Bangarra Dance Theatre, Google Street View, Facebook Trends, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 14, 2019


ABC News (Australia): Bangarra Dance Theatre marks 30 years with digital archive and exhibition. “In October 1989, Australia’s premiere Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company was born around a kitchen table in the Sydney suburb of Glebe. The kitchen belonged to South-African born Cheryl Stone, a founding student of the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA).”


CanIndia: Google Maps captures 10mn miles in Street View images. “Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times. The company announced on Friday that Google Earth now lets people browse more than 36 million square miles of high definition satellite images from various providers – covering more than 98 per cent of the entire population – to see the world from above.”


CNN: Facebook taps data to predict likely 2020 trends kimchi, milk baths and ‘plant parents’. “For its 2020 Topic and Trends Report, Facebook collected country-specific topics users in 13 countries had shared that it says could become mainstream next year. When patterns in topics emerged, the company said it relied on third-party researchers to ‘inform and validate’ the findings.” The headline is far dumber than the article deserves.

South China Morning Post: Multi-purpose WeChat wants to be a better search engine. “Tencent says it’s expanding WeChat’s search capabilities next year to allow users to find a slew of new content. This will include entertainment options like music, games and memes. They’ll also be able to search for online stores, medical information and stocks.”

PBS Newshour: Are social media giants doing enough to prevent the spread of misinformation?. “Social media has revolutionized the way we connect and communicate — and certainly not all for the better. In his new book, ‘Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation,’ Andrew Marantz explores how digital platforms full of unforeseen vulnerabilities have been exploited by racists and vandals. William Brangham sits down with Marantz to discuss.” Video and full transcript.


Reuters: Google, Apple asked if apps like TikTok must disclose foreign ties. “The chair of a U.S. congressional panel wrote to Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google and to Apple (AAPL.O) on Friday to ask what if any disclosures mobile apps are required to make regarding overseas ties, a concern that follows reports of Chinese investment in popular apps such as TikTok and Grindr.”

Bloomberg Quint: Google’s Shopping Comparison Draws Justice Department Scrutiny. “U.S. antitrust enforcers are examining Google’s conduct in the online shopping comparison market as they continue their probe of the search giant. Richard Stables, chief executive officer of the shopping comparison site Kelkoo Group, said he spent more than an hour with Justice Department officials on Thursday to discuss how Alphabet Inc. allegedly hurt his European-based business.”


CBC: Yukon geologists raid the archives to aid ongoing search for gold. “Hundreds of detailed maps — along with field notebooks and other records — are held in Ottawa by Libraries and Archives Canada. [Sydney] Van Loon and [Jeff] Bond have been spending time there, looking through piles of material to find things that may be of interest. Turns out, there’s a lot that’s of interest. So far, the geologists have scanned about 850 maps and thousands of pages of geological data — including 12,000 exploration drill holes — and they’re nowhere near being done.”

The Better India: Pune MIT Alumni Turn College Project Into Startup That Impacts 12000+ Deaf Users. “While the WHO estimates that there are at least 63 million people in India who live with significant hearing loss, India’s National Association of the Deaf, estimates that 18 million people—roughly 1 per cent of the Indian population—are deaf. Whatever the numbers may be, it is a struggle for the deaf to access appropriate education in India, and the learning gap that begins in childhood continues during the formative years and even beyond.”

Ars Technica: Deep Learning breakthrough made by Rice University scientists. “In an earlier deep learning article, we talked about how inference workloads—the use of already-trained neural networks to analyze data—can run on fairly cheap hardware, but running the training workload that the neural network ‘learns’ on is orders of magnitude more expensive. In particular, the more potential inputs you have to an algorithm, the more out of control your scaling problem gets when analyzing its problem space. This is where MACH, a research project authored by Rice University’s Tharun Medini and Anshumali Shrivastava, comes in.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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