A pointed and realistic viewpoint on the state of journalism today.
One of my responsibilities as Research & Strategy Librarian at Calgary Economic Development is fact-checking data points and verifying statements. At times I have explained (repeatedly) why specific information can or cannot be used. Statements in the media or elsewhere are often misleading and taken out of context to suit specific purposes including marketing, messaging and promotion. Using critical judgement, objective analysis and interpretation of data, reviewing methodology and investigating sources are essential and routine activities when sourcing information. I have developed a categorized inventory of verified statements and data points for staff to use when creating content and marketing collateral. The inventory is updated on an ongoing basis. I am available on request to fact-check any content before publication, ensuring all statements are verified and sourced. I highly recommend all organizations develop such a resource.
True story: The Government of Alberta recently issued a news release with an incorrect statement and source for an important factual statement about the provincial film industry. I contacted the media representative twice to request a change to the statement and the source. Thankfully, the news release has now been revised. How do I know the statement source was incorrect??? My organization is the source…and I completed the analysis to develop the statement. Lesson learned: Consider the source.
This great How to Spot Fake News infographic from IFLA outlines the questions we should be asking when viewing media. Be critical!
Cool but confusing…would this then be called anti-tomecide or reverse tomecide?
The Jan van Eyck Academie, a “multiform institute for fine art, design and reflection” in Holland, has come up with a novel way of presenting Ray Bradbury’s 1953 work of dystopian fiction, Fahrenheit 451.
On Instagram, they write: This week our colleagues from Super Terrain are working in the Lab as a last stop on their all-over-Europe printing adventures. They showed us this remarkable book they made “Fahrenheit 451”. —
Want to see how the novel unfolds? Just add heat. That’s the idea.
MORE: To Read This Experimental Edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, You’ll Need to Add Heat to the Pages | Open Culture
The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) recently concluded its 110th Annual Meeting and Conference. From the outset, it was abundantly clear that the organization’s members, consisting primarily of legal sector library, research, and knowledge services professionals, are more than ready to make themselves heard. Outside in their communities, within the legal services sector, and inside their own organizations, they are making a difference in a multitude of ways.
READ MORE: Quiet No Longer: Law Librarians ‘Forgo the Status Quo’ | Law.com
Google’s Pixel 2 event in San Francisco on Wednesday had a lot of stuff to show off and most of it was more of the same…But tucked into the tail end of the presentation, Google quietly revealed that it had changed the world with a pair of wireless headphones. Not to be outdone by Apple’s Air Pods and their wirelessly-charging TicTac storage case, Google packed its headphones with the power to translate between 40 languages, literally in real-time. The company has finally done what science fiction and countless Kickstarters have been promising us, but failing to deliver on, for years. This technology could fundamentally change how we communicate across the global community.
Google’s Pixel Buds translation will change the world | engadget
One of the most popular buzzwords in library-land at the moment is ‘curation’. It’s used to describe anything from old-fashioned collection development to human filtering activities on social media like Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. The word ‘curator’ gets used too liberally to describe the stuff people do on the web and, in my humble option, dilutes and pollutes the professional things that librarians do.
Librarians are so much more than assemblers of information, but let’s begin a discussion in this column about the difference between ‘curation’ and the activities performed by librarians. Is there really any way what someone does on Facebook is remotely like the work product of information professionals in special libraries? READ MORE: Curation: Buzzword or What? | Lucidea
More recent update from Arstechnica: So much for that Voynich manuscript “solution” | Ars Technica Librarians would have “rebutted it in a heartbeat,” says medieval scholar. Unfortunately, say experts, his analysis was a mix of stuff we already knew and stuff he couldn’t possibly prove.
The mysterious Voynich manuscript has finally been decoded | Ars Technica
Since its discovery in 1969, the 15th century Voynich Manuscript has been a mystery and a cult phenomenon. Full of handwriting in an unknown language or code, the book is heavily illustrated with weird pictures of alien plants, naked women, strange objects, and zodiac symbols. Now, history researcher and television writer Nicholas Gibbs appears to have cracked the code, discovering that the book is actually a guide to women’s health that’s mostly plagiarized from other guides of the era.
Disney researchers have been coming up with some striking new technology lately, including a method for real-time speech animation, shared augmented reality and some creepy face-projection tech for live performances. Now, researchers at Disney and the University of Massachusetts Boston have been working on neural networks that can evaluate short stories.
Source: Disney Research taught AI how to judge short stories | engadget
Ethan and Hila Klein, the husband-and-wife team behind the popular H3H3 YouTube channel, appear to have won their legal battle against Matt Hosseinzadeh, a.k.a. Matt Hoss. A New York judge today issued a summary judgement in favor of the Kleins.
Hosseinzadeh’s initial suit focused less on the criticism per se, and instead alleged that the Kleins had infringed his copyright by featuring clips of one of his videos in their criticism.
The Kleins defended their use of the footage as fair use, and another YouTube creator, Philip DeFranco, raised more than $170,000 for their legal defense — DeFranco wrote, “If they are bullied and drained of funds because of this ridiculous lawsuit and/or they lose this case it could set a terrible precedent for other creators.”
Ethan Klein offered a similar sentiment in a tweet today describing the outcome as a “huge victory for fair use on YouTube.”
Source: Judge sides with YouTubers Ethan and Hila Klein in copyright lawsuit | TechCrunch
Fears that computers were taking over swept the world this week when stories emerged about Facebook’s AI creating its own language that researchers couldn’t understand. But they might be a little misplaced.
Artificial intelligence experts have looked to calm worries that robots are becoming sentient or that we are living through the prelude to Terminator. The messages might seem strange, they agree. But they are explicable and fairly normal in the world of artificial intelligence research. READ MORE: Facebook’s artificial intelligence agents creating their own language is more normal than people think, researchers say | The Independent
I’m for fortune cookies and I save my fortunes. Its more about intention for me than belief. This post has made me glad I saved my fortunes, I only wish I had played the lottery more often with my numbers.
“You may be disappointed if you fail. But you are doomed if you don’t try.” READ MORE: We Analyzed 1,000 Fortune Cookies To Unlock Their Secrets | FiveThirtyEight