Egypt Newspapers, Alexa Crowdsourcing, Google News, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 6, 2019


EIN News: Al-Ahram, Egypt’s Newspaper of Record, Now Available Online (PRESS RELEASE). “East View Information Services is pleased to announce the release of the digital archive of Al-Ahram, Egypt’s long-standing newspaper of record and the authoritative register of Egyptian life and politics for over 140 years.”


VentureBeat: Amazon is poorly vetting Alexa’s user-submitted answers. “Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana can answer all sorts of questions that pop into users’ heads, and they’re improving every day. But what happens when a company like Amazon decides to crowdsource answers to fill gaps in its platform’s knowledge? The result can range from amusing and perplexing to concerning.” I really hope nobody is surprised by this.

Google Blog: Connect with news in multiple languages with Google News . “Today, more than 60 percent of people around the world speak and consume news across two or more languages. Finding articles in these languages can be challenging, since it requires you to search for topics across various apps and websites. To help solve this problem, we’ve built a new feature in Google News that will provide access to news articles from multiple languages and countries from around the world, all within one app.”


Ars Technica: Antitrust 101: Why everyone is probing Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. “Dozens of probes are going on right now under the auspices of dozens of state, federal, and international bodies using dozens of state, federal, and international statutes. What all of these antitrust laws have in common at their core, though, is the concept of playing fair—especially when it comes to the biggest player in the room.” Good, extensive, informative, thorough. READ THIS NOW.

The Verge: How to delete your Fitbit data before Google takes charge. “…as The Verge’s Dieter Bohn reports, there are a number of Fitbit owners who are now threatening to move to Apple Watch as a result of the acquisition. If you are among their number, you probably want to know how to delete your account (and, thus, your data) from Fitbit’s servers before the sale goes through. It’s actually pretty simple to do.”


Illinois News Bureau: 100 years of architecture student design work to be preserved, archived. “The history of architecture education at the University of Illinois – and of architectural styles and cultural values over a 100-year period – sits behind a low doorway into a flood-prone basement room in the Architecture Building…. Architecture professor Marci Uihlein is working with University Archives and the University Library’s Preservation Services to catalog 1,600 drawings representing 775 student projects, do any necessary preservation work and move them to the Archives’ collections.”


BetaNews: Firefox users are being targeted by malicious sites that exploit a known bug to lock up the browser. “Hackers are taking advantage of a bug in Mozilla’s web browser to tamper with the software and render it unusable without the need for user interaction. At the moment there is no fix, and the problem is wreaking havoc and causing distress.”

KSDK: Proposal would create 1st national database to track officer deaths by suicide. “It would be anonymous and voluntary for departments to provide the information to the FBI. The database would include the circumstances that occurred before the death by suicide or the attempt. It would also include where it happened, how it happened, the method used, the demographic information of the office and the officer’s job.”


Techspot: Microsoft successfully archives Warner Bros. ‘Superman’ movie on a piece of glass. “Data storage and archiving technologies are areas of particular interest for companies like Warner Bros., where a significant chunk of the world’s entertainment media is produced and archived. To help with preserving this film and television content, Warner Bros. and Microsoft collaborated to give a first proof of concept test for Project Silica, a Microsoft Research project that uses laser optics and AI to store data in quartz glass.”

Newswise: Anger, Anxiety, Insomnia: Tweets from Twitter Users Could Predict Loneliness. “Loneliness is estimated to affect roughly one in five adults in the United States. It also stands as a public health crisis because loneliness has been tied to depression, cardiovascular disease and dementia, among other conditions. As such, a team of researchers at Penn Medicine came together to determine what topics and themes could be associated with loneliness by accessing content posted by users on Twitter. By applying linguistic analytic models to tweets, the researchers found users who tweeted about loneliness post significantly more often about mental well-being concerns and things like struggles with relationships, substance use, and insomnia.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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