Jewish Kolkata, Facebook Messenger, Maker Education, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, January 20, 2019


The Wire: ‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’: Remembering Kolkata’s Jewish Community. “The Jewish community in Kolkata is close to extinction – of the original Baghdadi Jews who migrated, only about 20 remain. Most are in their 70s and once they’re gone, the rich Jewish culture and legacy may as disappear from the city too. Jews have experienced cruel anti-Semitism in many countries, but not in India. Kolkata provided a rich and hospitable home for the community for over 200 years. [Rahel] Musleah fears that the community cannot be preserved further, but needs to be re-invigorated and revived with an infusion of people.”


Neowin: Redesigned Facebook Messenger app is now rolling out globally to all users . “Facebook announced a major overhaul of Messenger during its annual F8 conference back in May 2018. The revamp was aimed at de-cluttering the app and making it more usable. The company itself admitted in early 2018 that while it had added a whole bunch of features over the years, the app had lost its simplicity. As promised, Messenger version 4 slowly began rolling out in October, bringing with it the much-awaited overhaul.”

Make: Zine: Adafruit, Cartoon Network, and Microsoft Join Forces To Get Kids Into Making. “A wonderful collaboration has begun that I think will usher in a whole new group of young makers. Adafruit, Cartoon Network, and Microsoft MakeCode are joining up to inspire people to make projects based on their favorite cartoons. There are a few really cool aspects all coming together at the same time that make this something that I think will do quite well.”


How-To Geek: The Best Google Docs Add-Ons . “Google Docs add-ons work similarly to how a browser extension works. They are a third-party app that you install to Google Docs to gain additional features. Some add-ons increase productivity (like proofreading tools) and some add more extensive capabilities (like allowing teachers to integrate grades into students papers). Here’s how to install them and some of our favorites.”

Hackaday: Hack Your Gmail: A Quick Start For Google App Scripting. “Google provides a lot of features with all of its products, but however you slice it, all the code runs on their servers out of your reach. Sort of. If you know JavaScript, you can use Google Apps Script to add features to many Google products including Gmail. If you’ve used Office scripting, the idea is the same, although obviously the implementation is very different. With scripting you can make sophisticated filters that would be very hard to do otherwise. For example, monitor for suspicious messages like those with more than 4 attachments, or that appear to come from a contact between the hours of 2AM and 5AM. For our example today, I’m going to show you something that is easy but also highly useful.”

CNET: Super Bowl 2019: How to watch online, start time and much more. “The matchup won’t be known until after the conference championship games are played, but if you are already making Super Bowl plans, then here’s what you need to know on how to watch football’s biggest game.”

Lifehacker: 27 Free Alternatives to Adobe’s Expensive App Subscriptions. “As you can imagine, Adobe’s price increase has set off a flurry of activity on the internet, with many annoyed users jumping onto Twitter threads and blog posts to suggest alternatives to Adobe’s ever-more-expensive subscription apps.”


CBC: Twins get some ‘mystifying’ results when they put 5 DNA ancestry kits to the test. “Last spring, Marketplace host Charlsie Agro and her twin sister, Carly, bought home kits from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and Living DNA, and mailed samples of their DNA to each company for analysis. Despite having virtually identical DNA, the twins did not receive matching results from any of the companies.”

The Daily Dot: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is teaching Congress how to tweet. “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is going to teach her fellow members of Congress how to more effectively use social media. The youngest member of Congress will co-host a session on Thursday for the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, joined by Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.). The two aim to inform their fellow Democrats ‘on the most effective ways to engage constituents on Twitter and the importance of digital storytelling,’ according to USA Today.” I think this was last Thursday.

The Register: Protestors beg Google not to build censored Project Dragonfly search engine. “A small handful of protesters turned up outside Google’s London HQ today [Friday] to protest against the ad company’s censored search engine, developed as part of an unholy bargain to gain access to the Chinese market.”


Publishing Perspectives: Authors Guild and Society of Authors Allege Copyright Infringement by the Internet Archive. “In the same kind of solidarity they showed in calling for author contract reform from publishers, the United States’ Authors Guild and the United Kingdom’s Society of Authors are making simultaneous demands that the Internet Archive’s Open Library immediately stop lending scanned copies of physical books on their site.”

Engadget: DNC claims Russians launched more phishing attacks after midterms. “The New York Times cites court documents filed by the Democratic National Committee that said it believes a Russian group launched a hacking attempt against it after last year’s midterm elections. The lawsuit alleges a conspiracy between President Trump’s campaign, Russian intelligence and Wikileaks targeting Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.” Good morning, Internet…

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