Skip to main content

University of Michigan School of Information

Menu

Fun Size for 5/6/19: Jeopardy! champion’s secret weapon

The world of information - in Fun Size!

UMSI's Fun Size digest features tiny, delicious news tidbits relating to information and library topics. Reach us at umsi.funsize@umich.edu.

Have the newsletter delivered to your inbox. Share with your friends!

How bad is it, Doc?

Mozilla has just published its third annual Internet Health Report, examining the internet’s impact on society and how it influences our daily lives. As your doctor might say, “Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news…”.

The algorithm diet
AI is encroaching on every area of our lives, so why not our daily diet? In this New York Times opinion piece, a cardiologist describes how AI analyzed his physical data to come up with a personalized diet for longer life. Turns out that for him, cheesecake got an A, grapefruit a C.  And he’s complaining?

Denmark’s unstaffed libraries
Sounds like a booklover’s dream – a library all to yourself. In Denmark, almost half the public libraries are “open libraries,” meaning they keep long hours – some are open 24 hours – but without staff. Just swipe your social security card and you’re in! Public radio’s Marketplace has this two-minute listen

Ravishing reading rooms
Speaking of libraries, here’s another armchair tour of some of the world’s most charming libraries, courtesy of readers of Atlas Obscura who nominated their favorites, from Asheville to Zurich.

Your face is familiar 
Facial recognition software can do much more than unlock your phone or laptop. CBInsights lists 16 industries where facial recognition technology already is or will soon be employed. Law enforcement seems an obvious one; airlines, banks and casinos also have plans to use your face for things like boarding passes, ATMs and making more money for the house. 

First, do no harms
Britain’s recent policy paper aimed at internet regulation puts the onus of responsibility on tech firms to design programs that prevent “online harms.” While some fear legislation would lead to internet censorship, the government appears reluctant to stifle speech or place burdensome regulations on small companies. “Eventual legislation will have to walk a tightrope,” The Economist reports

Access code
For anyone who wants to learn coding or needs a refresher, TechRepublic.com has a photo gallery of the 20 best resources for learning code. Some are free, some are fun (CodeWars), some are kid-oriented, some are videos and podcasts.  (User hint: mouse over the first image and click on the big green arrow to view the deck.)

Memers of the world, unite
Creating and posting memes on Instagram may be a labor of love, but somelaborers have formed a meme union to address their grievances. They claim the content they create deserves protection -- and a share of the revenue that IG ads generate, according to an article in The Atlantic. A collection of their union memes includes “Memers. United. Can never be Deleted.”

How did James Holzhauer get so smart?
The Jeopardy! Juggernaut, James Holzhauer, confided one secret of his amazing breadth of knowledge to Publishers Weekly: the children’s section of his local library. Side note: UMSI alumna Rebecca McNitt (MSI ’10) was one of the two contestants who fell before James’ blazing buzzer on April 22. 

News from UMSI: 

The ACM CHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, popularly known as CHI, is the world’s premier conference on Human-Computer Interaction. It takes place May 4-7 in Glasgow, Scotland. UMSI faculty and students were awarded three best papers and five honorable mentions and will be presenting over 40 papers, posters, panels and workshops during the conference. 

Read more.