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Can PowerPoint speak aloud & read the text in my slideshows?

PCWorld: “Can PowerPoint speak aloud and read the text in my slideshows? Yes, it can. Using the Speak command, also known as the Text to Speech (TTS) feature, PowerPoint can read the text in your slideshows and in your notes out loud. Be advised, however, that there is not a pause and continue feature with Speak. This is available only with the Read Aloud command, which is available in Word and Outlook, but not yet in PowerPoint or Excel…”

Internet Privacy – Additional Federal Authority Could Enhance Consumer Protection and Provide Flexibility

Internet Privacy: Additional Federal Authority Could Enhance Consumer Protection and Provide Flexibility GAO-19-52: Published: Jan 15, 2019. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 2019. “In April 2018, Facebook said that up to 87 million users’ personal data may have been improperly disclosed. This was one of many recent Internet privacy incidents. We found that there is no… Continue Reading

Whale falls – studying how decaying carcasses may become deep sea biodiversity generators

The New Yorker – “…Whale falls, as marine biologists call such events, create pop-up habitats that may serve as stepping stones for organisms migrating from methane seeps or hydrothermal vents to other parts of the ocean. Precisely how this works, and which species colonize the carcass as it degrades, were open questions…In the late two-thousands,… Continue Reading

Study – Password Managers: Under the Hood of Secrets Management

Independent Security Evaluators: “Password managers allow the storage and retrieval of sensitive information from an encrypted database. Users rely on them to provide better security guarantees against trivial exfiltration than alternative ways of storing passwords, such as an unsecured flat text file. In this paper we propose security guarantees password managers should offer and examine… Continue Reading

The Decline of Computers As a General Purpose Technology

Thompson, Neil and Spanuth, Svenja, The Decline of Computers As a General Purpose Technology: Why Deep Learning and the End of Moore’s Law are Fragmenting Computing (November 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3287769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3287769 “It is a triumph of technology and of economics that our computer chips are so universal. Countless applications are only… Continue Reading

Google – Fighting disinformation across our products

Google Blog: “Providing useful and trusted information at the scale that the Internet has reached is enormously complex and an important responsibility. Adding to that complexity, over the last several years we’ve seen organized campaigns use online platforms to deliberately spread false or misleading information. We have twenty years of experience in these information challenges… Continue Reading

A Look at Past and Future Climate Change in Less Than a Minute

Yale Environment 360: “Two new videos visualize how drastically global temperatures have changed since 1900 — and how much worse they will get by the end of this century. The data visualizations, created by Antti Lipponen, a research scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, depict 200 years of climate change in each of the world’s… Continue Reading

Dirty Data, Bad Predictions: How Civil Rights Violations Impact Police Data, Predictive Policing Systems, and Justice

Richardson, Rashida and Schultz, Jason and Crawford, Kate, Dirty Data, Bad Predictions: How Civil Rights Violations Impact Police Data, Predictive Policing Systems, and Justice (February 13, 2019). New York University Law Review Online, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN in PDF: “Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using algorithmic predictive policing systems to forecast criminal activity and allocate… Continue Reading

How badly is Google Books search broken, and why?

Via Sapping Attention blog: “I periodically write about Google Books here, so I thought I’d point out something that I’ve noticed recently that should be concerning to anyone accustomed to treating it as the largest collection of books: it appears that when you use a year constraint on book search, the search index has dramatically… Continue Reading

DeepFakes – how will AI impact our next election?

Axios: “Researchers have broadened the controversial technology called “deepfakes” — AI-generated media that experts fear could roil coming elections by convincingly depicting people saying or doing things they never did, Axios’ Kaveh Waddell reports. A new computer program, created at the San Francisco-based OpenAI lab, is the latest front in deepfakes, producing remarkably human-sounding prose that… Continue Reading

Google Translate is a manifestation of Wittgenstein’s theory of language

Quartz: “More than 60 years after philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s theories on language were published, the artificial intelligence behind Google Translate has provided a practical example of his hypotheses. Patrick Hebron, who works on machine learning in design at Adobe and studied philosophy with Wittgenstein expert Garry Hagberg for his bachelor’s degree at Bard College, notes… Continue Reading

Thousands of scientists run up against Elsevier’s paywall

Nautre – Researchers have been left without access to new papers as libraries and the major publisher fail to agree on subscription deals. “Researchers at German institutions that have let their Elsevier subscriptions lapse while negotiating a new deal are hitting the paywall for the publisher’s most recent articles around 10,000 times a day, according… Continue Reading