Northumbria University: Design meets artificial intelligence to create new visual search engine. “Novel methods of searching the nation’s gallery, library and museum collections could soon be revolutionised by a visual search platform designed in collaboration with Northumbria University. As the sector worldwide moves towards presenting collections online, the Deep Discoveries project was launched to explore ways of creating a computer vision search platform that can identify and match images across digitised collections on a national scale.” A beta version of the search is available.
This is from the end of July, and I missed it, and it’s TOO GOOD TO MISS. Iowa State University: 1,000+ ISU lectures now online. “The Iowa State University Library is pleased to announce the completion of a grant project funded by the National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF) to digitize and provide online access to 991 recordings from the ISU Lecture Series. The recordings, which span the 1970s-1990s, were selected based on their significant cultural, historical, and aesthetic value, as well as timeliness with respect to topics that our country is grappling with today, which include race, gender, and sexuality—just to name a few. In selecting the content for this project, we join calls across the country to center and magnify these voices and movements, and to affirm ISU’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.” I spot-checked several lectures. Everything had transcripts.
Google Blog: A new dimension for cultural artifacts. “At Google Arts & Culture we are always looking for ways to help people understand and learn about culture in new and engaging ways. Starting today, we are launching a new feature through which our 2,000 plus cultural partner institutions can create guided 3D tours about buildings, sculptures, furniture, and more from their collections. With the help of 3D Tours you can easily whiz around historic sites, monuments and places of interest while learning about their hidden details and historical backgrounds – all courtesy of 3D data from Google Earth.”
PR Newswire: NASA TV to Air Landsat 9 Launch, Prelaunch Activities (PRESS RELEASE). “NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the Landsat 9 satellite, a joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mission that will continue the legacy of monitoring Earth’s land and coastal regions that began with the first Landsat satellite in 1972. Landsat 9 is scheduled to launch at 2:11 p.m. EDT (11:11 a.m. PDT) Monday, Sept. 27, on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.”
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
The Guardian: Google workers demand back pay for temps company underpaid for years. “Google employees and subcontracted workers are demanding that the company pay back wages to temporary workers, following a Guardian report that revealed Google had knowingly and illegally underpaid thousands of temps for years.”
The Verge: Snap has new Lenses that show users how to fingerspell in American Sign Language. “To mark the International Week of the Deaf, Snapchat has created custom stickers and three AR Lenses to encourage users to fingerspell, the company said Tuesday. The new features were designed by incorporating feedback and guidance from deaf and hard-of-hearing employees at the company, and using AI and computer vision technology developed by Hungarian startup SignAll, which focuses on technology for deaf people.”
CNET: iOS 15 hidden tricks: Make the most of Apple’s new iPhone features. “My favorite part about the new software is all of the hidden features that Apple didn’t trumpet, though. For example, the new Live Text tool isn’t only available when you’re dealing with photos — you can use it to scan documents or text into any text field. Below is the start of my running list of favorite hidden features in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
UK Research and Innovation: Artificial intelligence supports culture and heritage exploration. “AHRC awards £14.5 million to five projects which will transform online access to the UK’s culture and heritage collections by harnessing innovative technologies. This will include machine learning and citizen-led archiving which will connect the UK’s cultural artefacts and historical archives in new ways.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
Bloomberg: Facebook, Google and other Big Tech firms face more fines in Russia as Kremlin curbs access to information online. “Russia’s internet regulator is poised to significantly raise the fines it has slapped on US technology companies such as Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc as the Kremlin escalates its push to curb access to information online. Companies that refuse to delete content judged to be illegal in Russia could soon face amends of 5 per cent to 20 per cent of their annual local revenue, Roskomnadzor, the federal communications watchdog, said in an email Monday.” The article notes that Google has been fined 26 million rubles so far this year, which is $354,900.00 USD.
ZDNet: Google is backing security reviews of these key open-source projects. “Google recently pledged $100 million to groups that manage open-source security priorities and help fix vulnerabilities, and it has now detailed eight of the projects it has chosen to support.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
Washington Post: Amazon and Google Users Should Revolt Over Ad Barrage. “It’s an open secret: The user experience is deteriorating for many of the largest technology companies’ core products. At fault is the steady, inexorable creep of advertising. More and more companies are allowing ads to infiltrate every facet of their services. It’s easy to see why: With tech giants’ immense size, each step toward more ads can generate the kind of money that’s almost impossible for a public company to turn down. But the result is an industry that has chosen to put bigger profits over the needs of its customers. And they shouldn’t accept it.” Google’s going just the way AltaVista did – cramming in the ads until people get fed up.
The Moscow Times: We Can No Longer Expect Google and Apple to Fight for Internet Freedom. “For decades, the Internet giants existed believing public trust was an integral part of their business model. That all ended in 2016. The backlash that followed the Russian interference in the presidential election in the United States, primarily targeting Facebook, was massive, unprecedented and never actually stopped The non-stop Congress hearings, scandals, whistleblowers coming out with the most damaging accusations about manipulation of users’ data, promoting hatred and divide, even helping hostile states and malicious populists with horrible agenda, all of that would have killed the company if Facebook’s business model still involved public trust.” Good morning, Internet…
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