Fake Faces, Genealogy Research, Google Sheets, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, March 6, 2019


University of Washington: Fake faces: UWs ‘Calling BS’ duo opens new website asking ‘Which face is real?’. “Which of these two realistic renderings of faces is real, and which is a computer-generated fake? Biology professor Carl Bergstrom and Information School professor Jevin West — creators of the ‘Calling BS’ class and site — now have a website to help you better discern between fake and real images online.” I got several right in a row before I got suspicious and deliberately guessed wrong, at which point I was noted to have given the incorrect answer. Aside from the obvious glitches you might see, watch ears, hair, and teeth to detect AI-generated fakes.


Genealogy’s Star: Step-by-Step Guide to Using Online Census Indexes: Part Six. “Census records are not limited to those created by the United States government. Of course, many other countries in the world have conducted censuses of their populations. Within the United States, there are many state censuses. There are also a number of local censuses and specialty censuses for particular organizations, occupations, and ethnic groups. An exhaustive listing of all the possible census records available in just the United States is outside the scope of this article. Here is a list of some of the websites that contain lists of censuses or links to censuses in the United States.”

How-To Geek: How to Automatically Generate Charts in Google Sheets. “Google Sheets gives you a wide variety of free graphs from which to choose. Whether you want to use a pie chart or something a little more complicated like a radar chart, you won’t be disappointed with the options available.”

Lifehacker: The Ultimate Guide to Reinstalling Windows From Scratch. “There comes a time in every Windows user’s life when things start to feel slower. Perhaps you’ve been installing and uninstalling a ton of applications, or you’ve been mucking around with obscure Windows settings (or worse, the registry). Maybe you even decided to live life on the wild side, like me, and signed up for Microsoft’s Windows Insider program, which recently caused my desktop system to screech to a halt. Whoops. No matter the reason, it never hurts to give Windows 10 a top-to-bottom refresh—a new, clean installation of the OS, that is.”


Mashable: Watching plants grow is the best part of the slow web. “Back in 2012, writer Jack Chang coined something known as ‘the slow web.’ Similar to the slow foods movement, the idea of the slow web movement was to decelerate the pace in which readers consume content: ‘slow web’ consumers would read full length articles, keep open tabs to a minimum, and otherwise spend meaningful time on the internet, instead of just time.”

Quartz: What the Dodo’s animal videos tell us about the different corners of the internet. “Some of the most-viewed videos on Facebook from the animal-centric media brand the Dodo are heartwarming clips of tiny kittens, cuddly rescue pit bulls, and tender moments with hippos. On Snapchat, viewers are more drawn to snakes and spiders. A video from the Dodo featured in Snapchat’s Discover section this week showed a man in Vietnam having a leech removed from his nose.”

KYUK: Manager’s Corner: KYUK Receives Funding To Digitize Historic Footage. “KYUK has documented life in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta since 1971, resulting in a massive collection of audio and video tapes – over 12,000 items! From dance festivals in Mountain Village to traditional kayak building in Bethel, KYUK has been there capturing it all. Because we no longer have the antiquated machines needed to play the recordings back, much of the content has been impossible to access until now. With this funding, KYUK will digitize roughly 2,000 tapes over the next two years and put them online for all to enjoy.”


Krebs on Security: Hackers Sell Access to Bait-and-Switch Empire. “Cybercriminals are auctioning off access to customer information stolen from an online data broker behind a dizzying array of bait-and-switch Web sites that sell access to a vast range of data on U.S. consumers, including DMV and arrest records, genealogy reports, phone number lookups and people searches. In an ironic twist, the marketing empire that owns the hacked online properties appears to be run by a Canadian man who’s been sued for fraud by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Microsoft and Oprah Winfrey, to name a few.”

TorrentFreak: Piracy Is Driven By Availability & Price, People Prefer Not to Break the Law, ISP Study Says. “A new study carried out by New Zealand telecoms group Vocus Group NZ has concluded that ‘piracy isn’t driven by law-breakers’ but by the availability of legal content and the ability to pay. With a small minority of consumers still engaging in piracy, Vocus warns that catering to their needs is a better option than site-blocking, which just won’t work.”


TechCrunch: Google employees can’t just walk away from ethical tradeoffs like Dragonfly . “Let me blunt up front: I think Google should launch a censored search engine in China (albeit with careful organizational boundaries). And I think that Google employees who would undermine such a project need to step down and walk out the front door to opportunities more in line with their purported values.”

Google Blog: Doing our part to share open data responsibly. “This past weekend marked Open Data Day, an annual celebration of making data freely available to everyone. Communities around the world organized events, and we’re taking a moment here at Google to share our own perspective on the importance of open data. More accessible data can meaningfully help people and organizations, and we’re doing our part by opening datasets, providing access to APIs and aggregated product data, and developing tools to make data more accessible and useful.”

Stanford Medicine: “The brain is just so amazing:” New Instagram video series explains neuroscience. “Many people make New Year’s resolutions to exercise more or eat healthier. Not Stanford neurobiology professor Andrew Huberman, PhD. This year, he set out to educate the public about exciting discoveries in neuroscience using Instagram. Huberman’s sights are high: he pledged to post on Instagram one-minute educational videos about neuroscience an average of five times per week for an entire year. I recently spoke with him to see how he’s doing on his resolution.” Good morning, Internet…

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