WPA Posters, Google Search, 3D Photos, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, January 25, 2020


New to me, but it’s been in my queue for a few mindbending days and I can’t remember where I found it. But still: Posters for the People. From the front page: “Welcome to the most comprehensive record of posters created under the New Deal’s Federal Art Project. More than doubling the number of posters thought to exist, this online resource brings many posters to light that have not been seen by the public in more than 80 years.” There are over 2100 posters in this collection.


PC World: Google decides to ‘iterate’ on its deceptive favicon search plan . “Last week, Google began putting small favicons (website icons, such as the small power-button icon that appears in the browser tab when you visit next to search results in its desktop search. Critics called the favicons too visually similar to the small ‘Ad’ label that Google attaches to sponsored results at the top of the page, and thus confusing to users. As of Friday, Google had removed the favicons from general Google search results in its Chrome browser.”

CNET: Take 3D photos on your iPhone or Android phone with this app. “Whether you have a new phone like the iPhone 11 or an older one like a Motorola Moto G6 or iPhone 6S, you can now take 3D photos with your camera. It’s all thanks to a new app called LucidPix. Instead of requiring a special accessory or two rear phone cameras, the app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to render 3D photos that will move as you tilt and pan your phone.”

TechCrunch: Wikipedia now has more than 6 million articles in English. “Wikipedia is available in dozens of languages, but its English-language version has the most number of articles. Following the English edition, which hit 5 million articles in late 2015, are the German version, with about 2.3 million articles, and the French version, which has about 2.1 million articles.”


MakeUseOf: Coding for Kids: The Best Classes and Websites. “If you home school your children, coding becomes even more vital. But even if you’re adept at coding yourself, it might be simpler to rely on online sources. We’ve compiled a list of the best websites and online classes to teach coding for kids.”


Slate: Lives on the Line. “These handwritten logbooks offer a unique glimpse into the U.K.’s queer history. The help line started in 1974, partly to draw on the energy generated by the American Gay Liberation Front in the early ’70s. Volunteers set up the first phone line in the basement below a socialist bookshop in Kings Cross in London. They surely could not dream of the freedoms that were to come to LGBTQ people in the next few decades, or that Switchboard would still be taking calls in 2020.”


Economic Times: Now, Czech govt pushing ahead with tax on Google. “Lawmakers in Prague have been debating a Bill that would slap a 7% levy on the digital revenue of large online companies such as Google or Facebook. Foreign minister Tomas Petricek met US ambassador Stephen King after the envoy wrote an opinion piece for a newspaper saying that his country might respond with proportional countermeasures against the Czech Republic.”

BNN Bloomberg: Google’s ‘wi-spy’ settlement draws objection from 9 states. “Attorneys general from nine states urged a federal judge to toss out Google’s US$13 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit blaming its Street View mapping technology for a massive violation of consumer privacy.”

Techdirt: Germany Wants To Limit Memes And Mashups Derived From Press Publishers’ Material To 128-by-128 Pixels In Resolution, And Three Seconds In Length. “Last month, Mike wrote about France’s awful proposals for implementing the EU Copyright Directive’s upload filter (originally known as Article 13, but Article 17 in the final version). Just as France was the most vocal proponent of this dangerous development, so Germany was the main driving force behind the ancillary copyright requirement, also known as the snippet or link tax. And like France, Germany has managed to make its proposed national implementation (original in German) of what was Article 11, now Article 15, even worse than the general framework handed down by the EU.” THIS NEVER WORKS!


Poynter: Who’s ‘mainly’ responsible for curbing disinformation?. “NPR, PBS NewsHour and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion reported this week that a poll they conducted this month showed little consensus when it asked people to choose who should have the ‘main responsibility’ for addressing the question: 39% pointed to the media, 18% to technology companies, 15% to the government and 12% to the public.”

Scientific American: AI Isn’t a Solution to All Our Problems. “From the esoteric worlds of predictive health care and cybersecurity to Google’s e-mail completion and translation apps, the impacts of AI are increasingly being felt in our everyday lived experience. The way it has crepted into our lives in such diverse ways and its proficiency in low-level knowledge shows that AI is here to stay. But like any helpful new tool, there are notable flaws and consequences to blindly adapting it. AI is a tool—not a cure-all to modern problems.”

Fast Company: I’m a trans woman. Google Photos doesn’t know how to categorize me. “The world is full of traps like this for me, whether it’s the bouncer who looks at my driver’s license and demands a second ID before letting me into the bar, or the unchangeable email address that uses an old name. Trans people are constantly having to reckon with the fact that the world has no clear idea of who we are; either we’re the same as we used to be, and thus are called the wrong name or gender at every turn, or we’re different, a stranger to our friends and a threat to airport security. There’s no way to win.” Good morning, Internet…

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