India Veterans, California Wildfires, Google Play, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, January 22, 2018


Hindustan Times: Marking the spot: A new website lists, remembers soldiers who died on duty. “Major Akshay Girish Kumar died in the line of duty in November 2016, aged 31, fighting terrorists at Nagrota in Jammu & Kashmir. His life, his lovely nature and his sacrifice have been immortalised on a new website… It’s an online memorial that features names, bios and brief memorial notes on Indian armed forces personnel who have died on duty. The eventual aim is to document every such death since August 15, 1947. It has put together 12,628 profiles so far, including those in a section for ex-serviceman who died after retirement.”

Smithsonian Folklife: Mapping Our Memories: A Digitized Archive of Place and Loss in Sonoma County, California. “A previous neighbor asked if I knew anything about the house he had grown up in and loved. It didn’t survive the fire, but I realized I had family photos of his house in the mid-1990s. An idea dawned on me: what if there was a central place for Sonoma County residents to upload their own family photos of places that were destroyed? A virtual map allowing people to click through and see collective memories. Here is the result: Sonoma County Fires Community Memory Map. I built this interactive platform so that anyone can upload photographs to the map. The pictures must be linked to a specific address and have a brief caption. The intention is to create a patchwork of community memories of spaces that are no longer there.”


TechRadar: Audiobooks are coming very soon to Google Play. “If you like having your literature read out to you, keep your eyes on the Google Play Store, as it looks like a dedicated audiobook section is on the way – and if you’re quick you might be able to get a hefty discount on your first purchase when the changes go live.”

Huffington Post: Introducing HuffPost Opinion And HuffPost Personal. “The new Opinion section will feature a mix of regular columnists and one-off guest writers, commissioned by our Opinion editors to produce smart, authentic, timely and rigorous op-eds. Our goal is to help our audience better understand the breakneck news cycle, and shed light on stories that aren’t getting enough attention. We will feature these columnists’ bylines prominently across the site, so that you will come to recognize a set of smart, reliable voices you can come back to again and again.”


Lifehacker: Flixable Helps You Find the Perfect Thing to Watch on Netflix. “A search engine for Netflix, with [Flixable] you can search all the movies and TV shows on Netflix by Genre, IMDb rating (so you know it’s going to be decent), and release year. You can get your results sorted by release year, rating, title, or when they were added to Netflix (useful if you’re looking for something “new” to you on the platform.”

Larry Ferlazzo: February Is Black History Month – Here Are A Ton Of Related Resources. “February is Black History Month in the United States. I’ve just updated and revised The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History.”


Chronicle of Higher Education: How Twitter Hooks Up Students With Ghostwriters. “It used to be that if students wanted someone to write an essay for them, they had to track someone down themselves. But these days an overwhelmed or desperate student can unintentionally summon legions of eager essay ghostwriters by merely venting frustration on Twitter.”

The Independent: Luxury Dublin Hotel Bans All Social Media Influencers. “A hotel has banned YouTubers and Instagram stars – after a 22-year-old YouTuber asked for a five-night free stay and broke down in tears when she was bluntly refused. The issue started when Elle Darby, a UK-based social media influencer, with 87,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 Instagram followers, reached out to the owner of The White Moose Café, Paul Stenson, asking if he was interested in a ‘possible collaboration.'”

The Guardian: Chechen leader’s Instagram closure ‘led to revenge attacks’ on NGO. “The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s anger over the loss of his Instagram account due to US sanctions probably led to ongoing attacks against Russia’s oldest human rights organisation, members of the group have said. Memorial – the only human rights organisation with a presence in Chechnya – last week had its offices in the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia torched by masked men. The attack came days after Oyub Titiev, the head of Memorial’s office in Grozny, the Chechen capital, was arrested for possession of six ounces of cannabis, charges that could bring a 10-year prison sentence.”


The New Yorker: The End of the Awl and the Vanishing of Freedom and Fun from the Internet. “Blogs are necessarily idiosyncratic, entirely about sensibility: they can only be run by workhorses who are creative enough to amuse themselves and distinct enough to hook an audience, and they tend to publish like-minded writers, who work more on the principle of personal obsession than pay. The result is editorial latitude to be obscure and silly and particular, but the finances are increasingly hard to sustain; media consumption is controlled these days by centralized tech platforms—Facebook, Twitter—whose algorithms favor what is viral, newsy, reactionary, easily decontextualized, and of general appeal.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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