Information Apocalypse, A new way to enjoy classic novels and Reintroducing Windows 95
The New York Public Library is using Instagram Stories to bring classic novels to your smartphone
The New York Public Library—an essential provider of free books, information, ideas, and education for all New Yorkers for more than 100 years is doing something unprecedented! It is now using Instagram’s Stories feature to make classic novels more accessible and enticing to read, especially to the younger generation. It has teamed up with ad agency Mother in New York to create “Insta Novels,” which turns classic pieces of literature into animated digital novels illustrated by various visual artists. These digitized versions take inspiration from the layouts of the original classics, featuring elements that reflect the novels’ designs. The full digital books will be posted as Stories: simply hold the screen to read a page and lift your finger to turn it. If you’re a fast reader, just let it play on its own to watch the animated elements move on screen.
Here is the link to the promo on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmvKKlhFv0w/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_loading_state_control
Windows 95 is now an app you can download and install on macOS, Windows, and Linux
Windows 95 is the operating system that’s now used as a yardstick for what’s possible on modern devices and platforms. We’ve seen Microsoft’s popular OS appear on the Apple Watch, an Android Wear smartwatch, and even the Xbox One. Today, someone has gone a step further and made Windows 95 into an app that you can run on macOS, Windows, and Linux.
A Slack developer created Windows 95 app where you can use Wordpad, phone dialer, MS Paint, and Minesweeper. They all run pretty well. Except for Internet Explorer which is not fully functional.
The app its only 129MB in size and you can download it over at Github for both macOS and Windows. Once it’s running it surprisingly only takes up around 200MB of RAM, even when running all of the old Windows 95 system utilities, apps, and games. If you run into any issues with the app you can always reset the Windows 95 instance inside the app and start over again.
Browser plug-ins that spot fake news show the difficulty of tackling the ‘information apocalypse’
According to some, the world is headed toward an information apocalypse. A combination of AI-generated fakes, fake news gone wild, and faltering confidence in the media means soon, no one will be able to trust what they see or hear online. But don’t panic yet, says a subset of these same prophets, for a solution is already at hand: more technology.
This week, two projects were unveiled that are intended to act as buffers between the world and fake news. The first, SurfSafe, was created by a pair of UC Berkley undergrads. The second, Reality Defender, is the work of the AI Foundation, a startup founded in 2017 that has yet to release a commercial product. Both projects are browser plug-ins that will alert users to misinformation by scanning images and videos on the webpages they’re looking at and flagging any doctored content.
Of the two plug-ins, SurfSafe’s approach is simpler. Once installed, users can click on pictures, and the software will perform something like a reverse-image search. It will look for the same content that appears on trusted “source” sites and flag well-known doctored images. Reality Defender promises to do the same (the plug-in has yet to launch fully), but in a more advanced manner, using machine learning to verify whether or not an image has been tinkered with. Both plug-ins also encourage users to help out with this process, identifying pictures that have been manipulated or so-called “propaganda.”
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