5 th-Grade Fake News, Cracked Twitter Eggs and Color Algorithms

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Nick Cotton Mar 31, 2017

Here’s the news we’re talking about around the Zbra Studios water cooler. We’ve provided key bullet points from each article for the speed readers out there. For those looking to dig in, click on the links for the full story.

I taught my 5th-graders how to spot fake news. Now they won’t stop fact-checking me
by Scott Bedley From Vox
  • “To make sure I wouldn’t have any student in the same situation as Andy ever again, I started asking my students to examine seven different elements of a news article. If the information checks out on each of these points, it has a high likelihood of being accurate.”
  • “As a big believer in the concept of “play to learn,” I wanted to put my students in a situation that allowed them to play with the fake news, and even create some themselves to understand how easy it is to share.”
  • “I set out to help my students read news more critically, and I feel that these games have shifted the way my students approach online content every day. Time will only tell if this lasts beyond my classroom, but the early impact outcomes are very positive. One unintended consequence is that I now have 33 10-year-old fact-checkers in my classroom that I’ve empowered to call me out if I’m sharing fake news.”
Twitter wants you to stop saying ‘Twitter eggs’
by Kaitlyn Tiffany From The Verge
  • “The new Twitter default profile pic, which was necessary because the old one was so deeply and irrevocably associated with trolls and bots and all the other seedy, unnecessary parts of Twitter, is a small gray man.”
  • “They’re aware that “Twitter eggs” is a term that has become basically synonymous with “trolls,” or they wouldn’t boast about redesigning the generic icon in a way that negatively impacts accounts’ visibility. Obviously the fact that the avatars are gray will probably do very little to make words tweeted by anonymous accounts less visible, and this claim smacks of the same ridiculousness as rearranging some paragraphs in the Terms of Service and calling it a major anti-harassment effort.”
  • “Over time the image itself will take on the same connotation as the egg, but Twitter will likely succeed in dismantling the shared cultural meaning of an important term.”
The Algorithm Expanding the Science of Color
by Emerging Technology from the arXiv  
  • “The study of color is undergoing a revolution. Until now, color theory has been little more than a collection of ideas based loosely on science. But the ability to analyze huge data sets of images using machine-vision algorithms is changing that.”
  • “Their technique is straightforward to implement and immediately leads to a new generation of enriched image filters that are far more flexible than those currently available.”
  • “The method immediately leads to some interesting applications. For example, they create an application called Photo-style Explorer which acts like an Instagram filter but in a continuous color space.”

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