Railroad Dining Car Menus, Tamil Dance, US Marine Corps, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, December 04, 2019


Atlas Obscura: A Newly Digitized Menu Collection Shows Off America’s Lost Railroad Cuisine. “[Ira Silverman] began collecting dining car menus, eventually amassing an archive of 238 menus and related pamphlets. After a long career in transit, he donated the collection to his alma mater’s Transportation Library, which recently digitized it in its entirety. The pages (almost all, impressively, unstained) offer a mouthwatering journey down the rabbit hole of deluxe railroad dining, when well-heeled travelers expected to sit at tables draped in white linen and indulge in outstanding meals plated on china.”

Connected to India: Singapore launches digital archive of Tamil dance. “The Digital Archive of Tamil Dance was launched on Saturday, November 30, at the National Library Board, Singapore (NLB)…. The event marks the completion of Tamil Digital Heritage Project – community-driven project aimed at creating a digital collection of Singapore’s Tamil culture, in particular music, drama, literature and dance.”


Marine Corps Times: New Marine Corps guidance clarifies political activity allowed on social media. “… the ease of social media politicking has created a gray area for members of the military who must navigate federal laws and military regulations that allow them a limited ability to participate in the political discourse while avoiding an actual or perceived official involvement by the Department of Defense. To help navigate this issue, the Marine Corps has released new guidance clarifying what Marines are and are not allowed to do when it comes to political activity on social media.”

Mashable: Powerful internet authority says it’s powerless to stop billion dollar .org takeover . “ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the organization empowered to manage the internet’s domain name system, has said it will not stop the sale of the .org top level domain (TLD) extension from a nonprofit to a private equity firm.”

Google Blog: Now it’s easier to share everyday moments in Google Photos. “You’ve always been able to share individual photos through the app by creating an album for a single photo and sharing the link. But we’ve heard from some of you that this could be a simpler experience, so now when you share one-off photos and videos, you’ll have the option to add them to an ongoing, private conversation in the app. This gives you one place to find the moments you’ve shared with your friends and family and keep the conversation going.”


Mashable: Boomers killed the Facebook status. “Something about Mark Zuckerberg’s problematic, highly criticized, privacy hazard of a platform has people born between 1946 and 1964 hooked, and in recent years they’ve come to adore one feature in particular: the giant, colorful status update.” My observation: the one Facebook friend who posts lots and lots of these giant colorful status updates is at least six years younger than I am, and I’m not (quite) a boomer.

The New Yorker: Big Tech’s Big Defector. “[Roger] McNamee saw the tech industry as an experiment in creative and profitable problem-solving. He grew unnerved by its ethical failures only in 2012, when Uber came to him for investment capital. He decided that Silicon Valley had changed. “These guys all wanted to be monopolists,” he said recently. ‘They all want to be billionaires.’ McNamee was convinced that Facebook was different.”


Music Business Worldwide: Genius Sues Google For ‘No Less Than $50m’, Alleging ‘Anticompetitive Practices’ Over Lyrics. “The company behind Lyrics website Genius, Genius Media Group Inc., is suing Google for ‘unethical, unfair and anticompetitive’ behaviour. Genius alleges that traffic to its site started to drop because its lyrics – which are annotated by its contributors – are being copied, and then published by Google via the tech giant’s lyrics partner, LyricFind.”

BBC: Android ‘spoofing’ bug helps targets bank accounts. “A ‘major’ security weakness in Google’s Android software has let cyber-thieves craft apps that can steal banking logins, a security firm has found. The bug lets attackers create fake login screens that can be inserted into legitimate apps to harvest data.”


The MIT Press Reader: Why Facebook is Rescuing Us. “Against all the talk about the capitalization of private data and the evil of Facebook, one needs to see the bigger picture. It is time to understand the enormous opportunity Facebook is giving humankind. It is time to acknowledge that Zuckerberg’s invention has made the social not only measurable but also sustainable. It is taking care of the problem of meaning in life by getting rid of any time to wonder.” It’s rare that I read something that’s so intellectually stimulating and at the same time such a hard punch to the face.

The Conversation: The hidden costs of social media use in elections: A Ghana case study. “These more inconspicuous costs of social media campaigns are evident in Ghana, a country that boasts a stable party system, closely fought elections, and regular peaceful transfers of power. We recently conducted research on the role of social media in politics in the country. We found that the significance of social media is far greater than internet penetration figures alone would suggest. Politicians are investing heavily in the space and this is having a number of subversive effects.”

Science Daily: Fake news feels less immoral to share when we’ve seen it before. “People who repeatedly encounter a fake news item may feel less and less unethical about sharing it on social media, even when they don’t believe the information, research indicates.” Good morning, Internet…

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