morningbuzz

North Carolina Archaeology, 3D Nefertiti, Ken Burns, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, November 26, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

University of North Carolina: Archaeologists open ‘virtual museum’ of ancient NC history online. “The public got its first peek at decades of work by Carolina archaeologists when the new interactive website, Ancient North Carolinians: A Virtual Museum of North Carolina Archaeology, launched Nov. 15. Using lesson plans, travel guides and a gallery of 3D artifact images, AncientNC raises awareness of the 15,000-year history of North Carolina’s indigenous populations and provides educational resources for the state’s teachers and students.”

Reason: A German Museum Tried To Hide This Stunning 3D Scan of an Iconic Egyptian Artifact. Today You Can See It for the First Time. “In Berlin, the state-funded Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection has a high-quality, full-color 3D scan of the most iconic portrait sculpture ever produced, the 3,364-year-old Bust of Nefertiti. It has held this artifact since 1920, just a few years after its discovery in Amarna, Egypt; Egypt has been demanding its repatriation ever since it first went on display. The bust is one of the most copied works of ancient Egyptian art, and has become a cultural symbol of Berlin. For reasons the museum has difficulty explaining, this scan too is off-limits to the public. Rather, it was off-limits. I was able to obtain it after a 3-year-long freedom of information effort directed at the organization that oversees the museum.”

Kinda surprised I missed this last week, but there you are. From the Washington Post: The indispensable Ken Burns has a new initiative: A one-stop online resource for teachers. “Burns — the maker of ‘The Civil War,’ ‘Baseball,’ ‘Jazz,’ ‘The War,’ ‘The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,’ ‘Prohibition,’ ‘The Roosevelts’ and ‘The Vietnam War’ — launched a new research site for educators on Tuesday called ‘Ken Burns in the Classroom’ on PBS LearningMedia — an online destination for free teaching and learning resources inspired by his documentaries.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

BetaNews: Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches ‘Contract for the Web’ to stop it descending into a digital dystopia. “The inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has launched a new initiative with the bold aim of transforming the web for the better, avoiding what he sees as the very real risk of it becoming a ‘digital dystopia’.”

TechCrunch: Microsoft adds Māori to translator as New Zealand pushes to revitalize the language. “The benefits of machine translation are easy to see and experience for ourselves, but those practical applications are only one part of what makes the technology valuable. Microsoft and the government of New Zealand are demonstrating the potential of translation tech to help preserve and hopefully breathe new life into the Māori language.”

Creative Commons: Introducing the Updated Creative Commons WordPress Plugin. “WordPress is one of the top platforms for creators on the internet who both produce and consume CC-licensed content. Therefore, it’s important that we are able to integrate with WordPress as seamlessly as possible in order to promote the use of CC licenses. With that in mind, we recently added new features to our WordPress plugin—which are now live!”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Radio Pakistan: Plan devised to make Pakistan polio-free by next year: Zafar. “Special Assistant to the Prime Minster on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza says government is taking strict measures to regulate vaccine-related harmful content on social media to address the misconceptions regarding polio campaigns…. The Special Assistant said rumours and propaganda spread over social media platforms has been fueling misconceptions about the vaccine and accelerated refusal cases.”

CNN: Democrats blast Google’s new rules for political ads. “Three major Democratic committees blasted Google on Friday for an ad policy that will allow politicians to run false ads across its platforms, including YouTube, in the run-up to the 2020 election. The Democrats also took aim at Twitter, without actually naming it, for banning all ads from politicians.”

The Verge: How Ommy Akhe makes her ultra-cool Instagram AR filters. “I first saw Akhe’s work in the Spark AR Community group on Facebook, a place for users to show off their latest filters and share tips. The London-based creator’s filters push the limits of what Instagram Stories are capable of, elevating AR lenses to an art form. She’s created dozens of filters that are not only impressive technically, but conceptually as well, playing on everything from Co-Star push notifications, read receipts, and our AI facial recognition fears.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

New York Post: How the NYPD’s fingerprint database got shut down by a computer virus. “The NYPD’s high-tech fingerprint database was temporarily brought down by a bumbling contractor with a virus-infected mini computer, The Post has learned.”

Consumer Reports: Digital Billboards Are Tracking You. And They Really, Really Want You to See Their Ads.. “On a bright Friday morning, Frank O’Brien is giving me a tour through Times Square in New York City. Thousands of strangers are milling around us on the sidewalk, and in the crowd, it’s easy to feel anonymous. But according to O’Brien, many of the billboards and screens towering over our heads in every direction know a lot about who we are.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Wired: I ditched Google for DuckDuckGo. Here’s why you should too. “What was the last thing you searched for online? For me, it was ‘$120 in pounds’. Before that, I wanted to know the capital of Albania (Tirana), the Twitter handle of Liberal Democrat deputy leader Ed Davey (he’s @EdwardJDavey) and dates of bank holidays in the UK for 2019 (it’s a late Easter next year, folks). Thrilling, I’m sure you’ll agree. But something makes these searches, in internet terms, a bit unusual. Shock, horror, I didn’t use Google. I used DuckDuckGo. And, after two years in the wilderness, I’m pretty sure I’m sold on a post-Google future.” Good morning, Internet…

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