Chicago Teachers’ Strike, WordPress, Firefox Reality, More: Monday Evening ResearchBuzz, October 21, 2019


Larry Ferlazzo: Updated Resources On The Chicago Teachers’ Strike. “Here are new additions to THE BEST ARTICLES & VIDEOS FOR LEARNING ABOUT THE 2019 CHICAGO TEACHERS’ STRIKE.”

The first WordPress 5.3 release candidate is now available. “WordPress 5.3 expands and refines the Block Editor introduced in WordPress 5.0 with new blocks, more intuitive interactions, and improved accessibility. New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers complete control over the look of a site.” I have been successfully avoiding the block editor so far…

Mozilla Mixed Reality Blog: Firefox Reality Top Picks – Bringing You New Virtual Reality Experiences Weekly. “So you bought yourself a fancy VR headset, you’ve played all the zombie-dragon-laser-kitten-battle games (we have too!) and now you’re wondering… what else is there? Where can I find other cool stuff to explore while I have this headset strapped to my face? We felt the same way, so we built Firefox Reality to help you in your quest for the most interesting, groundbreaking and entertaining virtual reality content on the Web.”


Hongkiat: How to Improve Writing Quality with Data Storytelling. “In our interconnected, globalized world, there’s a more significant need than ever for the kind of human connection and understanding that storytelling can convey. New technologies such as the big data revolution, data visualization, and data analytics tools allow us to raise the quality of our stories by backing them up with relevant data.” Ends abruptly — will there be a part 2?

Lifehacker: The Best Podcasts for Discovering New Music. “I like to discover my music anywhere but the radio: playlists, TV soundtracks, best-of lists, subway bands, TikToks, overheard songs in bars and stores and coffeeshops…and podcasts. What a fantastic medium for trying out new music. A music podcast is like your favorite radio show on demand—and of course many of the best are simply rebroadcasts of actual radio shows, with quieter commercials and no wacky morning DJs. These are my favorite shows for discovering new and new-to-me music, or re-discovering old favorites.”


WBIR: ‘Rising from the Ashes’ | UT library begins project to document Gatlinburg wildfire experiences. “Nearly three years after the Gatlinburg wildfires, University of Tennessee librarians have started work on a special project to archive that history. It’s expected to take up to three years to complete. The purpose is to speak with people who were impacted by the fire and preserve their experiences for the future.”

Forge Today: The rise of made-for-Instagram exhibits: How social media is shaping art and the way you experience it. “The desire for content has contributed to the recent success of ‘experiences’ within the industry, where exhibitions are judged for their ‘Instagramability’ and how well they photograph. The general rule appears to be the more aesthetic or interesting the exhibition, the more traction it receives, with the worldwide success of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms (there are currently 838k photos with the tag #yayoikusama on Instagram) or the Guggenheim’s America (a golden toilet recently stolen from Blenheim Palace after 100,000 people waited to use it) often used as prime examples.”


New York Times: Cruise Line Bars Woman Who Climbed on Balcony Railing for Selfie. “A photograph taken this week on a Caribbean cruise ship quickly gained widespread attention but it wasn’t of a pink-sand beach, a zip-lining adventure or an onboard skydiving simulator. It was of a woman standing on a balcony railing of her stateroom on one of the world’s largest cruise ships — posing for a selfie.”


Globe and Mail: Facebook reduces transparency of information on political-ad targeting. “The company is asking users to complete a ‘captcha’ – a visual challenge that asks people to pick out similar items in a photo or type out a sequence of letters and numbers, for example. These captchas are preventing tools designed to monitor users’ feeds from automatically collecting ad-targeting information. The impact of the captchas on the tool’s ability to collect targeting information is significant. In August, more than 86 per cent of ads collected had targeting information. Since the federal election campaign began, that number has dropped to 16 per cent.”

TechCrunch: Facebook isn’t free speech, it’s algorithmic amplification optimized for outrage. “The problem is that Facebook doesn’t offer free speech; it offers free amplification. No one would much care about anything you posted to Facebook, no matter how false or hateful, if people had to navigate to your particular page to read your rantings, as in the very early days of the site. But what people actually read on Facebook is what’s in their News Feed … and its contents, in turn, are determined not by giving everyone an equal voice, and not by a strict chronological timeline.” Good evening, Internet…

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