Maya History, Google Daydream, Google Hardware, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, October 16, 2019


Google Blog: Explore the Maya world with the British Museum. “This project has fully digitized the remarkable collection of ancient Maya art and architecture gathered by Alfred Maudslay in the late 19th century. Maudslay used the latest technology of his time to record the stories of ancient Maya cities in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. He developed the first dry glass plate photographs of iconic sites like Palenque, Chichen Itza and Tikal, spending years living and working throughout the region. He also created more than 400 large plaster cast replicas of building facades and monuments, which have been stored in the British Museum for more than 100 years.”


Engadget: Google’s Daydream VR experiment is over. “Google is bringing the Daydream VR experiment to a close. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones it announced today don’t support the platform, and it won’t sell Daydream View headsets anymore. The Daydream app and store will still work for people with other Pixel devices, however.”

Gizmodo: Everything Google Announced Today. “In a somewhat unconventional spectacle that included a fireside chat about the company’s environmental initiatives and photographer Annie Leibovitz dropping by to talk about smartphones, Google’s Pixel 4 event in New York today included few surprises, and at times, even fewer details on its new hardware.”


CNET: Mozilla is sharing YouTube horror stories to prod Google for more transparency. “Mozilla is publishing anecdotes of YouTube viewing gone awry — anonymous stories from people who say they innocently searched one thing but eventually ended up in a dark rabbit hole of videos. It’s a campaign aimed at pressuring Google’s massive video site to make itself more accessible to independent researchers trying to study its algorithms.”

University of New Haven: Professor Strives to Use Music to Share the Culture of Refugees. “Before joining the University of New Haven faculty in 2012, Erica Haskell, Ph.D. lived and worked in a refugee camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While in Europe, she also visited camps in Hungary, Serbia, and Romania, recording refugee stories and songs from around the world. She hopes to continue this work through the launch of the Schindler Refugee Music Project, which will share the experiences of refugees living in New Haven, by presenting their stories and the music of their home countries through podcasts.”

Slate: The Lines of Code That Changed Everything. “Culturally, code exists in a nether zone. We can feel its gnostic effects on our everyday reality, but we rarely see it, and it’s quite inscrutable to non-initiates. (The folks in Silicon Valley like it that way; it helps them self-mythologize as wizards.) We construct top-10 lists for movies, games, TV—pieces of work that shape our souls. But we don’t sit around compiling lists of the world’s most consequential bits of code, even though they arguably inform the zeitgeist just as much.”


Krebs on Security: “BriansClub” Hack Rescues 26M Stolen Cards. “‘BriansClub,’ one of the largest underground stores for buying stolen credit card data, has itself been hacked. The data stolen from BriansClub encompasses more than 26 million credit and debit card records taken from hacked online and brick-and-mortar retailers over the past four years, including almost eight million records uploaded to the shop in 2019 alone.”

TorrentFreak: Ebook Piracy Grows, Contrary to The Trend. “Research from the Netherlands shows that the percentage of pirates has declined across all popular entertainment in recent years, except for Ebooks. The data, which also reveals some intriguing piracy demographics, suggest that book pirates are missing something in the current legal offerings.”

Reuters: Google, Reddit defend tech legal protections ahead of Congress hearing. “A 23-year-old law giving technology companies legal protection from lawsuits over user-generated content remains critical to the internet’s future, Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google unit and social media site Reddit Inc said in testimony released on Tuesday.”


Newswise: Wrangling big data into real-time, actionable intelligence. “Sandia researchers worked with students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an Academic Alliance partner, to develop analytical and decision-making algorithms for streaming data sources and integrated them into a nearly real-time distributed data processing framework using big data tools and computing resources at Sandia. The framework takes disparate data from multiple sources and generates usable information that can be acted on in nearly real time.”

Slashgear: Project asks public to help find light pollution in space images. “If you’re looking for a way to help experts make an impact on our planet, the ESA has pointed toward Lost at Night, a project that needs the public’s help identifying areas of light pollution captured in images taken from space. The project intends to raise light pollution awareness, and it is now asking the public to help researchers in this field by cataloging the images.”

EurekAlert: From Haft Tappeh to the world wide web. “Archaeologist Dr. Behzad Mofidi-Nasrabadi of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) excavated cuneiform texts on clay tablets at Haft Tappeh, dating back to the middle of the second millennium B.C. and decipherable only by a handful of experts around the world…. Thanks to funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to the tune of EUR 500,000, a project is underway to digitally process the texts and make them available to the public online.” Good morning, Internet…

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