Film New Europe: LUMIERE VOD: launch of the first directory of European films to increase transparency concerning the VOD markets. “Launched by the European Commission with the European Audiovisual Observatory who is managing the project, this new directory of European films will help professionals, the public authorities and citizens to find information about European films and their availability on-line in video-on-demand (VOD) services throughout the European Union.”
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
BetaNews: Micropatch now available for Internet Explorer security hole. “Through its 0patch platform, ACROS Security is making the micropatch available to Windows users who are concerned about the security of Internet Explorer. While there are likely to be concerns voiced about installing a security patch from a third party, there are two things to consider here.”
How-To Geek: How to See All of the Data Instagram Has on You. “Instagram is the place to share your photos, and just like most social networks, it keeps tabs on some weird and wonderful things. Have you ever wondered what kinds of things it tracks? Here’s how to see it all.” I see a lot of “How to see what data Facebook has” but not many for Instagram.
MakeUseOf: 8 Reasons to Switch From YouTube to DTube. “Video viewing is predominantly an online pastime. Streaming services like Netflix have changed the face of media forever. And sites like YouTube rely on centrally collected videos which they send to devices on demand. This isn’t the only way it can work though, and DTube is an example of a decentralized video network. Today we’ll look at what DTube is and how it works, but first, let’s look at how online video sites usually work.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
Mashable: Twitter secretly verified Jack Dorsey’s mom and thousands of others despite ‘pause’. “Jack Dorsey’s mother and father, the ’80s band Whitesnake, a “war room” associated with Donald Trump’s reelection campaign — these are a few of the more than 10,000 accounts Twitter has quietly verified in recent months, despite putting its verification program on hold.”
Wired: 15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook. “Facebook’s powerful network effects have kept advertisers from fleeing, and overall user numbers remain healthy if you include people on Instagram, which Facebook owns. But the company’s original culture and mission kept creating a set of brutal debts that came due with regularity over the past 16 months. The company floundered, dissembled, and apologized. Even when it told the truth, people didn’t believe it. Critics appeared on all sides, demanding changes that ranged from the essential to the contradictory to the impossible. As crises multiplied and diverged, even the company’s own solutions began to cannibalize each other.” This is a long, long read. It left me feeling raw and angry. But I’m glad I read it.
SECURITY & LEGAL
Ars Technica: Twitter blocks EFF tweet that criticized bogus takedown of a previous tweet. “Twitter and Starz have given us a new example of how copyright enforcement can easily go overboard. At Starz’s request, Twitter blocked an April 8 tweet by the news site TorrentFreak, which had posted a link to one of its news articles about piracy.” The tweets have been restored, but this is not a good look.
The Register: Just a little FYI: Filtering doodad in Adblock Plus opens door to third-party malware injection . “A feature introduced last year in Adblock Plus and a few other related content blocking browser extensions allows providers of filtering lists, under certain conditions, to execute arbitrary code on web pages.” Sure glad I use uBlock Origin instead of uBlock…
BBC: Facebook copied email contacts of 1.5 million users. “Facebook ‘unintentionally’ uploaded the email contacts of more than 1.5 million users without asking permission to do so, the social network has admitted. The data harvesting happened via a system used to verify the identity of new members, Facebook asked new users to supply the password for their email account, and took a copy of their contacts.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
VentureBeat: Facebook’s AI can convert one singer’s voice into another. “AI can generate storyboard animations from scripts, spot potholes and cracks in roads, and teach four-legged robots to recover when they fall. But what about adapting one person’s singing style to that of another? Yep — it’s got that down pat, too.”
Cornell University: Scientists propose bird conservation plan based on eBird data. “An international team of scientists used eBird, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s global citizen science database, to calculate how to sufficiently conserve habitat across the Western Hemisphere for all the habitats these birds use throughout their annual cycle of breeding, migration and overwintering. The study provides planners with guidance on the locations and amounts of land that must be conserved for 30% of the global populations for each of 117 bird species that migrate to the Neotropics (Central and South America, the Caribbean and southern North America).”
OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL
Laughing Squid: ‘You Can’t Take My Door’, A Country Song Created by a Neural Network That Studied a Catalog of Country Hits. “Elle O’Brien and a team from Botnik Studios created a predictive AI country song entitled ‘You Can’t Take My Door’. The song was created by training a neural network to learn country music hits and then produce one of its own. The song was then arranged and performed by humans. The accompanying video reflects all of the colorful imagery in the song.” Good morning, Internet…
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