Music Theory, Maryland Law Enforcement, Reddit, More: Wednesday Buzz, March 7, 2018


Mixdown Magazine: Introducing Note Kitchen, A New Search Engine For Chords And Scales. “If music theory isn’t your strong point, this one’s for you: Note Kitchen is a brand new search engine designed to create visualisations of all those tricky chords and scales you just can’t figure out on your own.”


Baltimore Sun: Removing police names from Maryland database called ‘honest mistake,’ judiciary to reconsider change Tuesday. “An ‘honest mistake’ caused the names of police officers to vanish from Maryland’s public online database of court cases, a retired judge behind the change said Monday. The officers’ names disappeared from the Maryland Case Search online database last week without warning, sparking an outcry from attorneys, elected officials, journalists and advocates of transparency in government. Suddenly, the public could no longer see who had made an arrest.” I’m afraid I do not believe the headline.

CNET: Reddit: Russian propaganda spread on our site before 2016 election. “As more information has come to light on Russia’s alleged campaign to spread disinformation during the 2016 election in the US, we’ve learned more about how Russia-backed trolls used the most popular websites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in their operations. But what about Reddit, the fourth most popular site in the US?”

TechCrunch: Google Search comes to iMessage . “Google Search is now available within iMessage. In an effort to more deeply integrate Google’s search engine on iOS devices, the company announced today that its Search app for iOS has added an iMessage extension, allowing iPhone and iPad users to search the web, then quickly add those search results to their iMessage conversations.”


Lifehacker: Check Out This Google Docs Competitor. “Graphite is a web app for documents, spreadsheets, and an email alternative called ‘conversations’. Its creator Justin Hunter emphasises its security and privacy features: Graphite can store your documents on your own servers or on Blockstack, a recently released decentralised network that uses the blockchain to securely distribute encrypted data. As Hunter explains on Product Hunt, your data is encrypted on your computer before it’s sent to any servers. And unlike Google, Graphite never knows your password.”

The Next Web: This app uses machine learning and AR to teach you how to draw. “For some people drawing comes naturally. But, if you’re anything like me, your stick figures look like misshapen horrors for whom death would surely be a relief. Enter Sketch AR: the AI-powered app that aims to make you a better artist regardless of your current skill.”


The Guardian: Facebook asks users: should we allow men to ask children for sexual images?. “Facebook has admitted it was a ‘mistake’ to ask users whether paedophiles requesting sexual pictures from children should be allowed on its website. On Sunday, the social network ran a survey for some users asking how they thought the company should handle grooming behaviour. ‘There are a wide range of topics and behaviours that appear on Facebook,’ one question began. ‘In thinking about an ideal world where you could set Facebook’s policies, how would you handle the following: a private message in which an adult man asks a 14-year-old girl for sexual pictures.'” I am still scraping my jaw off the floor.

Los Angeles Times: Likes, comments and sometimes sales — how Instagram is shaping the art world. “As a member of a millennia-old profession, 28-year-old artist Laura Rokas can do her job — painting, sculpting, drawing, weaving — without the help of most modern technology. But the Bay Area artist makes one exception: Instagram.”

Motherboard: Internet Artists Invaded the MoMA With a Guerrilla Augmented Reality Exhibit. “A collective of eight internet artists transformed the Jackson Pollock room in the New York City Museum of Modern Art into their own augmented reality gallery—without the museum’s permission.” Indonesia blocks online-blogging site Tumblr over porn. “Indonesia has blocked online blogging service Tumblr over pornographic content, the government said Tuesday, in Jakarta’s latest crackdown on obscenity. The government of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation blocked Tumblr on Monday, saying the New York-based company had not replied to its February letter demanding that pornographic content be scrubbed from the platform within 48 hours.”


NBC News: The secrets web browsers hold about users are there for the taking. “The major internet companies and service providers already collect encyclopedias of user data, but there’s also a wealth of information stored locally in a user’s web browser. That data can include a variety of personal information that is valuable to criminals, and it’s there for the taking, according to a report released by Exabeam, a security intelligence company.” The topic is important but the story is a bit breathless.


The Outline: Premium Twitter feeds are for suckers. “Facebook and Twitter have both pledged never to charge users a monthly fee for their basic services, partly in response to persistent hoaxes claiming otherwise. And why would they? Social media is already barely interesting enough to retain an audience for free, so what would anyone stand to gain by charging exorbitant subscription fees for the same stream of bland, derivative content? A lot, actually — provided they only charge that fee to the most gullible subset of their audience.”

Daily Bruin: The Quad: Social media hashtags can be used as a valid form of activism. “Arguments for and against the effectiveness of ‘hashtag activism’ generally date back to the #Occupy movement of 2011, which protested income inequality and the influence of money and corporations on the political process. Since then, popular and influential activist hashtags have included #StopKony (trying to remove a brutalist African dictator from power), #NotAllMen (trying to convince women that most men are respectful of women), #BlackLivesMatter (trying to address systemic anti-black racism in the United States, particularly to do with police brutality) and #BringBackOurGirls (trying to raise awareness regarding 276 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped from a school in Nigeria).” Good morning, Internet…

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