9to5 Google: Pocket Casts goes free with existing features included, adds ‘Plus’ subscription. “The podcasting industry is booming with heavy investment from large players like Google, Apple, and Spotify. NPR and a public radio consortium last year acquired Pocket Casts to offer its own experience and already released a major update in March with version 7.0. Today, Pocket Casts is going free and adding a ‘Plus’ subscription.” Pocket Casts has been my go-to podcasts app for years and I can’t recommend it enough. I cheerfully paid $3.99 a month and suspect I will cheerfully pay the $10 a year for easily-accessible storage of audio files.
CNET: Tonic app wants to show you to the unexplored, nontoxic corners of the internet again . “Tonic is a new app with a radical approach to recommendations personalized for you: It doesn’t want to know who you are, make money off your interests, or hook you on using its app more and more. Instead, Tonic wants to recommend you five and only five things every day, like an article or photo essay.”
Motherboard: Climate Change Could Erase Human History. These Archivists Are Trying to Save It. “Climate change making the word hotter, more humid, and more stormy—all conditions that put sensitive paper archives at risk. This problem is forcing us to ask, which histories will we choose to remember?”
Esquire Middle East: The Zay Initiative: the digital archive built to preserve Arab heritage. “… few of us rarely take the time to appreciate and understanding of how our aesthetic choices actual impact and reflect the culture that surrounds us – and, before we know it, we’re on to the next thing. Hoping to preserve this element of Arab culture is The Zay Initiative. Launching this month, the unique, non-profit organization is dedicated to the preservation of Arab heritage through the documentation and conservation of traditional clothing from the MENA region.”
It’s Nice That: The Museum of Youth Culture opens up vast digital archive, via Google Arts & Culture. “Today the Museum of Youth Culture launches a major partnership with Google Arts & Culture, which will allow people to explore its vast archive of material online for the first time. Founded in 1997 by Jon Swinstead, co-founder of 90s fashion title Sleazenation, the non-profit collects images, videos, flyers and other ephemera that encapsulate youth culture in London and the UK.”
Phys .org: Team uses machine learning to help tell which wildfires will burn out of control. “An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the University of California, Irvine has developed a new technique for predicting the final size of a wildfire from the moment of ignition. Built around a machine learning algorithm, the model can help in forecasting whether a blaze is going to be small, medium or large by the time it has run its course—knowledge useful to those in charge of allocating scarce firefighting resources.”
Google Blog: New voices for your Google Assistant in nine countries. “You can already choose between 11 English voices here in the U.S. (including John Legend), and today, we’re launching a new voice in nine more languages: German, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Italian, Korean, Japanese, English in the U.K. or English in India.”