Media Research, Google Docs, Website Accessibility, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, January 10, 2019


NECSUS: MediArXiv: New digital archive for media research. “The online platform Open Access in Media Studies has announced the launch of the new project MediArXiv. MediArXiv is the new open archive for media, film, and communication studies, and will be launched in early 2019 on the Open Science Framework platform. ”


The Verge: Google Drawings can now be embedded in Google Docs. “Google has introduced a small, but helpful feature in Docs for G Suite customers. You can now embed Google Drawings that are saved in Drive directly into a Google Doc. Previously, you couldn’t embed an existing Google Drawing within a Google Doc — drawings had to be manually created within the document.”


Search Engine Journal: Website Accessibility & the Law: Why Your Website Must Be Compliant. “Most countries provide laws protecting the civil rights of disabled persons for homes, parks, businesses, and educational facilities. What is not universal is website accessibility. The internet provides global access to information, stores, education, financial institutions, audio, and video, but often remains restricted or dependent on assistive devices for millions of people to gain unhindered access. Fortunately, there are standards in place that unifies development and allows the world to use web-based solutions with universally accepted protocols. We know these standards as the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C.”


Times of India: Panjab University library, department libraries to be digitized. “On Monday, Panjab University vice-chancellor prof Raj Kumar said that efforts have been made to digitize the PU library and soon the other department libraries of PU would also be digitized.”

BBC News: The digital activist taking politicians out of Madrid politics. “Once, he faced down major music industry giants over the file-sharing software he created. Now, Pablo Soto wants to use his digital knowhow to reshape democracy. He is in the left-wing coalition that beat traditional parties to take over Madrid’s council in 2015. Now, as Madrid’s head of open government, Mr Soto has launched a platform where citizens dictate policies to city hall and choose what to spend taxes on.”

CNET: Facebook in violation of new cybersecurity law, says Vietnam. “Trouble is brewing for Facebook in Vietnam. The social network has infringed on a new cybersecurity law in the country by letting users post content it deemed illegal on its platform, state media reported Wednesday.”


Komo News: Genealogy database, gum help convict DJ in ’92 killing. ” A popular DJ pleaded guilty Tuesday to raping and strangling a schoolteacher in 1992 after being identified as a suspect as a result of DNA a relative had submitted to a genealogy database.”

Motherboard: SIM Swapping Victims Who Lost Millions Are Pressuring Telcos to Protect Their Customers. “In the last year, hundreds—perhaps thousands—of people have had their phone numbers hijacked by hackers looking to steal their unique Instagram usernames or their cryptocurrency. Using a technique known as SIM swapping—a process by which criminals take control of a target’s phone number—hackers have been able to steal millions of dollars from bitcoin and other digital currencies investors. Now, a small group of victims who lost millions to these cybercriminals is trying to fight back.”

The Quint: Social Media Becoming Source of Radicalisation, Says Army Chief. “Asserting that terrorism is becoming ‘a new form of warfare’, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday, 9 January, that the menace is spreading like a ‘multi-headed monster’ and is ‘here to stay’ as long as states continue to use it as state policy. Rawat, speaking at a panel discussion at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, also said that there was a need to control social media as it was becoming a tool to spread radicalisation.”


TechXplore: A system to generate new song lyrics that match the style of specific artists. “Researchers at the University of Waterloo, Canada, have recently developed a system for generating song lyrics that match the style of particular music artists. Their approach, outlined in a paper pre-published on arXiv, uses a variational autoencoder (VAE) with artist embeddings and a CNN classifier trained to predict artists from MEL spectrograms of their song clips.”

Science: How to shine in Indonesian science? Game the system. “Last July, when Indonesia’s Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (RISTEK) here honored eight researchers, along with institutions and journals, for their exceptional contributions to science, observers noticed something odd. Many of the laureates were relatively unknown academics from second-tier universities; underdogs had apparently become leaders. It didn’t take curious scientists long to figure out why.”

The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy: Crowdsourcing Traumatic History: Understanding the Historial Archive. “This article discusses the challenges and opportunities for digital archives that aim to both historicize and memorialize recent tragedies through crowdsourcing materials from the public. Using an archive built after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings as an example, I offer the term “historial archive” as a distinction from the much-critiqued adoption of the word “(A)rchive(s)” that we see used throughout the disciplines. Although crowdsourcing in this type of archive works as a catalyst for community, the speed of collection operates (rhetorically at least) as an active buttress against the problems of provenance. That is, historical archives must go to great lengths to verify the veracity and historicity of their collections; in the historial archive’s more philosophic approach to history, the time-sensitive collection methods ensure the archive’s veracity and historicity. Using my own research, I model how students may approach historial archives and the ways these types of repositories can allow for various productive paths that go beyond simply aggregating primary materials.” Good morning, Internet…

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