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Fun Size for 12/1/23: Time-saving video transcript hacks

Let’s cut to the chase 

Millions turn to YouTube every day to find out how to fix things, make things or solve things. But watching a 20-minute tutorial for the one minute that you actually need can feel like a waste of time. If only there were a transcript of the video you could scan. Lifehacker has a couple of tricks for getting transcripts off YouTube without having to watch the whole video.

Equal play for equal pay 

Under just-passed rules, the FCC can now fine telecom companies that practice “digital discrimination” against customers. Digital discrimination refers to slower broadband service in lower income communities, even when they are paying the same as customers with faster service. The new rules are specifically designed to address correlations between household income, race and internet speed, The Verge reports.

The baleful bride 

Sometimes a look can speak volumes, such as the glowering face of a 19th century fiancée now inspiring memes and videos on TikTok. Long-dead French artist Toulmouche has found a new fan base of women who identify with the bride, who is clearly not pleased with her lot, says the New York Times.

In 100 yards, turn wrong  

Drivers seem to be putting more faith in Google than in city street signs, at least on a street in Ottawa, Ontario. Over a dozen times a day, Emily Robinson sees vehicles going the wrong way down her one-way street by following Google directions. Attempts to get the mistake corrected by Google have fallen on deaf ears, she told the CBC. “It’s like talking to a robot,” she said. Like those drivers on autopilot.

Make your data tell a story 

Data scientists looking for new ways to communicate their research might want to check out a new online offering from UC Santa Cruz. The school is offering a free five-week course on Data-Driven Animation for Science Communication. According to the prospectus, students will create a scientific animation that tells a story with data to better communicate scientific results. Along the way they learn programming, science writing, and technical animation skills.

Music of the spheres 

Speaking of using data creatively, NASA has collaborated with composer Sofie Kastner to convert data from its Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer telescopes into music that humans can play. In the data sonification process, computers use algorithms to mathematically map the digital data from these telescopes to sounds that humans can perceive. Kastner then turns them into a score. The results are performed by classical musicians.

Bed and breakfast and books galore 

Book lovers may have found their dream vacation home in the Gladstone Library, the only residential library in the British Isles, according to the BBC. Back in 1889, prime minister William Gladstone created a place where scholars could not only consult and study in his 20,000 book library, but actually sleep next door. Today, the library welcomes paying guests who can browse to their heart's content and then go to bed with a good book.

Bard lets teens on board 

Until last month, teens had been barred from using Bard, Google’s ChatGPT. The reason given, per Mashable, was that the company wanted to make sure all safety measures had been implemented before the youngsters could hop on the AI train. In mid-November, Bard Teen was rolled out to teens eligible for a Google account. Age restrictions vary by country from 13-16, giving U.S. students a three-year head start over students from, say, Croatia.

Untouched by human hands 

Fast food restaurants using kiosks for ordering or robot cats delivering dim sum aren’t exactly new, but a restaurant chain operated mostly by robots caught the attention of Eater lately. Chipotle founder Steve Ells plans to open 15 vegetarian restaurants in the New York City area, starting early next year. The three humans in the stores will earn more than comparable workers in other chains, he says. And 100% more than the robots.

Hey, I made this up 

Just in time for election season, YouTube has announced it will label realistic looking AI-generated videos so that viewers know if they’re watching something faked. According to NPR, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok all require creators to indicate if AI has been used to create videos. Penalties include having accounts removed and advertising revenue suspended. But admitting your video is faked seems to miss the point of doing it, right?