Peace, YouTube, Twitter, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 30, 2020


State of the Planet, Columbia University: New Website Maps and Models the Science of Peace. “A new website … centering on recent research on sustainably peaceful societies has just been launched at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. The website presents an interactive introduction to the findings and outputs of the work of a multidisciplinary team of scholars that began studying peaceful societies in 2014. It showcases a global map of peaceful societies, findings from hundreds of empirical studies, and peace tech visualizations and simulations from the Sustaining Peace Project at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4), which seeks to advocate for more a more comprehensive understanding of how peace is sustained with local stakeholders, policymakers, and academics.”


TechCrunch: YouTube’s latest experiment is a TikTok rival focused on 15-second videos. “Users in the new YouTube experiment will see an option to ‘create a video’ in the mobile upload flow, the company says. Similar to TikTok, the user can then tap and hold the record button to record their clip. They can then tap again or release the button to stop recording. This process is repeated until they’ve created 15 seconds worth of video footage. YouTube will combine the clips and upload it as one single video when the recording completes. In other words, just like TikTok.”

The Verge: Twitter promises to fine-tune its 5G coronavirus labeling after unrelated tweets were flagged. “Twitter says it’s working on improving how it labels tweets with problematic 5G or coronavirus content, after users reported their tweets were being mislabeled with a COVID-19 fact-check.”


MakeTechEasier: Virtual Assistants for Linux You Can Use on Your Desktop . “You have most likely heard about virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and even Google Assistant. It isn’t common, however, to hear about virtual assistants for Linux. That doesn’t mean Linux doesn’t have anything to offer, however. Here, we’ll take a look at two virtual assistants that are available for Linux.”

Irish Examiner: New website helps people with dyslexia improve reading. “Computer science student Kevin Cogan created the platform so it can be adapted to suit an individual’s needs. The software can be downloaded as a Google Chrome extension so that can be used across all sites and online scripts.” Not entirely free; there is a premium version that unlocks all features, but according to the article it starts at a modest €2 a month (about $2.25 USD.)


Archinect: Paul Revere Williams archive acquired by USC School of Architecture and Getty Research Institute. “The architectural archives of prolific 20th century architect Paul Revere Williams, long thought to have been lost to fire during the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising, have been jointly acquired by the University of Southern California School of Architecture and the Getty Research Institute (GRI). Rather than being lost, however, according to an announcement published by the Getty Research Institute, the archive had been ‘meticulously cared for by Karen Elyse Hudson, Williams’ granddaughter, who has published extensively on his work.'”

MSN News: Democratic Senators Ask Zuckerberg to Act on White Supremacy. “Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg faces demands from Senate Democrats for answers about hate groups on the platform at the same time a growing number of companies are pulling advertising from its sites over harmful content. In a letter to Zuckerberg Tuesday, three Democratic senators question what they call the company’s ‘lack of action to prevent white supremacist groups from using the platform as a recruitment and organizational tool’ despite Facebook’s stated policies on hate speech.”


TorrentFreak: Court Excoriates ‘Copyright Troll’ Lawyer and Adds $100,000 in Sanctions. “Copyright lawyer Richard Liebowitz has, once again, been sanctioned by a New York federal court. In a scathing order, the court sums up the attorney’s ‘deplorable record’ which includes violating court orders and lying under oath. For his most recent wrongdoings, Liebowitz must pay over $100,000 in sanctions and also risks his right to practice in the district.”

National Accord Newspaper: Ethiopia experiences Internet blackout after musician Haacaaluu shot dead. “A blanket shutdown of the Internet in Ethiopia is being reported by Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of users at risk around the world. This came hours after prominent and outspoken Oromo musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was shot dead in Addis Abeba, the country’s capital. There have also been reports – via social media – of people taking to the streets demanding justice.”


EurekAlert: New open-source software aims to reduce cybersickness in VR use. “Cybersickness, or motion sickness during the use of virtual reality, can be a major roadblock to the development and adoption of augmented and virtual reality technology. Now researchers at UTSA have built GingerVR, the first open-source Unity software tool kit that allows developers to use proven techniques and innovative solutions against cybersickness in future extended reality environments.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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