morningbuzz

Wolfram Engine, Twitter, Charlotte Post, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, May 23, 2019

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Wolfram Blog: Launching Today: Free Wolfram Engine for Developers. “The Wolfram Engine is the heart of all our products. It’s what implements the Wolfram Language, with all its computational intelligence, algorithms, knowledgebase, and so on. It’s what powers our desktop products (including Mathematica), as well as our cloud platform. It’s what’s inside Wolfram|Alpha—as well as an increasing number of major production systems out in the world. And as of today, we’re making it available for anyone to download, for free, to use in their software development projects.”

Bloomberg: New Twitter ‘Experiment’ Shows Some Users Many More Ads. “A Twitter Inc. spokeswoman said Tuesday that the company is experimenting with ad load, the industry term used to describe the frequency that users see advertisements. As a result, some people are getting more ads in their Twitter feed than usual.”

DigitalNC: 27 more issues of the Charlotte Post are now available!. “If you’ve been following our announcements of additional issues of The Charlotte Post being made available online, then you’ll be glad to know that issues from the remainder of 1997 and one from March 1998 are now up as well! Our digital holdings for this title currently span 1930-1934 and 1971-1998. These recent additions continue with the same great content, focused particularly for Charlotte’s African American community.”

USEFUL STUFF

How-To Geek: How to Not Have 100 Browser Tabs Open. “The 100-tab habit is widespread; it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But a cluttered browser can lower productivity and reduce computer speeds. Maybe it’s time to break that habit with a few simple tips.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Digital Trends: Oculus Quest review. “Several hours into testing the Oculus Quest, I found myself in a Jedi dojo and I was clutching a lightsaber. More than just holding the elegant weapon, I was slashing its humming blade through training bots and using it to deflect bolts of blaster fire. I was playing Vader Immortal, an episodic Star Wars adventure launching alongside Facebook’s new virtual reality headset. The real world had melted away entirely as I experienced the coolest, most immersive tech my senses have ever been stung by.”

University of Kentucky: NEH to Fund Digitization of Sacred Music Collection at Niles Center. “The $58,230 grant from the NEH’s Humanities Collections and References Resources program will support a one-year planning process that will include the pilot launch of a digital library that will eventually make hundreds of volumes of spirituals, gospel music, shape-note hymnody and words-only hymnals accessible to the public.”

CNET: Mark Zuckerberg should resign as CEO, says ex-Facebook security chief. “Facebook’s former security chief says Mark Zuckerberg has amassed too much power and should resign as chief executive officer of the social networking giant. ‘There’s a legit argument that he has too much power,’ Alex Stamos said at the Collision Conference in Toronto on Tuesday. ‘He needs to give up some of that power. If I was him, I would go hire a new CEO for the company.'”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Bleeping Computer: New Zero-Day Exploit for Bug in Windows 10 Task Scheduler. “Exploit developer SandboxEscaper has quietly dropped a new zero-day exploit for the Windows operating system just a week after Microsoft’s monthly cycle of security updates. This exploit is the fifth in a string that started in late August last year. It achieves local privilege escalation, granting a limited user full control over files reserved for full-privilege users like SYSTEM and TrustedInstaller.”

Ars Technica: WannaCry? Hundreds of US schools still haven’t patched servers. “If you’re wondering why ransomware continues to be such a problem for state and local governments and other public institutions, all you have to do to get an answer is poke around the Internet a little. Publicly accessible security-scan data shows that many public organizations have failed to do more than put a bandage over long-standing system vulnerabilities that, if successfully exploited, could bring their operations to a standstill.”

The Quint: Truecaller Users’ Phone Numbers & Email IDs For Sale on Dark Web. “Truecaller, a caller ID company with access to email IDs and mobile numbers of millions of users, has been hit with fresh allegations of letting its data sell on the dark web. The data is available to any person willing to pay up to Rs 1.5 lakh for data of Indian users, while the amount goes up to a staggering 25,000 euros (Rs 19.4 lakh) for users from other countries.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Brookings: Algorithmic bias detection and mitigation: Best practices and policies to reduce consumer harms. “In the pre-algorithm world, humans and organizations made decisions in hiring, advertising, criminal sentencing, and lending. These decisions were often governed by federal, state, and local laws that regulated the decision-making processes in terms of fairness, transparency, and equity. Today, some of these decisions are entirely made or influenced by machines whose scale and statistical rigor promise unprecedented efficiencies.”

Neowin: Microsoft details how scientists have used its innovations in AI to help the environment. “…Microsoft has revealed how scientists and conservationists have employed use of its AI-centric applications to help protect the environment as part of the AI for Earth project. Four such ways have been specifically outlined, including the obtaining of more data regarding trees, improving yields for farmers, identifying snow leopards with relative ease, and protecting key watersheds.” Good morning, Internet…

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