Johannes Vermeer, Facebook Groups, Domain Names, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 4, 2018


Google Blog: An art gallery in your pocket: See Vermeer’s paintings in augmented reality. “…now, you can experience all of Vermeer’s known artworks in one place for the first time. Thanks to the Mauritshuis museum in the Netherlands and other cultural institutions guarding Vermeer’s legacy, they’re available in Pocket Gallery, a brand new feature on the Google Arts & Culture app. Pocket Gallery uses augmented reality, so you can pull out your phone and step into a virtual exhibition space to see all of his works, curated by experts from the Mauritshuis. All 36 of his paintings—including the missing masterpiece and the famous ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’—hang lifesize and perfectly lit. As you step closer, you’ll see each painting in stunning detail and can learn more about each piece.”


Social Barrel: Facebook Group is reportedly testing Keyword Alerts. “Facebook Group is reportedly testing Keyword Alerts—a new feature that will alert admins and moderators when specific word, frame, or name is used. The feature, if eventually allowed to see the light of the day, will serve a good purpose for admins and moderators of large groups.”


Make Tech Easier: The Stories Behind .unicorn, .ninja, and Other Bizarre Domain Extensions. “The human race doesn’t have flying cars, general AI, or moon bases yet, but at least we can make some questionable choices about our websites’ domain name extensions.”

Monday Note: How Facebook is Fueling The French Populist Rage. “The social network is playing a critical role in one of the worse civil unrest ever seen in France, with no end in sight for now. The ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (Yellow Vests) unrest that has been spreading across France over the recent weeks is the perfect, grass-rooted, unstructured movement that demonstrates the efficiency of Facebook and the damages it can indirectly cause to Western democracies.”

Mercer University: Project Aims To Uncover The Untold Stories Of African-americans In Middle Georgia. “A 12-year-old girl named Harriet. A 5-year-old boy named Nathan. They are written into the pages of Bibb County historical deed books, right beside the sale of land and horses. These black children are among more than 400 records of slave transactions that Mercer researchers have discovered so far in just seven volumes. They still have 10 more deed books to go through at the Bibb County Superior Court Clerk’s Office, followed by collections on chattel mortgages, chain gang records and plantation maps. The clerk’s office, Mercer University Library and the Department of Africana Studies have teamed up on an ambitious project to digitize historical documents from 1823 to 1865 related to slavery. They are focusing on Bibb County first but hope to later expand the project to other counties in Middle Georgia.”


Neowin: Major dark web drug suppliers voluntarily ban sales of deadly drug. “The UK’s National Crime Agency has announced that several major drug suppliers on the dark web have decided to voluntarily ban the sale of the deadly drug fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, due to the danger it poses. The sellers decided to pull the product off their dark websites as it could cause fatalities which they believe would cause them to receive more attention from the police.”

New York Times: Sending Lewd Nudes to Strangers Could Mean a Year in Jail. “Rebecca Odorisio was traveling home on a crowded A train on Tuesday when a photo suddenly appeared on her phone from someone identifying himself as ‘The Enterprise.’ It was a picture of an erect penis, sent to her over AirDrop, an iPhone feature that allows users to send photos and documents to anyone within 30 feet who has left that feature open. Disgusted, she quickly rejected it.”


Cornell Chronicle: AI project could lead to reliable forecasting – of fashion. “Doctoral students Mengyun Shi and Menglin Jia from Human Ecology’s Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design, will draw on images and metadata from the Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive to explore smart and rapid archiving and classification of fashion images through the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

CNET: Deprived students chose smartphones over food, researchers find. “Researchers at the University of Buffalo found that students preferred food deprivation over smartphone deprivation. In other words 76 students aged between 18 and 22, chose their phone over food.”

MIT Technology Review: AI software can dream up an entire digital world from a simple sketch. “Creating a virtual environment that looks realistic takes time and skill. The details have to be hand-crafted using a graphics chip that renders 3D shapes, appropriate lighting, and textures. The latest blockbuster video game, Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, took a team of around 1000 developers more than eight years to create—occasionally working 100-hour weeks. That kind of workload might not be required for much longer. A powerful new AI algorithm can dream up the photorealistic details of a scene on the fly.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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