Science Plays, NC Newspapers, Chrome, More: Monday Buzz, December 4, 2017


New to me – an archive of science plays. From the About page: “The science play catalogue grew from years of being asked by colleagues for a list of my favorite science play titles. In 2007, I authored an article for Southern Theater magazine about science plays, which included a compilation of my top twenty science plays. It was at that time I began collecting science play titles in earnest. In 2015, CNU awarded me a sabbatical to support my research and cataloguing of these plays…. Current students in the Science on the Stage class have also contributed to the website by creating blog posts of individual plays as in-class assignments.”

Digital NC: Partner Wake Forest University contributes 19 new newspaper titles. “Thanks to our partner, Wake Forest University, there are 19 new newspapers added to DigitalNC. Dating from 1857 to 1925, these newspapers were written for Christian communities from the mountains to the Piedmont to the coast of North Carolina. Most of the newspapers are affiliated with the Baptist denomination, and their audiences vary in size and geography. Some were published for specific churches, like the Broad Street Worker “Devoted to the interests of Broad St. Baptist Church” in Winston, N.C. Others were published for a wider audience by regional, state, or national organizations, like the North Carolina Baptist Missionary Worker and The Gospel Herald published by the Boards of the Baptist State Convention, and the Conflict published by the Anti-Evolution League of America.”


The Register: Google Chrome vows to carpet bomb meddling Windows antivirus tools. “By mid-2018 Google Chrome will no longer allow outside applications – cough, cough, antivirus packages – to run code within the browser on Windows. This is according to a post today on the Chromium blog that laid out the July release of Chrome 68 for Windows as the target for new rules that will block all third-party apps from injecting scripts into browser sessions.”


Popular Science: Use These Search Tricks to Take Control of Your Gmail Inbox. “Gmail dominates the email landscape. It provides gigabytes of storage, works at super-fast speeds in any browser, and automatically sorts messages into specialized sections depending on their content and importance. But perhaps its greatest strength—as you might expect from a Google product—is its search abilities. You’re probably comfortable typing a few words or contact names into the search box at the top of the page, but some less obvious terms can open up whole new inbox-sifting possibilities. We’ve collected nine invaluable search tools to help you organize your inbox, find lost emails, dig up oversize attachments, unsubscribe from spam, and more.”

Recode: Here’s how to use the newly redesigned Snapchat (Hint: It’s not as hard). “Earlier this month, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel announced plans to redesign Snapchat in order to make it easier to use, and the news was met with a mixed reaction from its fans and detractors. Some wanted no changes at all and wanted the company to preserve its quirky exclusivity. Others thought it was too hard for many people to use, which hindered mainstream growth — a major issue with Wall Street. Now that it’s here, it appears as though both sides got a little of what they wanted with a cleaned-up look and a simpler interface, as well as an app that basically operates in a familiar way.”

Quartz: An innovative introductory economics course at Stanford is now free online . “Econ 101, the introductory college economics course that is often held in overcrowded lecture halls packed with half-asleep freshmen, is finally getting a facelift. At the front of the class is Raj Chetty, a 38-year-old economist who publishes some of the field’s most intriguing papers year after year. He’s used data to debunk the American Dream, challenge the Ivies as engines of social mobility, and become an authority on inequality. He’s shuttled from top university to top university, scored a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant, and landed on Forbes’ 40 under 40 list.”


Arkansas Online: Predictive algorithm under wraps. “Even as complex mathematical models gain greater influence in government and elsewhere, evidence suggests public entities are refusing to disclose details about algorithms that guide important decisions, experts said. The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville withheld details of an algorithm used to award student grants as part of a new pilot program. Documents released by UA described it as a data model aimed at predicting the likelihood of students staying in school.”

Happy 14th Anniversary to Search Engine Roundtable! “This site, started as a way to keep my notes on the changes happening in the SEO/SEM space, has been consistently around and documenting those changes for 14 years straight. And I am proud to say, like I do every year, the core missions of this site has not changed – in those 14 years. We still cover what the industry is talking about from within the industry chatter. From Google algorithmic updates and chatter all the way to breaking news. We simply cover what you, the industry, is talking about it and care about.”

MarketWatch: Republicans might make this major change to the CFPB . “It has been a chaotic week at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with two leaders battling for control of the organization. The outcome of the fight could have big implications for consumers — and the complaints they make to the watchdog agency. Advocates worry President Donald Trump’s pick to head the watchdog agency could neuter one of its most high-profile assets: a database of hundreds of thousands of complaints filed by consumers about issues ranging from predatory debt collectors to errors on credit reports. Republicans have argued that the database shouldn’t be public, while consumer advocates say the public list of complaints is an important tool for consumers.”


TorrentFreak: Google Says It Can’t Filter Pirated Content Proactively. “Various music industry groups want Google to implement proactive anti-piracy measures to deal with constantly reappearing links to infringing content in search results. The demand isn’t new, but this week Google’s President of EMEA Business & Operations reiterated that such proactive measures are ‘just not possible.'”


New York Daily News: City pols’ darkest secrets must be shown in lobbyist database. “Surely the powers that be have anything to hide from the people of New York City about the paid favor-seekers they consort with. Surely not. The local law in question was passed way back in 2013, under the leadership of the then-Council Speaker Christine Quinn, following the recommendation of a joint mayoral-Council Lobbying Commission. It is plenty clear.”

From Dina Chang at Iowa State University: Gratifications associated with Snapchat usage among young people: Uses and gratifications analysis. “Social media has become an everyday media diet for media users, especially young generations. Previous studies have focused on the use of Facebook and Twitter, but there is a dearth of research on newer social media such as Snapchat despite its fast growth and adoption in recent years. This study applies the uses and gratifications approach to Snapchat in order to identify what activities younger users are likely to do while using Snapchat, to investigate what kinds of gratifications are associated with Snapchat usage among young people, as well as to test whether there are gender differences in gratifications of Snapchat usage.” Good morning, Internet…

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