afternoonbuzz

PowerPoint Presentations, US Chess Digital Archive, MST3K, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 26, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

Library of Congress: In the Library’s Web Archives: 1,000 U.S. Government PowerPoint Slide Decks. “PowerPoint presentations have become a nearly ubiquitous form of communication document in the digital era. At the most basic level, PowerPoint files present a sequence of slides containing text, images and multimedia. Today, we are excited to share out a dataset of 1,000 random slide decks from U.S. government websites, collected via the Library of Congress Web Archive, such as the presentation on transporting hazardous materials in Figure 1.”

US Chess Federation: US Chess Digital Archive is Live. “The digital archive includes all Chess Life / Chess Review / Chess Life & Review issues in fully searchable PDF format, save a rolling ‘paywall’ of the most current 12 months of Chess Life, which are only available to US Chess members. Each month, a new PDF will be added to the public archive. This archive is available to the general public at no charge as part of our non-profit educational mission to empower people, enrich lives, and enhance communities through chess.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Bleeding Cool: MST3K Announces Their Own 24/7 Twitch Channel. “We’ve got livestreaming sign! The folks over at MST3K have announced today they will be launching their own 24/7 Twitch channel. Starting tomorrow, November 20th, you can now see complete episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 streaming live on a direct feed non-stop.” I thought I had posted about this last week but apparently not…

Mozilla Blog: Mozilla and BMZ Announce Cooperation to Open Up Voice Technology for African Languages. “Today, Mozilla and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have announced to join forces in the collection of open speech data in local languages, as well as the development of local innovation ecosystems for voice-enabled products and technologies. The initiative builds on the pilot project, which our Open Innovation team and the Machine Learning Group started together with the organization ‘Digital Umuganda’ earlier this year. The Rwandan start-up collects language data in Kinyarwanda, an African language spoken by over 12 million people. Further languages in Africa and Asia are going to be added.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Slate: How Iran Turned Off the Internet. “Ten years ago, a Senate bill proposed by Sens. John Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe spurred considerable controversy. The bill, which never even came up for a vote, would have made it possible for the U.S. government to build an ‘internet kill switch’ that would allow it to shut off the internet in the event of an emergency. The proposal drew significant criticism, and U.S. politicians backed off relatively quickly, but in other countries around the world, the kill switch model was—and is—very real, as Iran’s government has just demonstrated.”

Quartz: Former Facebook employees are creating Cocoon, a social media network for your family. “People can post updates, emojis, and notifications, and Cocoon will thread these conversations automatically. The app also supports automatic updates, ‘ambient sharing’ in tech parlance, giving your fellow Cocoon members a running stream of insights about the location, movement, and activity, and of you and your fellow members. It’s a degree of sharing uncomfortable in a public forum. Where do you sleep at night? Are you working late? How often are you going to the gym? Privacy settings let you share it all automatically.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

BetaNews: Browser push notification scams triple in 2019. “Fraudulent browser push notifications as a means of delivering phishing and advertising are becoming more common, up from 1.7 million in January to 5.5 million in September this year according to the latest Kaspersky research.”

PC Magazine: Apps Found Collecting User Details From Facebook, Twitter. “Facebook and Twitter are both warning users about a number of mobile apps that were secretly collecting people’s personal information from their social media profiles. The apps were loaded with malicious software development kits (SDK) that pulled details such as email address, names, and people’s genders from their Facebook and Twitter accounts. The same SDKs were also theoretically capable of taking over a user’s Twitter account.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon Publishing Agreement Marks Open Access Milestone. “The university recently reached a transformative agreement with the scientific publishing giant Elsevier that prioritizes free and public access to the university’s research. This comes at a time when universities around the world are working to transition the current subscription system of scientific journal publishing to new open access business models. Under the terms of the agreement, which is the first of its kind between Elsevier and a university in the United States, Carnegie Mellon scholars will have access to all Elsevier academic journals. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, articles with a corresponding CMU author published through Elsevier also will be open access.”

Monash University: Bullet points: AI forging a path for better forensic medicine. “The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) – which also operates as Monash University’s Department of Forensic Medicine, performs autopsy services for all deaths reported to the Victorian State Coroner. It holds a globally unique data collection – more than 75,000 full-body computed tomography (CT) scans of dead people, an archive that increases by 7000 cases a year. All causes of death are represented, including traumatic injury, homicide and suicide. All age groups and genders are represented.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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