SIGGRAPH 2020 now has an Open Access page. SIGGRAPH is the place were practical cutting-edge developments in 3D and other computer graphics techniques are presented, along with related items on computer vision and similar. They’ve also usefully collected and organised links to open material from past conferences, back to 2015.
This is interesting. For once, DuckDuckGo’s “last week” search is now better than Google Search’s “last week” search. I have the same URL blocklist running on both, so there’s no difference there. But having run a regular search on Google, I found myself going through the exact same with the Duck and saying… “why did Google Search not get that, and that, and that…” And most of that was currently-dated blog or magazine posts, so there was no sense of items being dredged from the past and presented as if new. Of course, it could be a simple mis-match in terms of timeliness, and I just caught Google in a late-August “techies have gone to the beach” slacker mode. But I suspect not.
Podcatr.com bills itself as “the podcast directory powered by machine learning”.
It’s new to me. A few tests shows it’s pretty good as a categorisation and discovery tool for podcast shows. Better, in terms of relevance, than the increasingly screwy Listen Notes. The latter has now gone from only allowing four pages of search results before accusing the hapless user of trying to pirate ‘their’ listings, to now allowing no public results at all for either ‘Episodes’ or ‘Podcasts’ — unless you’re logged in…
Podcatr on the other hand is public and it makes a useful choice in how it presents results within the topic categories for shows. The shows are “sorted exclusively by freshness”. Thus rewarding timeliness rather than popularity. This feature seems to work best if you feed Podcatr’s search-box something more specific than a single keyword, e.g. “H.P. Lovecraft” rather than just Lovecraft. In effect it’s a sort of subtle “what’s new” that you might drop in on every few weeks, just to keep in touch with who’s covering a topic. Thus potentially enabling you to back off from the ‘firehose effect’ of taking a daily look at everything new for a keyword at the episode level, in date order, just in case something is missed.
I’m happy to report success with testing a gig on Fiverr that offers to Download an entire website from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. I put in a test order for a site archived in late 2015, a technical forum for some graphics production software. The forum had abruptly vanished on being sold to a larger business.
While it is possible to do what Joseph is offering for free, the only options appear to be Linux, command-line, or a couple of subscription/paid Cloud services. For a mere $6 it thus seemed worth finding out what Joseph could do.
He delivered a 310mb .zip containing 1.1Gb of archive from a given date. It was a script-driven .PHP forum site, but that caused no fuss. I didn’t expect him to re-work links to make a working site again, for that reason. Though apparently he can do that, on simpler HTML sites.
On my desktop PC dtSearch then indexed all text in the extracted files, regardless of file-type, and thus enabled keyword-search across the archive. If you need freeware on that point, then DocFetcher is a good free equivalent to the paid dtSearch.
Two new reports this week…
The Association of Research Libraries has Future Themes and Forecasts for Research Libraries and Emerging Technologies (PDF).
So, the new Facebook design arrives. Until FBPurity and others fix their scripts, the browser add-on Ublock Origin’s selector pipette is your friend…
The other icon indicated is how you access the blocklist. After 40 minutes blocking bits with this pipette, all I now need is a UserScript to auto-open the stupid “See more…” content-blocking buttons.
But Facebook has recently also changed the URL for the ‘news feed’ from Pages. This handy feed came to a Page curator from all the other Pages they have “Liked” as their business, minus the verbose or spammy ones that you threw out after a week.
The feed is still there, but now on a new URL and there’s no re-direct. Here’s the fixed URL for your Page news feed…
NOW WORKING: https://www.facebook.com/YOUR_PAGE_NAME/news_feed
Regrettably it won’t be actually usable until we have FBPurity back again, to remove all the irrelevant posts from “Suggested pages”. In FBpurity, “Suggested for you” in Pages feeds should be hidden by ticking this box…
… but this is not currently stopping the spam. (Update: one of the problems here was the that Opera was blocking an auto-update to the latest FBPurity).
New on Archive.org, a nicely revamped scrub/zoom line, now looking much smarter. It also has an additional icon to launch a read-aloud voice, which starts from the top of the current page, visually highlighting the block of text currently being read. The voice does a fairly good job, about as good as TTS gets at present without some dedicated voice-AI chip on your PC motherboard. There currently seems to be no option to choose your own TTS voice, though you can slow it or speed it up.
Fancy creating your own personal Wayback Machine (Archive.org)? WebSatchel is a free add-on for Chrome-based Web browsers. When you bookmark in your Web browser… “it creates a full copy of the webpage” on the WebSatchel Cloud service.
Users only get 1Gb storage for free, though. A test-save to PDF, of a fairly regular front-page of a robust blog, weighed in at 2.5Mb. So, at a guess, the free 1Gb might let you save around 350 pages. Pages are indexed in full-text (“every word on a page”) and made keyword-searchable for the user. Making it perhaps useful for a fairly small time-limited research project. I don’t know how easy it might be to “delete and start over” on a new project, or if your 1Gb can only be filled up once.
An additional search option, for searching stable sites as part of a small time-limited project, would be to create a Google CSE. A CSE would give you a wider and perhaps more serendipitous “catch”, and give your search Google’s leading relevancy-ranking. However, so far as I’m aware, there is no one-click bookmarking-like way to add a new site into a Google CSE. Perhaps there should be.