New Zealand Social Media, Palestine Music, Twitter, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, June 16, 2019


National Library of New Zealand: Looking for Old Friends?. “Old Friends ( was a popular social networking website owned by Trade Me. Its purpose was to help people locate former school friends and workmates. Members who signed up to Old Friends could upload photos, post comments, contact each other and compile information for reunions. The site was launched in 2002 and finally closed in 2016. When Trade Me announced that they would be taking the site down, the National Library quickly got in touch to see if we could work together to harvest a copy of Old Friends for the Library’s collections.”

New-to-me, from Middle East Eye: Lost in music: How Palestine’s forgotten songs got rebooted. “They gathered in an apartment in Ramallah for two weeks – a diverse group of musicians and DJs brought together for a unique project. They included DJ and producer Sama Abdulhadi, Nasser Halahlih, a pioneer of 2000s electronic music, and Muqata’a, the godfather of Ramallah’s hip hop scene. Their task? To compose and record Electrosteen, an album based on a huge, painstakingly collected audio archive of Palestinian folklore.​”


Business Insider: Twitter mysteriously suspended several accounts linked to women who say they are refugees fleeing abuse in Saudi Arabia. “Twitter has suspended accounts claiming to belong to two Saudi Arabian sisters who fled the country to seek asylum, as well as the account of an activist who was posting on their behalf.”

TechCrunch: Spotify launches ‘Your Daily Drive,’ a personalized playlist that combines music and podcasts. “Recently, Spotify was spotted testing a new personalized playlist called ‘Your Daily Drive,’ which included both music and podcasts. Today, the company is officially launching this playlist in the U.S. in an effort to better cater to commuters who spend 70 billion collective hours behind the wheel, the company says. The playlist includes the music you already like along with other recommended tracks — the latter similar to its flagship playlist Discover Weekly — as well as podcast news updates from The Wall Street Journal, NPR and PRI (Public Radio International.)” I am super excited about this. Unfortunately it hasn’t turned up in my Spotify yet.


Lifehacker: Use the Semiphemeral App to Delete Your Tweets While Keeping Your Faves. “There are a lot of good reasons to delete your tweets, but I’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger. While the idea makes sense on paper, I know there are things I will regret erasing. We’ve recommended services to clear your Twitter before, but as far as I know, all of them delete your whole history. It’s all or nothing.”


Tubefilter: Creators Can’t Always Take Risks With Their Content. That’s Why YouTuber Community Standard Built Nebula — A Platform For Its Creators To Experiment.. “Standard isn’t a multichannel network, or a creative agency, or a management company. It’s something different. Wiskus, along with co-founders Philipp Dettmer (aka Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell on YouTube with 8.9 million subscribers) and CGP Grey (3.8 million), started Standard as a self-described ‘toolbox’ for ‘thoughtful content’ creators that supplies its members with production resources, design guidance, career mentorship, sponsorship opportunities, and data like channel engagement analytics.” … and a place where they don’t have to worry about getting flash-fried by YouTube’s algorithms.

The Mount Airy News: Grant aims to preserve local church history. ” The State Library of North Carolina has awarded Surry Community College Library a $42,433 LSTA Church in Community grant worth $42,433 to help with digitizing histories of local churches. The grant requires a $4,582 match.”

Reveal News: To protect and slur . “Hundreds of active-duty and retired law enforcement officers from across the United States are members of Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or anti-government militia groups on Facebook, a Reveal investigation has found.”


Ubergizmo: WhatsApp Warns Of Legal Action Against Abusers Of Its Platform. “Facebook-owned WhatsApp is the most popular cross-platform messaging service in the world. Operating at that scale presents its own set of challenges. The company has had to take several steps to ensure that its platform isn’t abused and not used for the spread of misinformation. WhatsApp is now threatening legal action against even those who merely claim that they have the ability to abuse its platform as many companies have emerged who claim to be able to do just that.”


MIT News: Toward artificial intelligence that learns to write code. “Learning to code involves recognizing how to structure a program, and how to fill in every last detail correctly. No wonder it can be so frustrating. A new program-writing AI, SketchAdapt, offers a way out. Trained on tens of thousands of program examples, SketchAdapt learns how to compose short, high-level programs, while letting a second set of algorithms find the right sub-programs to fill in the details.”

Boing Boing: Countries with longer copyright terms have access to fewer books (pay attention, Canada!). “Rebecca Giblin (previously) writes, “We’ve just dropped a new study we’ve been working on for a year. You know how it keeps being claimed that we need longer copyrights because nobody will invest in making works available if they’re in the public domain? Heald and some others have done some great work debunking that in the US context, but now we’ve finally tested this hypothesis in other countries by looking at the relative availability of ebooks to libraries.”

Colorado Sun: 50,000 old photos in Golden are helping scientists answer new questions about climate change. “American Alpine Club Library Director Katie Sauter spends a lot of time in the climate-controlled special collections room, flipping through hundred-year-old photographs, black and white images of climbers posing in front of the world’s mountains and glaciers in the early 1900s. While the library is primarily maintained for climbers and historians, there is another interested cohort: glacier scientists.” Good morning, Internet…

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