Massachusetts Hip-Hop, Spanish Playwrights, Albuquerque Images, More: Saturday Buzz, November 19, 2016


Now available: a digital archive of early Massachusetts hip-hop. “In 1985, a radio show called ‘Lecco’s Lemma’ on WMBR became ground zero for Boston’s burgeoning hip-hop scene. Rap was just starting to break into the mainstream, and kids from the city to the suburbs were catching the bug. Local rappers flooded the MIT radio station with demo tapes in the hopes that the show’s host, Magnus Johnstone, would play them on the air. On Saturday, Nov. 19, some 300 of those tapes, along with a slew of recordings of the show itself, will be made available online — for free — with the launch of the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive at the University of Massachusetts Boston.” This is hip-hop and some early gangsta rap. Expect swearing and use of the n-word.

A new online archive provides information on contemporary Spanish playwrights. “Contexto Teatral is a live archive of new plays by contemporary Spanish playwrights. As we expect the project to grow and include an increasing number of authors, Contexto Teatral already has over 350 plays by nearly 100 playwrights archived, most of them from Spain, but with a number of authors born abroad, mainly in Latin America.”

A new online archive offers free-to-use images of Albuquerque, New Mexico. There are about 400 images; looks like you have to sign up and log in to access them.


Remember that link I shared about Google disabling the accounts of people who resold Pixel phones? Google changed its mind. “Google has reversed its decision to disable the accounts of customers who resold the company’s new Pixel phone, after a chorus of complaints over the company’s imposition of a ‘digital death penalty’ for a minor infraction.”


How-To Geek: How to Search for Just About Any Tweet on Twitter. Basic but useful if you’re not acquainted with Twitter’s advanced search.

The University of North Carolina is offering a new MOOC on critical reasoning. “Each week, the course will introduce a different discipline—chemistry, history, psychology, law, literature, and American studies—and students will learn from UNC-Chapel Hill professors about how critical thinking skills can be applied in these areas. Through a mixture of weekly video lectures, practice quizzes and readings, students will receive the foundational knowledge to think critically in each discipline. At the end of each week, they will write an essay reflecting on the skills they learned and the importance of thinking critically in each discipline.”


American Libraries Magazine: Snapchat in the Library. “Snapchat can be used across the educational spectrum, even in elementary school. Jennifer Eckert, librarian at Leon Springs Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas, finds Snapchat to be ‘most popular with kids in 4th and 5th grade.” Academic librarians, public librarians, and school librarians alike are finding ways to get creative with Snapchat.'”

Washington Post: Police are spending millions of dollars to monitor the social media of protesters and suspects. “Hundreds of local police departments across the United States have collectively spent about $4.75 million on software tools that can monitor the locations of activists at protests or social media hashtags used by suspects, according to new research. The research, by the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonprofit organization focusing on criminal justice issues, aims to take a comprehensive look at the fast-growing phenomenon of social media-monitoring by law enforcement. Using public records, the Brennan Center tracked spending by 151 local law enforcement agencies that have contracted with start-ups that siphon data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites, largely out of the public eye.”


The SEC will be putting a new database together. “The Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously approved a new database on Tuesday that is intended to help them respond to a sudden and dramatic shift in markets such as the ‘flash crash’ of 2010. The ‘consolidated audit trail’ (CAT) will create a database of every trade order and execution made so that regulators have access to information that might cause huge market changes that happen at light speed.”


Definitely one I’ll be mulling over for a while: Why bother archiving if we can’t change our own perceptions? “Visual archiving has become a ubiquitous vocation in Cairo in recent years. From workshops on how to read our pasts, to works that take the archive as their basis, to attempts to propose counter-narratives of traumatic events, the acts of gathering, annotating and examining images have become a national obsession. It’s a common view that archiving is a way to resist a monopolization of history, and this is partly why it has become so prevalent. But because we often pre-read an image before seeing it — especially if we know it comes from a conflict zone — archiving can also help reduce images to mere catalysts or ‘templates.'”

EurekAlert: How social media impacts consumer spending. “For businesses using social media, posts with high engagement have the greatest impact on customer spending, according to new research from the University at Buffalo School of Management. Published in the Journal of Marketing, the study assessed social media posts for sentiment (positive, neutral or negative), popularity (engagement) and customers’ likelihood to use social media, and found the popularity of a social media post had the greatest effect on purchases.”


From the Irish Examiner: This web tool can ‘read’ your Facebook page to predict how likely it is you’ll be murdered. “…there’s a new web tool, aptly called Predictive World, that could come in quite handy. To time in with the much-awaited release of hacker thriller Watch Dogs 2, the tool uses data from your Facebook account – such as your gender, area code and age – and it works out a whole host of statistics. So, you can discover just how much a cyber-system can predict about you using digital records of your behaviour. Yes, it sounds a little creepy…” I tried it as what it requests from Facebook isn’t too ridiculous. It was way off. The only thing it got even close to right was a Myers-Briggs guess of INSJ; I usually test as an INTJ. Good morning, Internet…

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