News Apps, YouTube, Vivaldi, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, December 16, 2018


Neowin: Microsoft launches AI-powered Hummingbird news app on the Play Store . “Microsoft has released a news app today that’s powered by artificial intelligence to provide content that it deems important to you. According to its Play Store listing description, Hummingbird learns your search history over time in order to improve how it curates stories from a wide range of sources. To get started with the app, you need to sign up using your Microsoft or LinkedIn account. There’s an option to skip that process, though it may affect how the app tailors the content feed for you.”

Reuters: YouTube, under pressure for problem content, takes down 58 million videos in quarter . “YouTube took down more than 58 million videos and 224 million comments during the third quarter based on violations of its policies, the unit of Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google said on Thursday in an effort to demonstrate progress in suppressing problem content.”

The Register: Hot on heels of 2.0, Vivaldi 2.2 adds tab session management among other goodies. “Only months after reaching the 2.0 milestone, the independent Chromium-based browser Vivaldi has added a bunch of useful features.”


PetaPixel: ExifShot is a Web App for Sharing Your Photo with Metadata. “If you’d ever like a quick way to share a particular photo along with the Exif metadata showing the equipment and camera settings it was shot with, ExifShot is a new desktop web app for you.”


TechCrunch: Jack Dorsey and Twitter ignored opportunity to meet with civic group on Myanmar issues. “Responding to criticism from his recent trip to Myanmar, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he’s keen to learn about the country’s racial tension and human rights atrocities, but it has emerged that both he and Twitter’s public policy team ignored an opportunity to connect with a key civic group in the country.”

Rising Voices: The opportunities and challenges in managing indigenous digital archives. “Digital resources provide an opportunity for improved preservation and access, but also new challenges when it comes to who has access to this information, how the materials are categorized, used, and how to best safeguard indigenous rights associated with their content (including rights of privacy and dissemination). This is the challenge facing one Philadelphia-based institution in the United States, the American Philosophical Society (APS). With more than 1,700 unique manuscripts, photographs, and audio recordings related to over 650 different indigenous cultures of the Americas in its possession, the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR), founded in 2014 within the APS Library, has been looking for ways to take full advantage of technology to ensure that the 60+ indigenous communities and nations in North America reconnect with collections in innovative and collaborative ways. APS calls this approach Digital Knowledge Sharing.”

Rolling Stone: Queer Sex Educators Fear New Facebook Policy Could Get Them Banned. “In October 2018, Facebook quietly added a Sexual Solicitation section to their terms of service. While some of the policy is pretty standard — such as banning nudity unless it’s deemed ‘art,’ ‘medical’ and/or relates to breastfeeding — other sections have people concerned. ‘Using sexual hints’ is banned, which could not only include descriptive and explicit posts, but also mentioning things as vague as ‘fetish scenarios,’ ‘sexual roles’ and ‘sexual preference/sexual partner preference.’ The concern is that, while this type of language might be used to sell se­­x online, it’s also used by LGBTQ and other marginalized groups who rely on Facebook to discuss sexuality. Could asking for advice on safe lubricants, or how to take care of a UTI, run afoul of the updated language?”


ZDNet: Facebook bug exposed private photos of 6.8 million users. “Facebook announced today another security incident affecting millions of its customers. This time, the company said that a bug in one of its APIs exposed the private photos of nearly 6.8 million users. Facebook blamed this new leak on a Photo API bug that was present in its backend code between September 13 to September 25, 2018.”

CNN: Facebook could face billion dollar fine for data breaches. “Facebook could be facing a multi-billion dollar fine after a European regulator announced Friday that it is launching an investigation into the company over failure to protect user privacy.”

New York Times: New Zealand Rebukes Google for Airing Name of Suspect in Backpacker’s Killing. “The New Zealand government admonished Google on Friday for disclosing the identity of a man charged with killing a female British backpacker, highlighting the tension that arises when local courts order the suppression of information that can be easily found online.”


EurekAlert: NYU researchers pioneer machine learning to speed chemical discoveries, reduce waste. “…researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering are tapping a new set of capabilities in this field of artificial intelligence, combining artificial neural networks with infrared thermal imaging to control and interpret chemical reactions with precision and speed that far outpace conventional methods.”

Defense One: Academic Paywalls Harm National Security. “A previous employer of mine, a consultancy that supports senior national security leaders, gave up its academic journal subscriptions in the wake of price hikes. Some military research centers simply make do with minimal access. The high cost of academic articles has even dissuaded defense companies, from time to time, from turning concepts into reality. But perhaps you doubt that scholarly journals offer extensive benefits to national security. To illustrate these benefits, I will focus on three: informing policy, skill and capability building, and technological insight.” Good morning, Internet…

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