Independent Watchmakers, Otter Transcription, Silicon Valley, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, August 26, 2021


Quill & Pad: ‘The Persistence Of Memory’: Online Museum And Ode To Independent Watchmaking. “The ‘great lockdown of 2020’ gifted us with something unique and outstanding: from the depths of an anxiety-inducing existence arose an online exhibition called ‘The Persistence of Memory,’ which can perhaps best be described as an online museum honoring some of the most influential and important independent watchmakers of the modern era.”


Engadget: Otter’s transcription tech now supports Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Webex. “Otter has a solution for that pile-up of virtual meetings in your calendar. The AI transcription tool essentially attends the gathering or conference in your place and jots down what was said. After launching with Zoom support in May, Otter is now expanding to include Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Cisco Webex.”

CNBC: Google, Microsoft plan to spend billions on cybersecurity after meeting with Biden. “The commitments range from working toward new industry standards to supplying other businesses with stronger security tools and providing skills training to workers to fill the roughly 500,000 unfilled U.S. cybersecurity jobs. Biden recently signed an executive order requiring U.S. agencies to use two-factor authentication for logins, which can help prevent cyberattacks.”

CNET: TikTok is reportedly testing 5-minute videos. “If you’re still getting used to TikTok’s longer, three-minute videos that rolled out to the masses last month, buckle up for this possible update. The company is reportedly testing videos that are up to five minutes long, according to social media commentator Matt Navarra.”


Seton Hall University: Following the Path of the Ukrainian Diaspora . “The Ukrainian Diaspora oral history project is an outgrowth of a 13-year collaboration between the College’s Secondary Education Program and the Borys Grinchencko Kyiv University. Under the leadership of Professor James Daly, the project was launched with funding from a digital humanities grant from Seton Hall. In addition to documenting first-hand historical accounts of the immigrant experience, the partnership hosts virtual seminars, and is developing an interactive web site to display research related to the history of Ukrainian immigrants to the U.S.”

NiemanLab: Should you turn your “read next” links into a game? There’s a widget for that.. “A reader comes to your site, maybe through search or a post on social. Metrics like time-spent-on-site suggest that converting them into a dedicated reader is difficult. Many publishers use recirculation links — ones that guide users to stories they might like to read next — to try and convince readers to stay awhile. But what if you could make a game of it?”


The Verge: Most US government agencies are using facial recognition. “A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 19 of the 24 US government agencies surveyed are using facial recognition in some way, illustrating how commonplace the controversial technology has become within the federal government. The list of agencies includes agencies like the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that maintain in-house systems, alongside smaller agencies that use the system to control access to high-security locations.”

Library of Congress: Library of Congress and Harvard University Form Historic Collaboration on Islamic Law Collections. “The Library of Congress and Harvard Law School have initiated an unprecedented, multifaceted joint collaboration to identify, select and assess the copyright status of materials focusing on national legal gazettes. The effort, initially set for three years, will coordinate access to, knowledge-sharing, and legal analysis of Library of Congress’ collections related to Islamic law, including national legal gazettes, manuscripts and other materials.”

Wall Street Journal: Hollywood Movies Flood Piracy Sites Hours After Release. “Millions of people are watching high-quality, pirated online versions of Hollywood’s top movies sooner than ever after their releases, undermining potential ticket sales and subscriber growth as the industry embraces streaming.”


Ars Technica: The secret to preventing color fading in art may lie in veils of graphene. “Graphene is the thinnest material yet known, composed of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. That structure gives it many unusual properties that hold great promise for real-world applications: batteries, super capacitors, antennas, water filters, transistors, solar cells, and touchscreens, just to name a few. And now this wonder material might just provide a solution to the fading of colors of many artistic masterpieces, according to a recent paper published in Nature Nanotechnology.”

Wired: Social Media Algorithms Are Controlling How I Grieve. If death has passed close to you during the pandemic, you may want to skip this one or save it for later. “I’ve been letting algorithms dictate the way I grieve for more than a year. Whoever created the code that leafs through my photo albums and finds the most important people in my life, then displays said photos in random order, has drastically shaped the emotional contours of my day. I realize there’s an easy fix to this. I can hide my mom’s photos or block her zombie Facebook account. But I’ve become accustomed to grieving this way. Technology has dictated what I remember and when, because I’ve let it.”

NIST: Putting Together the Big Picture for the World Trade Center Disaster Investigation. “We needed to be able to organize this material in such a way that the stills and clips could quickly and easily be called up to answer questions. NIST researchers would want to know such things as where and when fire or smoke was visible inside specific parts of the buildings, what time particular windows were broken, and which areas appeared to resist fire spread. By the time NIST was officially assigned the responsibility for an investigation into the collapse of the WTC towers, we had already selected a digital asset management software system, thought out how a database might be used by researchers, developed search terms, and started to populate that database with early sets of photographs.” Good morning, Internet…

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