University of New Hampshire: Maps Made Easier. “The New Hampshire Geodata Portal, hosted by New Hampshire Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System (NH GRANIT), provides a more modernized data distribution system than its previous version. With data ranging from public lands and topographic lines, to the pavement condition of roads and location of eelgrass meadows in Great Bay, the website will be a boon for a wide cross-section of humanity; surveyors, foresters, real estate agents, engineering companies, utility companies, and state natural resource and transportation agencies will find beneficial information in an easier-to-access format.”
The Scotsman: Photographic archive captures rich heritage of Scottish fishing communities. “From snapshots of a gnarled fishing crew standing over a landed shark in Berwick upon Tweed in 1897, to a joyous portrait of fishwives living it up on holiday in post-war Paris, they form part of a vital archive charting changing social and political currents.”
Google Blog: Our new Quantum Virtual Machine will accelerate research and help people learn quantum computing. “At Google Quantum AI, we have a long history of making tools we build for our own research available to the public free of cost. Today we are adding the Quantum Virtual Machine to the list. The Quantum Virtual Machine (QVM) emulates the experience and results of programming one of the quantum computers in our lab, from circuit validation to processor infidelity.”
Daily Dot: Unfair Instagram moderation of women’s bodies highlighted in a new exhibit. “Getting your content—or worse—your profile removed from a social media platform without explanation or recourse is an alienating feeling that a growing number of people are experiencing. To reflect what it can mean for people’s community, mental health, and even livelihood, London-based creative agency RANKIN launched a project meant to re-platform hundreds of people whose content had been removed from spaces like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.”
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
VentureBeat: Twitch launches closed beta of its new Charity livestream tool. “Twitch announced it has launched the closed beta of its latest product: Twitch Charity. Through this new tool, creators can more easily run a charity fundraiser through Twitch’s platform. According to Twitch, this will simplify the process for the streamer for future charity streams.”
CNET: Google Begins Publicly Testing Its AR Glasses. “Google’s glasses are AR of a sort, relying on audio assistance that can use built-in cameras to recognize objects in an environment through AI, similar to how Google Lens can recognize objects and text with phone cameras. The glasses will not, however, be able to take photos or videos.”
Fast Company: Fad or frenzy, BeReal is having a real moment right now. “Online chatter about BeReal has been mixed, with some praising the app as a quaint throwback to the early internet and others claiming it doesn’t quite live up to its promise of authenticity. However, since it appears to be a hit with younger users, BeReal will inevitably stoke the curiosity of everyone else.” RB Firehose notes that I indexed a mention of BeReal in March, but the article isn’t accessible anymore, so let me point you at this WIRED overview from April.
SECURITY & LEGAL
The Verge: Internal documents show Facebook and Google discussing platform strategies. “New internal documents released Tuesday detail how three of Big Tech’s most prominent companies favored their own products as a means of stamping out competition. Their release comes as lawmakers push to approve stronger antitrust legislation by the end of the year.”
CNBC: Google will let Android developers use rival payments systems in Europe. “Google will let nongaming app developers use rival payments systems on its Android operating system for some European users, the company announced Tuesday. It’s a change that the company has resisted in the past and so far is not extending beyond Europe.”
TechCrunch: New documents reveal ‘huge’ scale of US government’s cell phone location data tracking. “It’s no secret that U.S. government agencies have been obtaining and using location data collected by Americans’ smartphones. In early 2020, a Wall Street Journal report revealed that both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bought access to millions of smartphone users’ location data to track undocumented immigrants and suspected tax dodgers. However, new documents obtained by the ACLU through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit now reveal the extent of this warrantless data collection.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
CBC: Researcher hopes trove of rare residential school photos can help identify missing children. “About 1,000 black-and-white photos from the early days of Canada’s residential school system have been discovered in the archives of a Roman Catholic order in Rome…. The [National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation] is hoping to identify as many of the children in the photos as possible by digitizing the images and sharing them with Indigenous communities.”
Nature: How to shrink AI’s ballooning carbon footprint. “As machine-learning experiments get more sophisticated, their carbon footprints are ballooning. Now, researchers have calculated the carbon cost of training a range of models at cloud-computing data centres in various locations1. Their findings could help researchers to reduce the emissions created by work that relies on artificial intelligence (AI).” Good morning, Internet…
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