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LGBTQ Health, LGBTQ Video Games, Twitch, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, December 13, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

Gay News Network: 30 years of ACON’s HIV and LGBTI health campaigns now digitally archived. “ACON has launched a new online database collating HIV campaigns it has produced since it was established in 1985. Spanning over 30 years, the Australian-first archive… features all of ACON’s HIV and LGBTI health-related campaigns.” Warning: some of the language in just the article is very frank.

New-to-me: an online archive cataloging “queer” video games. “There are two key reasons why Queerly Represent Me is an important and valuable resource. Firstly, the database allows members of the queer community to familiarise themselves with and access more texts that represent them. This can act as a supportive gesture to those who are comfortable with their identities, or can assist in the formation of self-identity for those who are questioning their sexuality or gender. Secondly, the site allows those who do not identify as queer to broaden the pool of games that they play or to form new understandings of games that they have already accessed, while developing empathy for the queer community and the issues we face.” In this case, the word “queer” seems to be encompassing an entire array of non-hetero sexualities. This is not the same archive I mentioned last May, though it looks like there might be some overlap.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Twitch is launching a new tool for moderating chat on its platform (PRESS RELEASE). “AutoMod is a unique moderation tool that does more than filter inappropriate chat. When a user sends a message that AutoMod flags as potentially inappropriate, the message is held in a publishing queue awaiting moderator approval. AutoMod also enables broadcasters to adjust the degree of filtering in the event they are more or less conservative about the type of dialogue they want to see in their chat. Beyond identifying inappropriate words and phrases, AutoMod can detect potentially inappropriate strings of emotes and other characters or symbols that others could use to evade filtering.”

Google is adding more holiday content. “The holidays are a time for celebrating traditions. Year after year, we tell favorite holiday stories and sing favorite holiday songs, whether for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. This season, you can help your students discover some of the history and heritage of popular holiday icons with two new Google Expeditions, which add a virtual-reality twist to learning. The first Expedition whisks students off to the Victorian London of Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Past, while the second takes them to the snowy world of Kris Kringle. For Hanukkah, students can also take a virtual museum visit to view photos and artifacts highlighting the richness of Jewish traditions from around the world.”

USEFUL STUFF

Gizmodo: How to Turn a USB Stick into an Ultra Portable PC. “Who doesn’t hate carrying around their laptop? Even the lightest ones weigh a couple of pounds and can be a huge burden to lug around the city. That’s where portable apps, ones stored on a USB drive, come in. Not only do portable apps let you hop between computers easily, they also keep your main machines clear of clutter and almost as speedy as when you first booted them up. If you’re yet to dive into the wonderful world of portable apps, here’s how you can get started.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Quartz: Google’s owner is forcing charity upon all its employees by donating their holiday gifts. “While most corporate workers are resigned to getting a $25 gift certificate or a frozen turkey, Google is known for lavishing its employees with the latest tech gear. In years past, employee received Nexus phones, Chromebook laptops and Android smart watches. But this year, the company went in a different direction, according to Fortune. The company is donating $30 million in tech hardware and support to schools on its employee’s behalf.” Which makes for a nice tax deduction?

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Netgear, which used to be my favorite router manufacturer, has admitted to a ridiculous security issue with some of its routers. “Netgear has acknowledged an embarrassing security bug that exists in a number of its home routers, probably including at least the R6400, R7000 (pictured above) and R8000 models. Given how easy the bug is to exploit, and that it’s been officially announced by CERT.ORG at Carnegie Mellon University in the US, we’re guessing that the Netgear will publish a firmware update very soon; if that happens, grab the update while it’s hot.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Drexel: More are Positive About HPV Vaccine on Twitter Than Not, Drexel Study Finds. “Philip Massey, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health, knows that health professionals need to stay current on what’s being talked about…. With that in mind, Massey decided to lead a study — published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research and supported by a grant from the American Cancer Society — into how people are communicating on Twitter about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.”

Open Democracy UK: We need European regulation of Facebook and Google. “Facebook and Google are now the dominant media powers in the world. Up till now, they have resisted being treated as media companies despite the sheer and unparalleled power they exert. They argue that they are widening the base of user-generated content and its distribution, bringing communities together, providing platforms for media companies to reach new audiences, and are thus promoting competition. Well, they are now of such a size that it is impossible to argue that their dominance does not raise worrying issues about media pluralism. There is a wide and growing range of other media organisations, civil society activists and academics who believe that media pluralism is under threat, that there are new issues of power, concentration and dominance not adequately captured in existing competition rules or tests, and that action is needed. The immediate forum for that action, ironically given 2016’s events, is probably the European Union and its Digital Single Market agenda.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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