Vanity Fair, Rip It Up, Facebook, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, May 17, 2019


Vanity Fair: Radhika Jones Introduces Vanity Fair’s Full Digital Archive. “Our elves have been coding for more than a year and a half to bring you a state-of-the-art, searchable presentation of the entire history of Vanity Fair, from its beginnings in 1913 to its revival in 1983 through to the present.”

The Spinoff: Rip It Up memories: An oral history of our greatest music mag. “The first 101 issues of Rip It Up have been added to the free online archive Papers Past. Gareth Shute tracked down some of the people behind this legendary publication to get a sense of how it started and why it was so essential to the local music scene.”


CNET: Facebook starts restoring ‘view as public’ feature after 2018 security breach. “Facebook is bringing back a version of a privacy feature that it disabled last year after hackers exploited the tool to access the emails, phone numbers and other personal information of 29 million users.”

Ars Technica: Microsoft open sources algorithm that gives Bing some of its smarts. “Microsoft has released today the SPTAG [Space Partition Tree and Graph] algorithm as MIT-licensed open source on GitHub. This code is proven and production-grade, used to answer questions in Bing. Developers can use this algorithm to search their own sets of vectors and do so quickly: a single machine can handle 250 million vectors and answer 1,000 queries per second. There are some samples and explanations in Microsoft’s AI Lab, and Azure will have a service using the same algorithms.”

The Verge: White House launches tool to report censorship on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. “On Wednesday, the White House launched a new tool for people to use if they feel they’ve been wrongly censored, banned, or suspended on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.” The privacy policy on this form is kind of eeeeeeesh.

PC World: Microsoft revives once-dead Paint with new keyboard controls and accessibility enhancements. “Windows 10’s once-doomed Microsoft Paint hasn’t only been given a reprieve, it’s also apparently been given a new lease on life. The fan favorite software, previously labeled as ‘deprecated’ and all but chucked into the trash bin by Microsoft, is gaining some new capabilities in the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, the company revealed this week.”


Make Tech Easier: Reclaim Your Privacy with These Privacy-Focused Alternatives to Google’s Services. “We put up with Google because the apps are awesome. But there are downsides to living in the panopticon. If you’d prefer not to have a corporation and all its buddies breathing down your neck, consider these privacy-focused alternatives to Google’s services.” Couple of these I had never heard of. Nice list.

Bustle: How To Make A Digital Detox Last, According To Science. “Some aspects of social media can play into individual traumas or triggers. I was ordered (yep, ordered) off Twitter by my therapist when the comparisons with other people’s shiny achievements started to push my depression triggers. You don’t need to feel triggered in order to want to make a change, though. Studies have shown that social media can negatively impact body image, and that teenage girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to social media-induced depression. If you want to do a digital reset, here are some tips from science on how to make it stick.”


Wired: The Existential Crisis Plaguing Online Extremism Researchers. “In a connected, searchable world, it’s hard to share information about extremists and their tactics without also sharing their toxic views. Too often, actions intended to stem the spread of false and dangerous ideologies only make things worse.”


The Indian Express: Sony Music under fire as Kerala’s temple music videos get copyright strikes online. “A host of YouTubers and social media videographers are up in arms against American giant Sony Music Entertainment for claiming copyright over the state’s temple percussion styles such as ‘pandi melam’ and ‘panchavadyam’.”

TechCrunch: San Francisco passes city government ban on facial recognition tech. “On Tuesday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted to approve a ban on the use of facial recognition tech by city agencies, including the police department. The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance, introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin, is the first ban of its kind for a major American city and the seventh major surveillance oversight effort for a municipality in California.”


EurekAlert: To win online debates, social networks worth a thousand words. “Want to win an argument online? Bolstering your social network may be more helpful than rehearsing your rhetorical flourishes. According to Cornell researchers, social interactions are more important than language in predicting who is going to succeed at online debating. However, the most accurate model for predicting successful debaters combines information about social interactions and language, the researchers found.” Good morning, Internet…

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