Vintage Internet Archive Software, Science Communication in Africa, Video Content Strategy, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 20, 2022


Motherboard: New Tool Lets You Search Tons of Old CDs and Floppy Disks for Lost Media. “DiscMaster is a new website that is sifting through the CDs and floppy disks in the Internet Archive and making it all into a searchable database. Even more incredibly, it’s taking all of the old file formats and making them viewable in a browser. As of this writing, the archive represents more than 7,000 CDs and 11 million files.”

EurekAlert: New book to help improve science communication in Africa is now available. “Script’s new book aimed at helping to improve the communication of science in Africa has now been published. The book is available for free electronically and to buy in paperback in the CABI Digital Library. ‘Science Communication Skills for Journalists: A Resource Book for Universities in Africa,’ is edited and authored by Dr Charles Wendo.”


Social Media Examiner: Video Content Strategy: How to Get Started. “Wondering how to produce effective video content for Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and beyond? Looking for a better plan? In this article, you’ll discover how to create a video content strategy to serve marketing goals.”


KQED: This Bot Posts Rejected License Plates and It’s Amazing. “Each… post includes the applicant’s stated explanation for their license plate, the DMV’s concerns, the decision to accept or deny, and a rendering of the plate itself. If this sounds like boring government bureaucracy, may I direct you to drivers’ valiant, creative or altogether stupid attempts at deceiving the almighty DMV censors.”

Washington State University: TikTok teaching increases professor’s educational impact. “Christopher Clarke loves putting animations of his disembodied head (and impressive beard) above images of charts and data. Clarke, an assistant professor in Washington State University’s School of Economic Sciences, makes TikTok videos that explain real-world issues to lay audiences through an economic lens.”

Observer: A Legendary Erotic Archive Has Been Out of Public View For Decades. We Found It.. “Not long ago, I rolled up to the dead end of an industrial strip with a clinical sexologist named Laurie Bennett-Cook and an information-studies Ph.D. candidate named Bri Watson. Just inside a combination-controlled rolling gate, past a loudly barking dog, loomed rows of storage lockers. Bennett-Cook, 53, was letting Watson and me see some of what remained of her graduate alma mater: a colorfully unorthodox, defiantly unaccredited, for-profit graduate school in San Francisco called the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality.”


FBI: FBI Warns Public to Beware of Tech Support Scammers Targeting Financial Accounts Using Remote Desktop Software. “The Boston Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning that as tech support fraud evolves, the number of people falling victim to the crime is on the rise, and so are financial losses. Investigators are seeing an emerging trend in which tech support scammers are convincing victims that their financial accounts have been compromised and their funds need to be moved so the fraudsters can gain control over the victims’ computers and finances.”

Washington Post: Chinese hackers are scanning state political party headquarters, FBI says. “Chinese government hackers are scanning U.S. political party domains ahead of next month’s midterm elections, looking for vulnerable systems as a potential precursor to hacking operations, and the FBI is making a big push to alert potential victims to batten down the hatches.”


BBC: Google Lamda: A glimpse at the ultra-realistic chat tech. “Google has launched a UK version of an app that lets users interact with the artificial-intelligence system one of its engineers has claimed is sentient. It is a very limited trial, with just three scenarios to choose from. And while Google wants feedback about how its Language Model for Dialogue Applications (Lamda) performs, the app users cannot teach it any new tricks.”

Popular Science: Why Google taught robots to play ping pong. “Yesterday, Google Research unveiled two new projects it’s been working on with a table tennis-playing robot. The Robotics team at Google taught a robot arm to play 300+ shot rallies with other people and return serves with the precision of ‘amateur humans.’ While this might not sound that impressive given how bad some people are at table tennis, the same techniques could be used to train robots to perform other ‘dynamic, high acceleration tasks’ that require close human-robot interaction.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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