Local Journalism, Free Music Archive, Oxford Dictionaries, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, November 16, 2018


Nieman Lab: Need a local reporter in [state] with [expertise]? This directory wants to blow away parachute journalism. “Amazon may have gone with the most predictable of picks for HQ2, but that doesn’t give media organizations an out for hunkering down in the country’s elite metropolises. This directory of local reporters who actually know their communities wants to take away excuses for parachute journalism a little more firmly.”


Free Music Archive: Update: Closing Date Pushed to Dec 1. “Due to a few very generous donations, we are able to keep the site up, as-is, through the end of this month. We will still not be adding any more new uploads to the collection and are proceeding with our plans to back up the entire current MP3 collection at”

Oxford Dictionaries: Word of the Year 2018 is…. “The Oxford Word of the Year 2018 is… toxic. The adjective toxic is defined as ‘poisonous’ and first appeared in English in the mid-seventeenth century from the medieval Latin toxicus, meaning ‘poisoned’ or ‘imbued with poison’.”

TechCrunch: Google is closing its Schaft robotics unit after failing to find a buyer . “Sad news for anyone into giant robots: Google parent Alphabet is closing down Schaft, its secretive unit that develops bipedal robots aimed at helping out in disaster efforts and generally looking badass. The news was first reported by Nikkei, but Alphabet confirmed to TechCrunch that the business will be shuttered. It said it is helping staff find new roles, most of which will likely be outside of Google and its Alphabet parent.”

The Verge: Raspberry Pi made a cheaper version of its most powerful PC. “The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s goal is to make computing as cheap and accessible as possible, so today, it’s introducing a new $25 computer that shares many of the highlights as its top-of-the-line $35 device.”


Wolfram|Alpha Blog: Martian Commutes and Werewolf Teeth: Using Wolfram|Alpha for Writing Research. “It’s November, also known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This annual celebration of all things writerly is the perfect excuse for would-be authors to sit down and start writing. For educators and librarians, NaNoWriMo is a great time to weave creative writing into curricula, be it through short fiction activities, campus groups or library meet-ups. During NaNoWriMo, authors are typically categorized into two distinct types: pantsers, who ‘write by the seat of their pants,’ and plotters, who are meticulous in their planning. While plotters are likely writing from preplanned outlines, pantsers may need some inspiration. That’s where Wolfram|Alpha comes in handy.”

Social Media Examiner: How to Maximize the Exposure of Your Videos: A Strategic Plan. “Is video a key part of your social media strategy? Wondering how to get more visibility for the videos you create? In this article, you’ll discover a step-by-step plan to help you post, promote, and distribute your videos more effectively.”


Mashable: Jell-O unveils pre-made, edible Instagram slime. “There are tons of slime recipes on the internet, even edible ones that leave out the borax powder. Now, Jell-O is getting into the slime game with two pre-made edible offerings.”


BBC: MiSafes’ child-tracking smartwatches are ‘easy to hack’. “A location-tracking smartwatch worn by thousands of children has proven relatively easy to hack. A security researcher found the devices neither encrypted the data they used nor secured each child’s account. As a result, he said, he could track children’s movements, surreptitiously listen in to their activities and make spoof calls to the watches that appeared to be from parents.”


National Geographic Australia: How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Wildlife Research. “With the help of Wildbook and the nonprofit Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Stacy-Dawes, a research coordinator at the zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, and her colleagues are able to blitz a giraffe population with photos over two days, upload the images and location data to their GiraffeSpotter database, and presto: a robust population assessment emerges. So far they’ve used Wildbook to assess giraffe numbers across three wildlife conservancies in northern Kenya…. By year’s end GiraffeSpotter will be publicly accessible so that everybody from park rangers to tourists on safari can upload their giraffe photos and location information to the online database.”

Mashable: Reclaiming our Mohawk heritage, one app-supplied word at a time. “Some nights when I put my four-year-old daughter to bed, after we’ve read through her latest favourite library books, she asks me to teach her some Mohawk words. Mohawk is the language of my mother, and besides the numbers one through 10 and various farm animals, my children don’t hear any of these words spoken in our house, or their grandparents’ house. So on those nights, I open the Speak Mohawk app on my iPhone.”

Slate: Facebook Is a Normal Sleazy Company Now. “The three features that make Facebook Facebook also make it the ideal platform for working on behalf of dangerous and violent forces. The first is scale. Facebook gathers posts from more than 2.2 billion people in more than 100 languages. The second is algorithmic amplification. Facebook promotes extreme content like hate speech and conspiracy theories over thoughtful, balanced, deliberate work. And the third is the best advertising system ever created. Facebook can put an ad in front of exactly the type of person who might respond to a sales pitch or a call to political action and ignore those who might not. [Mark] Zuckerberg and [Sheryl] Sandberg can’t fix Facebook because to fix Facebook is to scrap one or more of these essential attributes. The problem with Facebook is Facebook.” Good morning, Internet…

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