Drone Deliveries, Genealogy Photography, Sound Effects, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 21, 2019


Engadget: Alphabet’s Wing starts drone deliveries to US homes. “Alphabet’s Wing has started making deliveries by drone to homes in the US for the first time. During a pilot program in Christiansburg, Virginia, drones will drop off packages from FedEx, Walgreens and local retailer Sugar Magnolia, which include over-the-counter medication, snacks and gifts.”


Genealogy’s Star: Photography Basics for Genealogists: Part One: Orientation. “Genealogists accumulate a lot of photos and those who travel and do onsite research end up taking a lot of photographs also. We also accumulate a lot of photos from our family activities. This new series is going to discuss all of the aspects of photography from cameras and lenses to the planning and making of the photograph itself and on to the preservation and display of photo collections. I am going to start out with an example of what can happen to make a poor quality image.”

Hongkiat: 50 Sites to Download Free Sound Effects for Almost Everything. “There are thousands of online resources to download sound effects, however, not all of them can offer you high-quality material that’s also free. So, in this post, I am listing 50+ cool websites to download just about any type of sound effect for free.” Good annotation for such a long list.

How-To Geek: How to Share a Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides File as a Web Page. “With Google Drive, you can share any Google file (from Docs, Sheets, or Slides) online as a web page for anyone to see. You can even share simple HTML files to act as your site’s landing page. Here’s how to do it.”


NBC News: Anti-vaccination groups still crowdfunding on Facebook despite crackdown. “Activists planning to line California roadways with anti-vaccination billboards full of misinformation are paying for them through Facebook fundraisers, despite a platform-wide crackdown on such campaigns.”

Brisbane Times: Iconic Stratocaster launches Powerhouse Museum’s virtual collection. “In the summer of 1963, Jan and Dean and The Beach Boys were top of the pops and so too were Australian surf band The Atlantics with a twangy surf instrumental that made its four band members household names. Fame proved fleeting with The Beatles soon to dominate the music charts but the red Fender Stratocaster used to create that unique reverberated sound is one of the first culturally significant objects in the Powerhouse Museum collection to be digitised.”


ZDNet: WAV audio files are now being used to hide malicious code. “The first of these two new malware campaigns abusing WAV files was reported back in June. Symantec security researchers said they spotted a Russian cyber-espionage group known as Waterbug (or Turla) using WAV files to hide and transfer malicious code from their server to already-infected victims.”

Channel NewsAsia: Kidney for sale: How organs can be bought via social media in the Philippines. “In the second of a two part series looking at the illegal trade in human organs in the Philippines, CNA’s Pichayada Promchertchoo investigated how social media is an essential tool for many of those involved in the lucrative business.”


TechCrunch: AI is helping scholars restore ancient Greek texts on stone tablets. “Machine learning and AI may be deployed on such grand tasks as finding exoplanets and creating photorealistic people, but the same techniques also have some surprising applications in academia: DeepMind has created an AI system that helps scholars understand and recreate fragmentary ancient Greek texts on broken stone tablets.”

BoingBoing: You can purchase science fiction novels written by artificial intelligence. “Even the covers to this collection of AI-written science fiction novels were created by AI. The reviews are also written by AI. Titles include Bitches of the Points, Auro-Minds and the Hungers, The Table in 10, and Breath Chanter.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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