Cultural Critic Diversity, Sad Dog Movies, Windows 7, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, January 14, 2020


Los Angeles Times: Time’s Up launches a database of diverse film and TV critics and journalists . “Time’s Up has officially launched Critical, a database of underrepresented film and television critics and reporters, in an effort to push for greater diversity and inclusion in entertainment media. The organization celebrated the database’s debut Friday morning with a group of nearly 80 journalists, publicists and executives at the Griffin Club Los Angeles in Cheviot Hills.”

You may scoff, but I have needed this in my life at times, from Simplemost: There’s A Website That Warns You If A Movie Or Book Has A Sad Dog Plot . “If you’re still not over the ending of ‘Marley & Me’ and can’t even think about ‘Old Yeller’ without welling up, there’s a website that could help you prepare yourself for similar movies. The site — ‘Does the Dog Die’ — doesn’t need much explanation. It’s a crowdsourced collection of dog movies that definitely require Kleenex.”


ZDNet: Here’s what will happen to your Windows 7 PC on January 15, 2020. “Microsoft has been warning Windows 7 users for the past year-plus that after January 14, 2020, they’ll get no more security updates to the operating system for free. Even though users will be able to continue to run Windows 7 after that date, they’ll be more susceptible to potential security problems. To hammer that point home, Microsoft is planning to deliver a new pop-up notification to Windows 7 users on January 15, 2020.”

Search Engine Land: Google January 2020 Core Update rolling out later today. “Google announced on the @SearchLiaison Twitter handle Monday morning that it is rolling out a new core update later today — the first core update for 2020. Google generally now rolls out these algorithmic updates every few months or so.”


Inc.: 20 Online Courses That Will Make You More Successful in 2020. “I’ve combed through the 2019 list for classes that will benefit most professionals (though if you’re looking for more niche subjects, especially in tech, check out the complete rundown for lots of interesting offerings). I’ve chosen classes in everything from exercise to data analysis that will help you be more motivated, productive, and successful this year. Happy learning.” Interesting list; content all over the map.


New York Times: ‘Chaos Is the Point’: Russian Hackers and Trolls Grow Stealthier in 2020. “American defenses have vastly improved in the four years since Russian hackers and trolls mounted a broad campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. Facebook is looking for threats it barely knew existed in 2016, such as fake ads paid for in rubles and self-proclaimed Texas secessionists logging in from St. Petersburg. Voting officials are learning about bots, ransomware and other vectors of digital mischief…. Yet interviews with dozens of officials and experts make clear that many of the vulnerabilities exploited by Moscow in 2016 remain.”

I found this but only after Ruth O. tipped me to a different article. The Construction Index: History revealed in John Laing photo archive. “Historic England and the John Laing Charitable Trust have launched a 21-month project that explores the history of constructing modern Britain through the John Laing Photographic Collection. Historic England holds Laing’s entire photographic collection of around 230,000 images. Breaking New Ground is a project that will digitise, conserve, catalogue and make accessible 10,000 images from this collection of social and industrial history.”


SBS: Algeria to outlaw hate speech on social media. “The president of protest-hit Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, plans to outlaw ‘hate speech’ that has proliferated on social networks in recent months, his office said Monday. Mr Tebboune asked Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad to draft a bill ‘criminalising all forms of racism and hate speech in the country,’ according to a statement published by the official APS press agency.”

The Register: Hundreds of millions of Broadcom-based cable modems at risk of remote hijacking, eggheads fear. “A vulnerability in Broadcom’s cable modem firmware has left as many as 200 million home broadband gateways in Europe, and potentially more worldwide, at risk of remote hijackings.”


Popular Science: Inside the extraordinary experiment to save the Stradivarius sound. “Stradivari remains the defining figure in violin-making, a name on par with Chanel or Ferrari. He fashioned instruments for kings and cardinals, and his creations bring their distinctive voice to the repertoires of modern soloists like Itzhak Perlman and Anne-Sophie Mutter. Musicians, luthiers, and scientists have tried for decades to figure out what gives a Strad its beautiful sound, yet no one has ever quite replicated it. And so the dream is to create a digital archive that will survive long after the last Stradivarius falls silent, allowing composers and artists to continue making music with them.”

Undark: 3D Printing and the Murky Ethics of Replicating Bones . “TEN YEARS AGO, it wasn’t possible for most people to use 3D technology to print authentic copies of human bones. Today, using a 3D printer and digital scans of actual bones, it is possible to create unlimited numbers of replica bones — each curve and break and tiny imperfection intact — relatively inexpensively. The technology is increasingly allowing researchers to build repositories of bone data, which they can use to improve medical procedures, map how humans have evolved, and even help show a courtroom how someone died. But the proliferation of faux bones also poses an ethical dilemma — and one that, prior to the advent of accessible 3D printing, was mostly limited to museum collections containing skeletons of dubious provenance.”

Nieman Lab: “Rated false”: Here’s the most interesting new research on fake news and fact-checking. “Journalist’s Resource sifts through the academic journals so you don’t have to. Here they collect the best of 2019, including research into the effectiveness of fact-checking, why people are susceptible to fake news, and the changing volume of misinformation on social media.” Good morning, Internet…

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