Facebook’s Image-Recognition AI and the Mirror Selfie

Facebook is trying to figure out mirror selfies. I hope it also figures out “stolen pictures used in spoof accounts,” too. “Solving the mirror selfie problem is one of the most important questions left when it comes to machine vision: Image recognition software can now fairly reliably describe what it’s seeing, but it lacks the cultural knowledge or reasoning skills to put it into context.”

World War I Arial Photography Collection Found: 1000+ Images Will Be Digitized, Put Online

In development: a digital archive of World War I aerial photography (which you do not read about every day!) “More than 1,000 amazing photographs of the First World War German trenches in France have been discovered. The aerial images date back 99 years … They are also very detailed – featuring a record of date, time, location and who took the pictures – and experts will now spend months putting them in an online archive.” I read about this right after I read a story about a large cache of historical photos being found at the Teesdale Mercury. A very good day for UK history!

Toyota To Purchase Boston Dynamics?

Looks like Toyota is going to buy Google-owned robot maker Boston Dynamics. (Read the whole article for some very interesting background.) “Tensions between Google and Boston Dynamics have been brewing since 2014, but a video released by Boston Dynamics in February of its humanoid robot, Atlas, was the tipping point for the separation, according to a Bloomberg article written in March. At the time, Bloomberg reported that Amazon and the Toyota Research Institute were possible acquirers of Boston Dynamics.”

France: We Will Not Cut a Deal on Taxes

Lawyer up (or possibly more up) Google: France is not making a deal on taxes. “France will ‘go all the way’ to ensure that multinationals operating on its soil pay their taxes and more cases could follow after Google and McDonald’s were targeted by tax raids, Finance Minister Michel Sapin said. Sapin, speaking in an interview with Reuters and three European newspapers, ruled out negotiating any deal with Google on back taxes, as Britain did in January.”

Ghana’s Inspector General of Police: You Cannot Stop Me From Blocking Social Media

I hope someone with more time than I have is tracking all the incidents of national governments either blocking or threatening to block social media access for their citizens. The latest? Ghana. “The Inspector General of Police John Kudalor has maintain his position that the police may block social media on election day. Responding to critics in an interview with Accra based Class FM, a defiant Kudalor said he made his comments from a security point of view, adding that no one can stop him if he wants to [block social media].”

Microsoft’s Sneaky 10 Tactics Pushing Some Users to Turn Off Updates Entirely

Microsoft’s boneheaded handling of its Windows 10 updates is pushing people into bad security decisions. “Ironically, improved security is one of Windows 10’s selling points. But by pushing it on users in such a heavy-handed way, Microsoft is encouraging users who have very valid reasons to stick with Windows 7/8 to perform actions that leave their machines open to attack. That’s bad. Very bad.”

Hurdles in Digitally-Archiving Formerly Underground, “Taboo” Topics

Over at the Boston Globe, Daniel A. Gross writes about the difficulty of building online archives for formerly underground or “taboo” topics. “Already, the Digital Transgender Archive has illuminated some of the unique challenges facing researchers who want to document something that has long been so misunderstood and taboo. It also raises questions about how to accurately document a history that’s often filled with anonymity and pseudonyms.”

Concerns Over the Survival of PacLII

The Australian archives crisis continues: there are concerns over the survival of the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute. “The Institute, also known as PacLII, is based at the University of the South Pacific, where collects and publishes legal material from 20 Pacific countries on its open-access website. But concern has been raised among the region’s journalists and academics that the Australian government will cut funding for the service, something the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, denies.”

Google Photos: Now We Are One

Google Photos is celebrating its first birthday and I still miss Picasa. “Now 200 million of you are using Google Photos each month. We’ve delivered more than 1.6 billion animations, collages and movies, among other things. You’ve collectively freed up 13.7 petabytes of storage on your devices—it would take 424 years to swipe through that many photos! We’ve also applied 2 trillion labels, and 24 billion of those have been for … selfies.”

“Hacks” For the Rumsey Map Collection

Stace Maples has started a series of blog posts on best use hacks for the David Rumsey map collection. “Over the next few weeks I will post a series of brief step-by-step “how-to” tutorials on making use of digital resources from the David Rumsey Map Center and Collection.” Looking forward to reading this!

Paulding, Ohio Library Digitizes Its Yearbook Collection

The Paulding County Carnegie Library (Ohio) has digitized its yearbook collection. 34 CDs worth, with eventual plans to put them online. “The PCCL Digitized Yearbook Collection represents the following schools and years: St. John the Baptist Catholic (2001-2008); Blue Creek (1953-1971); Haviland-Scott (1940-1952); Latty (1942-1952); Grover Hill (1945-1969); Wayne Trace (1972-1977, 1981-2004, 2014); Wayne Trace Jr. High (1975, 1977); Paulding Middle School (1977, 1978, 1979); Emerald Center School (1954); Paulding Elementary (1974, 1975, 1976); Oakwood (1928-1971); Paulding High School (1916-2008 [the yearbook was not always published during the WWII years]); Antwerp High School (1937-2012, 2014).”