Geocities Archive, Yosemite Lantern Slides, Facebook, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, January 31, 2020


Motherboard: The Geocities Archive Is Bringing the Early Internet to Life. “Geocities was one of the first places your average person could make a website for free. The Geocities Gallery aims to archive these sites and return them to functionality, MIDIs and all.”

SF Gate: Rare photo archive donation shows glory of Yosemite National Park in 1903. “The slides arrived in what looked to be a handmade wooden box labeled, “Yosemite 1903.” Inside lay a total of 120 slides depicting life in Yosemite National Park in the early 1900s at iconic locations like Half Dome, Nevada Falls and El Capitan. Yosemite had become only the third national park in the United States just 13 years before, and a man by the name of Charles F. Oehler set about taking photos of the park, which were passed on through the generations of Oehler’s family and donated by his great-grandson.” The slides are in the process of being digitized and put online.


New York Times: Facebook’s Revenue Rises Again, but More Slowly Than Ever. “Facebook’s revenue in the last three months of 2019 rose 25 percent from a year earlier to $21 billion, while profits jumped 7 percent to $7.3 billion, the Silicon Valley giant said. While the performance was robust, the revenue growth was down from 28 percent in the previous quarter, turning 2019 into a year when the company did not report sales growth above 30 percent in any quarter.”

CNET: Byte has a bot problem after just two days. “Byte, the 6-second video app meant to fill the Vine-shaped hole in our hearts, reportedly has a bot problem just days after its release. The app was released on Friday for iPhone and Android, but users quickly returned with complaints about multiple bot-generated spam comments being left on their posts, according to a Sunday blog post from co-founder Dom Hoffman.”

The Verge: Google Translate will transcribe translations in real time on Android. “Google plans to add a live transcription feature to its Google Translate app for Android at some point in the future. The feature will allow users to record audio in one language and have it rendered in another in real time. It’s still in the prototype stage, but Google gave a demonstration of the technology during a series of artificial intelligence demos at its San Francisco office on Tuesday.”


Poynter: This project matches investigative editors to the local newsrooms that desperately need them. “Investigative Editing Corps is a project that pairs seasoned investigative editors with local newsrooms. The editors get stipends for their work through foundation funding that supports the project. The newsrooms pay nothing. IEC officially launched last week, almost three years after Ciotta first imagined how investigative editors who’d left the business (either willingly or not) might help the local newsrooms that need them.”

BuzzFeed News: A YouTuber Admitted To Faking His Girlfriend’s Death To Promote Their Joint Channel. “A popular and controversial YouTuber based in Toronto has admitted to lying about his girlfriend dying in a car accident in a video he posted last week. Jason Ethier, better known as ImJayStation on YouTube to more than 5.4 million subscribers, published a lengthy video on Sunday admitting the entire thing was a ruse to gain more subscribers.”


Search Engine Journal: Google Search Patent Update – January 29, 2020. “In this new weekly series, we’ll be looking at some recently granted Google Search Patents. When it comes to search and SEO, there’s no easy way to know what’s in the black box that is Google. Patent filings can at least give us a glimpse.”

Techdirt: Puerto Rico’s Justice Department Demanded Info From Facebook About Journalists Who Livestreamed Protests. “While the DOJ and FBI have dealt with some limited repercussions due to their targeting of First Amendment activities (which includes targeting Muslims because they’re Muslims), it really hasn’t promised to stop doing this. Nor has it been told to stop doing this. Instead, the DOJ has simply made it slightly more difficult for investigators to violate people’s rights. The Intercept has done some investigating of its own and discovered the FBI actively engaged in First Amendment violations for years during its partnership with Puerto Rican law enforcement agencies.”


EurekAlert: Computer servers now able to retrieve data much faster. “Current data storage systems use only one storage server to process information, making them slow to retrieve information to display for the user. A backup server only becomes active if the main storage server fails. The new approach, called FLAIR, optimizes data storage systems by using all the servers within a given network. Therefore, when a user makes a data request, if the main server is full, another server automatically activates to fill it.”

Phys .org: Team creates game-based virtual archaeology field school. “Before they can get started at their field site—a giant cave studded with stalactites, stalagmites and human artifacts—15 undergraduate students must figure out how to use their virtual hands and tools. They also must learn to teleport. This is ANTH 399, a course designed to bring the archaeological field school experience to undergraduate students who never leave campus. Designed by University of Illinois professors and computer science graduate students, the course satisfies the field school requirement for those pursuing an archaeology degree at Illinois.”

TechCrunch: NASA finds real uses for VR and AR in astronomy and engineering. “Studying the astronomical number of stars in our galaxy is generally done using legacy tools, scattered databases, perhaps even paper and pencil. And as such it can be hard to use that great multi-purpose pattern recognition engine, the human brain, to full effect on the information. Tom Grubb, an engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has felt for years that VR and AR are valuable tools for exploring and working with this type of data, and his team has just presented its first paper directly resulting from using those technologies.” Good morning, Internet…

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