Wolfram Language, LinkedIn, Windows 8, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, April 19, 2019


Wolfram Alpha: Version 12 Launches Today! (And It’s a Big Jump for Wolfram Language and Mathematica). “OK, so what’s new in 12.0? There are some big and surprising things—notably in chemistry, geometry, numerical uncertainty and database integration. But overall, there are lots of things in lots of areas—and in fact even the basic summary of them in the Documentation Center is already 19 pages long…”

LinkedIn Blog: Transparency Report: Second Half of 2018. “As this report shows, the number of government requests for data about LinkedIn members continues to grow as our overall membership grows. As always, we continue to review each request carefully before taking any action, and we continue to notify affected members whenever the law allows it.”

Neowin: Windows 8 will no longer get app updates after this summer. “Last year, Microsoft announced when it would be killing app updates and distribution in the Windows Store for Windows Phone 8.x and Windows 8.x. At the time, the blog post stated that Windows Phone 8.x devices would stop receiving app updates after July 1, 2019, while Windows 8.x devices would get app updates through July 1, 2023. However, it seems as though plans have changed a little bit, as the blog post has quietly been updated earlier this month.”


TechCrunch: Sift’s ‘news therapy’ app aims to promote understanding, not anxiety. “Is reading the news feeling a little stressful today? Can’t imagine why. Don’t worry: you’re not alone. A Pew Research study found that seven of 10 Americans today suffer from ‘news fatigue’ — meaning they feel worn out and like they can’t keep up. Meanwhile, an APA survey found that 56 percent of Americans want to stay informed, but it stresses them out. A new app called Sift, launching today, wants to help. Instead of trying to overwhelm news consumers with breaking news and incremental updates, it aims to thoughtfully approach tough topics in order to encourage a deeper understanding of the issues.”

Search Engine Journal: Free Google AI Image Analysis Tool. “A new tool published by Google analyzes your images. The machine learning/artificial intelligence algorithm tells you what it thinks the image is relevant for. This tool demonstrates Google’s AI and Machine Learning algorithms for understanding images. It’s a part of Google’s Cloud Vision products.” A reader sent me a beautiful artwork of the Virgin Mary that they had taken at Notre Dame (thanks, Kathleen!) so I tried that image. Google reported that as “Mirror,” giving me my first big laugh of the morning. To be fair the other tabs of information were a bit more on base.


BuzzFeed News: WhatsApp Has Become A Hotbed For Spreading Nazi Propaganda In Germany. “German WhatsApp users are spreading far-right propaganda through the use of stickers and chain letters, and the company is doing little to nothing to stop it, despite local laws forbidding the use of Nazi imagery.”

Reuters: Ancient Christian manuscripts digitised at monastery beneath Mount Sinai. “At St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Egypt’s Mount Sinai, the silence in the library is broken only by low electrical humming, as an early manuscript is bathed in green light. A team from Greece are photographing thousands of fragile manuscripts, including some of the earliest copies of the Christian gospels, using a complex process that includes taking images in red, green and blue light and merging them with computer software to create a single high-quality colour picture.”

The New Food Economy: How social media is fueling a market for novelty eggs. “The growing popularity for keeping backyard chickens has created an awareness of breeds outside the standard Rhode Island Red or White Leghorns. And that has given rise to a hunger for beautiful, colorful, Instagram-friendly rainbow eggs.”


CNBC: Facebook says its employees had access to millions of Instagram passwords. “Facebook on Thursday said millions of Instagram user passwords were exposed to employees in a searchable format in an internal database. The announcement came in an update to a blog post that was published last month after the company disclosed millions of Facebook user passwords were exposed to employees. The blog post originally said thousands of Instagram passwords were exposed.”

PoliceOne: Federal grant to help Ala. establish a civil asset forfeiture database. “Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced April 10 a $38,336 grant that will go toward establishing a statewide database to enable the tracking of property seized by police during arrests. The money, which is provided to the state from the U.S. Department of Justice, will go to the Alabama Justice Information Commission for the development of a civil asset forfeiture plan. The plan includes the development of a database.”


MIT Technology Review: Mapping the world in 3D will let us paint streets with augmented reality. “If you believe tech optimists, 10 years from now self-driving cars will be ubiquitous, drones will deliver our parcels, and robots will bring us our groceries. And one day soon, our cities will be painted with augmented reality that feels as if it belongs to the street corner where it was placed.”

The Register: We know you all want to shove AI where the sun doesn’t shine. And that’s exactly where it’s going – detecting prostate cancer . “A team of radiologists at the University of California, Los Angeles, built a convolutional neural network to analyse MRI scans of male nether regions and detect signs of the cancer. These types scans are a lot less invasive method than doctors delicately delving in to collect tissue for biopsies.” Good morning, Internet…

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