From the US Embassy in Haiti: Haitian National Police (HNP) and U.S. Embassy Target Fake Facebook Pages Defrauding Visa Applicants. “In a joint effort between the HNP and the U.S. Embassy, Embassy staff worked with Facebook to remove three profiles that were impersonating the U.S. Embassy. The fraudulent profiles, which included ‘Ambassy usa in haiti’ and ‘Ambassade des Etats unis en Haiti port au prince,’ advertised fake visa programs. Applicants were directed to non-Embassy telephone numbers to reach people who pretended to be Embassy employees. These profiles were fraudulent and several dozen Haitian citizens lost hundreds of dollars each by transferring money to bank accounts in the scam, lured with the promise that their visas would be automatically approved for a training program or scholarship opportunity.”
3Ders.org: 3D scanning allows Dundee’s D’Arcy Thompson Museum to share virtual zoological collection online. “The D’Arcy Thompson Museum at Scotland’s University of Dundee has created a library of 3D models documenting its zoological collection. CT scanners and handheld structured light scanners were used to turn the originals into digital files, and the collection been accessed from more than 25 countries.”
WIRED: Wanna Protect Your Online Privacy? Open a Tab and Make Some Noise. “Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted to let internet service providers sell your browsing data on the open market. This decision angered a lot of people, including programmer Dan Schultz. After reading about the vote on Twitter at 1 AM, he turned off Zelda and coded this ghost currently opening tabs on my machine.”
Mashable: Snapchat wants you to submit ALL THE videos. “Snapchat wants you to watch more Stories, so it’s making them easier to discover. The app on Friday released the ability (in specific cities) to search for Stories with the nifty search bar they introduced to the top of the main screen back in January.”
Saturday fun from News18: Google Brings Pacman on Google Maps on April Fool’s Day. “Just like every year, Google has got in store a peppy present for its users for April 1. The ‘April Fool’ gimmick that Google releases every year has found its way to the Google Maps yet again.”
TechCrunch: Nuzzel launches a ‘Newswire’ for sponsored content. “For the first time, news aggregator Nuzzel will include advertising. That doesn’t mean you’re going to see banner ads popping up all over the startup’s app and website. Instead, the Nuzzel Newswire consists of sponsored links in Nuzzel’s email newsletter, pointing to a blog post, press release or news article of the advertiser’s choosing.”
New York Times: A Quick Guide to Backing Up Your Critical Data. “As headlines about hacking and cybertheft remind us daily, our personal devices are vulnerable. The good news is that setting up a system to keep your files backed up automatically is easy. Spending a little time today could save you a lot of trouble in the future. Here’s a quick guide to the basics, with tips from our partners at The Wirecutter, the product review website, and J. D. Biersdorfer, who writes the Tech Tip features for The New York Times.”
From the National Museums of Kenya: National Museums of Kenya Launches Key Initiative With Amazon Web Services and Intel to Digitize Premier Collections in Earth Sciences. (Link is to a PDF.) “The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) today announced a long-term strategic initiative, teamed with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Intel, to digitize marquee collections in Earth Sciences, starting with Archeology and Paleontology. The first phase of the proposed project will involve digitization of a selected number of Kenya’s premier fossils and culturally significant artifacts, the creation of an open access digital database, and an interactive website (‘virtual museum’). The platform will be hosted on the AWS Cloud. Digital Divide Data (DDD), a non-profit enterprise with expertise in digitization of cultural heritage collections will partner with NMK on this initiative.” The fascinating thing to me is that this is a collaboration with Amazon — not Google..
BBC: Earliest editions of Radio Times magazines now available online. “For the first time, we are now releasing the complete 1920s magazines online to the public, as part of the BBC Genome Project. The BBC has in the last few years used the scanned and processed listings from the issues of Radio Times from 1923 to 2009 to create the BBC Genome database. This database containing more than five million programme listings is available to the world community. It is intended to become a comprehensive record of all BBC programmes, but it is not yet complete.” Many thanks to Ruth O’L for the tip!
MIT Technology Review: Baidu’s Plan for Artificial Intelligence without Andrew Ng. “When Andrew Ng, one of the world’s leading thinkers on artificial intelligence, announced he would be stepping down from his position as chief scientist at Chinese search giant Baidu, the company’s stock dropped nearly 3 percent in just a few hours. It was a reflection not only of Ng’s prominence and fame, but also of the importance investors have placed on the search giant’s focus on AI. The technology has become a key element of the company’s strategy, and Ng’s departure comes at a time when Baidu is determined to double down on its AI efforts.”
The Next Web: YouTube calls on the crowd to translate video titles. “Bilingual viewers can now help their favorite YouTube video stars by translating video titles and descriptions into other languages. With this update, the platform aims to create a more inclusive global audience. With viewers who speak a total of 76 languages, it’s easy for content to be lost in translation.”
The Drum: YouTube content creators could see ad revenues fall as Google imposes new controls. “Some YouTube content creators have voiced upset after observing a discernable decline in their advertising revenues following the imposition of more stringent controls by Google to calm advertisers disquiet over their association with extremist content.”
TechCrunch: The new algorithms enabling Facebook’s data fixation. “Two billion photos find their way onto Facebook’s family of apps every single day and the company is racing to understand them and their moving counterparts with the hope of increasing engagement. And while machine learning is undoubtedly the map to the treasure, Facebook and its competitors are still trying to work out how to deal with the spoils once they find them.”
Now available: a digital archive of The Michigan Daily, student newspaper at the University of Michigan. “The digitization has been a collaboration between the Bentley, The Michigan Daily and the U-M Library. The digital archive contains every extant issue of The Michigan Daily, from its founding in 1891 to 2015—including more than 300 volumes from 23,000 issues.”
The Financial Diet: The Ugly Truth Behind Why I Quit Being A Social Media Influencer. “Before I first launched my blog in 2011, I remember being awestruck by the people on my feed leading these lavish, globe-trotting lifestyles. Even the younger crowd had an air of whimsical privilege, like they were extras in Gossip Girl as opposed to real-life students. I didn’t start blogging with the intention of making a paycheck from it, but when the opportunity came, I took it. After four years of blogging about politics, New Year’s resolutions, relationships, and whatever else I deemed to be worthwhile, I had a large enough readership to qualify as an ‘influencer.’ At the time, I just thought it was easy money, and the occasional free lipstick. What my 18-year-old self didn’t know, and what my 20-year-old self knows now, is that the world of sponsored content is its own realm of insanity that should come with neon caution tape.”