deepfake Videos—for Now. “For weeks, computer scientist Siwei Lyu had watched his team’s deepfake videos with a gnawing sense of unease. Created by a machine learning algorithm, these falsified films showed celebrities doing things they’d never done. They felt eerie to him, and not just because he knew they’d been ginned up. ‘They don’t look right,’ he recalls thinking, ‘but it’s very hard to pinpoint where that feeling comes from.’ Finally, one day, a childhood memory bubbled up into his brain. ”


Poynter: Study: Fake news is making college students question all news. “It’s tough out there for college students these days — especially on their news feeds. According to a new media consumption study, almost half of the nearly 6,000 American college students surveyed said they lacked confidence in discerning real from fake news on social media. And 36 percent of them said the threat of misinformation made them trust all media less.”

The Verge: A pioneering scientist explains ‘deep learning’. “Buzzwords like ‘deep learning’ and ‘neural networks’ are everywhere, but so much of the popular understanding is misguided, says Terrence Sejnowski, a computational neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Sejnowski, a pioneer in the study of learning algorithms, is the author of The Deep Learning Revolution (out next week from MIT Press). He argues that the hype about killer AI or robots making us obsolete ignores exciting possibilities happening in the fields of computer science and neuroscience, and what can happen when artificial intelligence meets human intelligence.”

Illinois State University: ISU geology professor awarded $1.7 million NSF grant. “Illinois State Associate Professor of Geology Catherine O’Reilly is serving as principal investigator for a $1.7 million National Science Foundation grant to fund Project EDDIE, a series of classroom modules for undergraduate biology, geology, and environmental science students…. Project EDDIE (Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry and Exploration) is designed to help students and faculty work with large data sets. In addition, the project aims to improve students’ skills in quantitative reasoning, understanding of the nature of environmental science, and scientific discourse.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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