Mexican-American Music, 3D Paleontology Models, AI Book Recommendations, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, October 24, 2022


Mercury News: Arhoolie Records’ revered Mexican music collection is now online. “[Chris] Strachwitz ended up compiling the Frontera Collection, the world’s largest private archive of Mexican and Mexican-American music. Last February, after two decades of work, Juan Antonio Cuellar digitized the collection’s final track, for a total of 162,860 songs. A former chef and member of a punk rock en español band, he started working on the project with no idea it would turn into his new calling.”

New-to-Me, from Duke University: How a Digital Repository Is Democratizing Science From a Duke Basement. “[MorphoSource] currently houses scans of over 53,000 biological, paleontological and archeological specimens from over 1,000 museum collections located in all six inhabited continents. Researchers can upload and download CT scans, 3D models, photos, X-rays and a variety of other file types. Data has been contributed or downloaded by over 17,000 researchers, students, teachers and artists all over the world.”

BusinessWire: First Individualized Book Discovery App Powered by Artificial Intelligence Now Available (PRESS RELEASE). “Flip is fully user-centric; users tell Flip what they are enjoying reading and interested in reading, regardless of genre or category, and Flip provides book titles that match their nuanced interests, without retaining or selling user-specific data.” I haven’t tried it. Have you?


Ars Technica: YouTube’s latest revenue grab: A 27 percent price increase for family plans. “Not content with doing $28.8 billion in revenue in 2021, YouTube has recently gone on the hunt for more revenue-generating strategies. So far, we’ve seen canceled experiments like saddling videos with up to 10 unskippable pre-roll ads and charging for 4K content. Now, the Google division has announced a price hike for YouTube Premium family plans.”


WIRED: How to Extract the Text From Any Image. “THERE ARE PLENTY of reasons why you might want to pull the text out of an image you find online: instructions on a YouTube still, for example, or items on a printed menu, or inspirational quotes in your Instagram feed. Whatever the reason, there are text extraction tools that will do the job of recognizing and copying the words inside those images for you. As image identification techniques improve, these tools are getting better and better at accurately converting text in an image into usable, editable text.”

CogDogBlog: Bookmarklet to find Edyth and Friends in the Flickr Commons. “What does my search bookmarklet do? By definition, you access it any time you need it. Use the button on the left for a keyword search or select text from a random list on the right to try that method. If you are gobsmacked, you can then install it by dragging the link for the Big Button at the bottom of your page to your browser bookmarklets bar. Bing! There’s a new tool at your reach.”


Jiji Press: Japan to Create Disaster Debris Database to Improve Estimates. “Japan’s Environment Ministry plans to create a disaster debris database by the end of fiscal 2022, with a view to improving estimates about the volume of debris caused by typhoons and other natural disasters. The database will cover about 1,500 cases since 2000 in which local governments applied for subsidies for handling disaster debris.”


Reuters: AI can’t hold patents to U.S. inventions (for now). “Three years ago, Stephen Thaler filed two patent applications naming a single inventor, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), following Director review, found the applications to be incomplete for lacking a valid inventor on the ground that a machine cannot be an inventor. Thaler appealed the USPTO’s final decisions to the District Court, which similarly concluded that an ‘inventor’ must be a natural person. Thaler then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, with the sole issue being whether AI qualifies as an ‘inventor’ under U.S. patent law.

Associated Press: French police probe multiple cuts of major internet cables. “French police said Friday they’re investigating multiple cuts to fiber-optic cables in France’s second-largest city. Operators said the cables link Marseille to other cities in France and Europe and that internet and phone services were severely disrupted.”


University of Western Australia: Race against time to find Indigenous boab bark art. “Researchers are working with a group of First Nations Australians in some of the roughest terrain on Earth to document ancient art in the bark of boab trees. Carvings in the boab trees tell the stories of the king brown snake (or Lingka) Dreaming in a remote area of the Tanami Desert, which straddles the border of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.”

The Mainichi: Nara researchers turn to crowdfunding to create old monument deciphering app. “Researchers here are collecting money via crowdfunding to develop a smartphone app that lets anyone decipher writing on old stone monuments. The crowdfunding initiative launched by the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and other bodies on Oct. 5 has already collected its initial goal of 3.8 million yen (roughly $25,000) and is now aiming for 5 million yen ($33,000).”


CNET: World’s Oldest Known Map of Stars Found Hiding in Medieval Manuscript. “More than 2,100 years ago, Greek astronomer Hipparchus mapped out the stars — and for a long time, this had been considered humanity’s earliest attempt to assign numerical coordinates to stellar bodies. But despite its fame, the treatise was only known to exist through writings of another well-known astronomer named Claudius Ptolemy, who compiled his own celestial inventory some 400 years later. Until now, that is.” Good morning, Internet…

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