March for Our Lives, Mozilla, Facebook, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, March 23, 2018


Mashable: March for Our Lives will take over Tumblr on March 24. “Tumblr will get a massive makeover on March 24 to help promote March for Our Lives, the protest for gun violence prevention led by teenage survivors of the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.”

Mozilla Developer News: Mozilla Presses Pause on Facebook Advertising. “Mozilla is pressing pause on our Facebook advertising. Facebook knows a great deal about their two billion users — perhaps more intimate information than any other company does. They know everything we click and like on their site, and know who our closest friends and relationships are. Because of its scale, Facebook has become one of the most convenient platforms to reach an audience for all companies and developers, whether a multibillion corporation or a not-for-profit.”


Wired: Deleting Facebook? Here Are The Best Alternatives For What You’ll Miss. “Facebook itself has admitted that mindlessly scrolling on its platform isn’t good for you. If all that has you thinking about deleting Facebook entirely, you’re far from alone. (Quitting the social network is also somewhat of a first-world privilege, since for many people Facebook functions as the entire internet itself.) But going cold turkey can be hard; Facebook actually provides useful services sometimes, and there’s no one-for-one replacement. Fortunately, you can pretty easily cobble together anything you might miss from Facebook with a combination of apps and services. It won’t be the exact same, but at least you’ll be less tempted to go back.”


Eurasia Review: Funding For Database To Index Ancient Egyptian Texts. “Heidelberg University has been awarded funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for a database project to index and decipher documents from ancient Egypt. Demotic language texts originating between the 7th century BC and the 5th century AD are to be made available for research via open access publication. The texts, some of which are still unpublished, range from legal and administrative documents to academic and religious records.”

The Lenfest Institute: “Kill Them With Kindness:” How The Texas Tribune Is Growing Its Presence On Reddit. “Reddit can be confusing. It’s an idiosyncratic platform that can be difficult to navigate and then seemingly out of nowhere send publishers a ton of traffic. A number of news organizations, however, have adopted really smart approaches to how they use Reddit. Today in Solution Set I’m going to highlight one of them: The Texas Tribune. The Tribune is just one of a handful of outlets doing great work on the platform, and and we’ve shared some links at the bottom of this report with examples of others doing awesome stuff.”

Deutsche Welle: Germany demands answers from Facebook over data breach. “Germany’s Justice Minister Katarina Barley said on Thursday that she was seeking a meeting with Facebook’s EU management, saying they had questions to answer about the revelations that a private company was able to harvest the data of millions of users. This data was then allegedly sold to political actors seeking to exploit users’ weaknesses with targeted political ads.”


Vice: Congress might not know how to stop more Facebook data breaches, but states have a few ideas. “At least four states have now asked Facebook to answer questions about the access it gave companies to users’ data, an inquiry prompted after press reports revealed the voter targeting firm used by Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Cambridge Analytica, harvested data from thousands of Facebook users without their permission. On Thursday, Facebook held a conference call with a handful of the state officials to answer their requests. ”

Evrensel Daily: Turkish Parliament approved new law to regulate online broadcasting. “According to the new legislation, all broadcasters that want to provide radio, television, and other types of broadcasting services on the internet will have to obtain a licence from RTÜK, while broadcasters on other platforms will also require a transmission authorisation from RTÜK for their internet broadcasts. Previously, RTÜK licensing and regulation was necessary only for conventional radio and television broadcasters.”


Stanford: Hidden Medical Text Read for the First Time in a Thousand Years. “An influential physician and a philosopher of early Western medicine, Galen of Pergamon was the doctor of emperors and gladiators. One of his many works, ‘On the Mixtures and Powers of Simple Drugs,’ was an important pharmaceutical text that would help educate fellow Greek-Roman doctors. The text was translated during the 6th century into Syriac, a language that served as a bridge between Greek and Arabic and helped spread Galen’s ideas into the ancient Islamic world. But despite the physician’s fame, the most complete surviving version of the translated manuscript was erased and written over with hymns in the 11th century – a common practice at the time. These written-over documents are known as palimpsests. An international team of researchers is getting a clear look at the hidden text of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest with an X-ray study at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.”

The Illusion of Volition: No, YouTube is not a library – and why it matters. “Last week, en route to deliver a keynote at the 11th annual #libtech2018 conference at Macalester College, I came across a tweet reporting out on YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s remarks at sxsw, as transcribed by a Twitter user. Among other things, she claimed that a great model for describing what YouTube is is, in fact, ‘a library.'” Good afternoon, Internet…

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