Montana History, Learning Guitar, Twitter, More: Friday Evening ResearchBuzz, November 22, 2019


Montana History Revealed: ExploreBig Gets Bigger and Better. “In 2017, [Montana Historical Society] launched—a website and mobile app—to share the history and architectural significance of selected Montana buildings, neighborhoods, and cultural sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Initially, ExploreBig included approximately 250 individual stories and several historic district and themed tours. In January 2019, the MHS Outreach and Interpretation program began efforts to make a good thing even better by showcasing our entire treasure trove of interpretive material.”


Google Blog: Chord Assist makes playing the guitar more accessible. “Joe Birch, a developer based in the UK, has a genetic condition that causes low vision. He grew up playing music, but he knows it’s not easy for people who have visual impairments or hearing loss to learn how to play. He wanted to change that, so he created Chord Assist, which aims to make learning the guitar more accessible for people who are blind, Deaf and mute.”

BetaNews: Twitter tests new scheduled tweets option. “Many demands have been made of Twitter: longer tweets, tweet editing and an end to trolling and abuse. The company has implemented a number of changes, but the most recent is the ability to schedule tweets.”

Neowin: Google Assistant now lets parents read bedtime stories to their kids when they’re away. “Google Nest has teamed up with Instrument to create an Assistant action called My Storytime that lets users play pre-recorded stories on Google Assistant-enabled devices. The new action is inspired by military families in which parents deploy overseas, with their children missing out on bedtime stories.”


TechHive: This free tool helps cord cutters escape from bloated TV bundles. “One of the points I often try to make in this column is that cutting the cord doesn’t have to involve spending upwards of $50 per month on a bundle of streaming cable channels. You can make choices and trade-offs, instead. If you’re willing to go without regional sports or specific cable channels, you can still get plenty of entertainment from cheaper services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.” Interesting tool. Recommended a service I’d never even heard of.


Washington Post: The Library of Congress will house the archives of the famous AIDS quilt. “Mike Smith remembers how the disease ravaged San Francisco’s Castro district, the heart of the gay community. How you’d pass emaciated men on the street, covered in cancer scars, and how, by the summer of 1987, a thousand men in a 10-block radius had died…. On Wednesday, Smith, [Cleve] Jones, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) gathered to announce that the quilt project’s vast paper archive was coming to the Library of Congress and the quilt itself was headed back to San Francisco, where it began.”

TechCrunch: Alphabet’s Loon signs deal with Telefonica to provide internet to remote parts of the Amazon. “Alphabet-owned Loon, the high-altitude balloon company that is using its stratospheric technology to provide internet connectivity on Earth, has signed a new commercial agreement with Telefonica-owned Internet para Todos (IpT). The IpT initiative, which is also backed in part by Facebook and the Development Bank of Latin America, aims to provide internet connectivity to users in remote locations across Latin America, and its deal with Loon will specifically connect users in remote parts of the Amazon rainforest in Peru.”


KMIZ: Homeland Security Department sued for allegedly tracking and interrogating journalists .”The Department of Homeland Security violated the First Amendment when it allegedly tracked and interrogated five journalists between 2018 and 2019, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.”

Statehouse News Bureau: Ohio Auditor Creates Public Records Rating System For Local Governments. “The official elected as the state’s accountability watchdog is creating a new program to encourage better open records policies among local governments, measuring best practices for following what are known as Sunshine Laws.”


Penn Today: Google’s claims of quantum supremacy: Groundbreaking, overhyped, or both?. “Google’s feat of engineering, creating the first fully programmable quantum computer, has been met with both enthusiasm and skepticism. In fact, an Oct 21st pre-print by researchers at IBM claims that the computation Google said would require 10,000 years to complete could be done in only two-and-a-half days using a different approach. In this Q&A, Lee Bassett, a scientist who works on quantum computing platforms, explains the science behind the headlines, what IBM’s counterargument means, and what the future holds for this fast-growing, and incredibly hyped, field of research.” Good evening, Internet…

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