Lowell Folklife Project, Minecraft, Chromebooks, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, May 10, 2019


Library of Congress: New online collection: Lowell Folklife Project. “During the year-long field research period in Lowell, a team of fieldworkers produced ethnographic documentation consisting of close to 200 hours of sound recordings, around 10,000 black and white negatives (35mm, 120mm, and 4×5 inch), and about 3500 color slides. These audio-visual materials are now online, alongside almost 24 hours of sound recordings made by Lowell residents, which were copied during the project, and which feature musical events and oral history interviews. Other collection materials also online include field notes, reports, interview transcripts, and logs for audio recordings and photographs. Ultimately, all of the fieldwork documentation supported the central theme of the project: the creation and maintenance of community space.”


MakeUseOf: You Can Now Play Minecraft for Free in Your Browser . “Minecraft is 10 years old, and to celebrate this milestone, Mojang has released Minecraft Classic for the web. This means you can play Minecraft in your web browser. You don’t need to download anything, and Minecraft Classic is completely free to play.”

ZDNet: All Chromebooks will also be Linux laptops going forward. “At Google I/O in Mountain View, Google quietly let slip that ‘all devices [Chromebook] launched this year will be Linux-ready right out of the box.’ Wait. What?”

Tubefilter: Zoe Sugg Launches Video Editing App ‘Filmm’ With ‘A Beautiful Mess’ Founders. “Lifestyle YouTuber Zoe Sugg, who founded the lifestyle brand Zoella, has teamed up with A Beautiful Mess founders Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson to release ‘Filmm,’ a video editing app specifically made for creators. Filmm, which debuted yesterday in Apple’s App Store, is free to download, but also has a subscription option. The free version includes more than 20 filters and video effects like light leaks, dust, and grain, as well as advanced editing tools like color adjustment curves and green screen capabilities.”


Washington Post: Inside Facebook, the second-class workers who do the hardest job are waging a quiet battle. “The thousands of people who do the bulk of Facebook’s work keeping the site free of suicides, massacres and other graphic posts are not Facebook employees. As contractors employed by outsourcing firms, these content moderators don’t get Facebook’s cushy six-month maternity leave, aren’t allowed to invite friends or family to the company cafeteria, and earn a starting wage that is 14 percent of the median Facebook salary.”

UNC Library: Savoring Southern Apples at Wilson Library . “Students in Elizabeth Engelhardt’s senior seminar in Southern studies showcased their digital research projects on Southern apples on a big screen at the front of the room. Apple enthusiasts — growers, festival organizers, researchers, chefs, cidery and nursery owners — nibbled on treats as they gathered to mark the official acquisition of the ‘Creighton Lee Calhoun Papers on Southern Apples, 1970s-2010’ in the Southern Historical Collection. Ann Marie Thornton of James Creek Cidery organized the food donations, which included contributions from James Beard award-winning chef Andrea Reusing, owner of Lantern restaurant.”


Ars Technica: Hackers breached 3 US antivirus companies, researchers reveal. “In a report published Thursday, researchers at the threat-research company Advanced Intelligence (AdvIntel) revealed that a collective of Russian and English-speaking hackers are actively marketing the spoils of data breaches at three US-based antivirus software vendors. The collective, calling itself ‘Fxmsp,’ is selling both source code and network access to the companies for $300,000 and is providing samples that show strong evidence of the validity of its claims.”

Mongabay: Social media enables the illegal wildlife pet trade in Malaysia. “It might seem harmless enough at first. The big eyes and the rambunctious, bounding play of the tiny cats and monkeys on your social media feed draw you in, and you think, I could take care of one of these adorable little animals. Reaching an audience of thousands of potential buyers is just one of the benefits that wildlife traffickers like Kejora Pets in Peninsular Malaysia reap when using social media. It also helps them cloak their identity and dodge the law while satisfying the demand for animals that have been plucked from their forest homes. But the sale of these animals as pets threatens their survival in the wild, conservationists say.”

Bleeping Computer: Site Promoting KeePass Password Manager Pushes Malware. “A site that pretends to promote the popular KeePass password management software is actually distributing malware on unsuspecting visitors. This site is part of a larger network of sites distributing adware bundles as free programs.”


Bangor Daily News: Our national memory is endangered. “America is losing its memory. The National Archives and Records Administration is in a budget crisis. More than a resource for historians or museum of founding documents, NARA stands at the heart of American democracy. It keeps the accounts of our struggles and triumphs, allows the people to learn what their government has done and is doing and it maintains records that fill in family histories. Genealogy researchers depend on it, as do journalists filing Freedom of Information Act requests. If Congress doesn’t save it, we all will suffer.”

Boing Boing: This neural network completes your text. “Adam King, a machine learning/AI engineer, built a web-based demonstration of a neural network that autocompletes a text prompt.”

KFGO: Now you can explore a cave without actually going into a cave. “Czech speleologists have come up with a way to explore flooded cave systems without strapping on scuba gear, wet suits, helmets and water-proof lamps: 3D mapping.” Good morning, Internet…

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