Native American Language, FOSS OCR, Google Photos Alternatives, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, November 26, 2020


Billings Gazette: New Crow language app launches . “For years, organizers have been collecting a massive database of Crow words, comparing nuance about their meanings and translations, and seeking out as many speakers of the language as possible — all with the goal of creating a new way for people to learn the language. It’s ready. A new Crow language app launched in mid-November, offering convenient access to a wealth of knowledge. ”


Internet Archive Blog: FOSS wins again: Free and Open Source Communities comes through on 19th Century Newspapers (and Books and Periodicals…). “I have never been more encouraged and thankful to Free and Open Source communities. Three months ago I posted a request for help with OCR’ing and processing 19th Century Newspapers and we got soooo many offers to help. Thank you, that was heart warming and concretely helpful– already based on these suggestions we are changing over our OCR and PDF software completely to FOSS, making big improvements, and building partnerships with FOSS developers in companies, universities, and as individuals that will propel the Internet Archive to have much better digitized texts.”


PCMag UK: Google Photos Is Killing Free Unlimited Storage: 7 Top Alternatives. “As noted, you still get 15GB of Google storage for free. A Google storage link can show you an estimate of how long your storage will last, based on your upload history. Smartphone photos from my iPhone X and Google Pixel 4 XL average around 700KB each, so 15GB would mean 21,000 photos shot with those devices. If your photos are from a full-frame D-SLR, the image files will be quite a bit larger, in the range of 15MB to 50MB each, so the number of shots that will contribute to 15GB is more like 600—and serious photographers will have far more than that. Here are your best options if you’re using Google Photos.”

MakeTechEasier: Best Sites to Play Online Board Games with Friends. “Board games were once just a tabletop activity, but now you can play online board games with friends from anywhere. Online board games are quickly becoming a popular way to spend time with friends and family who may not share your geographical location, and it’s not just online chess anymore. Here are some great sites for you to play online board games with friends.”

Popular Science: How to livestream an event for all your friends and family. “Take my brother’s wedding, for example. He just married his fiancée (from Alabama) in Ireland (in case my byline isn’t enough of a hint, we’re Irish)….With travel and gathering restrictions in place in Ireland, limits on international travel, and other more individualized issues, more than three times as many people were prepared to tune in online as would actually be there. The livestream couldn’t be an afterthought—it was the main event for most people. At some point, this is likely to be the case for you. Whether it’s a wedding, funeral, birthday celebration, holiday gathering, or something else, getting the livestream right will be crucial.”


PR Newswire: Former President of BET Networks to Launch New Social Media Network (PRESS RELEASE). “With Covid cases on the rise and a deepening divide in our country, there is one company who is launching an app with the goal of unifying the people – specifically those of the BIPOC community. RepItSocial, a tech company out of Howard County, is launching an app, with the same name, that is a dynamic, new social media network, poised to become the central hub for all things BIPOC.”

New York Times: TikTok Mansions Are Publicly Traded Now. “A business trying to make money off mansions full of TikTok influencers has gone public on the stock market through an unusual deal. It involves a former Chinese health care company, and if that sounds confusing, well, we can explain.”


Baltimore Sun: Baltimore already had a witness intimidation problem. Now it’s moved to extortion accounts on Instagram.. “As a series of high-profile federal indictments called fresh attention to the problem of witness intimidation in Baltimore, a collection of Instagram pages far outside the spotlight has been posting images of police cooperators — in some cases openly extorting them.”

BetaNews: More than 5,000 Black Friday-related scam sites registered in November. “While the holiday season is a peak time for retailers, it also represents an opportunity for cybercriminals. This is particularly true of 2020 when more people than ever are likely to be shopping online. Research from Comparitech analyzed around 30 million websites registered this month to identify efforts by cybercriminals to trick consumers looking for holiday shopping deals.”

CNN: France orders Big Tech to pay digital tax despite threat of US tariffs. “France will require big tech companies to pay its digital services tax, a move that is likely to trigger retaliation by President Donald Trump and pitch the incoming US administration into another trade fight.”


BBC: Phone addiction not driven by notifications, study finds. “Smartphone addiction is unlikely to be caused by notifications, a study by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) suggests. It found that 89% of interactions with phones were unprompted, with only 11% responding to an alert.”

Israel 21c: Scents could be digitized and reproduced on demand. “Stripping down fragrances to their molecular structure, researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have opened the door to a future where any scent could be digitized and reproduced on demand by a computer. The group of neurobiologists, computer scientists and a master-perfumer wrote about their achievement in Nature.” Good morning, Internet…

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