ISIS Documents, Lucy Liu, Creative Commons, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, July 6, 2020


Task & Purpose: ‘ISIS Files’ launch: Thousands of documents reveal the terror group’s inner workings. “The New York Times and GWU announced a partnership in 2018 to digitize, translate, and analyze more than 15,000 pages of internal ISIS documents. Now, those documents are beginning to appear on the ISIS files website, which is based around themes such as ideology, war spoils, agriculture programs, and religious police files.”

Apartment Therapy: Lucy Liu is Also an Artist—and Her First U.S. Museum Exhibition Can be Toured Online. “While known for her movie and TV roles, actor Lucy Liu’s resume goes well beyond Hollywood. She’s also a painter and sculptor—and Liu’s first U.S. museum exhibition is now available to tour online. Entitled ‘Lucy Liu: One of These Things is Not Like the Other,’ Liu’s exhibition of wood sculptures and paintings is available to tour on the Napa Valley Museum’s website from now until August 2. To access the tour, museum attendees are asked to make a donation of any amount to provide support for the museum amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Creative Commons: Say What? Jonathan Poritz Records All CC Certificate Content As Openly Licensed Audio! . “Creative Commons provides educators and the expertise they need to harness Open Educational Resources (OER). We strive to make education more accessible to more people around the world. One way we do this is through our CC Certificate training, which is licensed CC BY 4.0 and available for use. Today, we’re delighted to announce our training materials are now available as audio files licensed CC BY 4.0. Thanks to the fantastic work of Jonathan Poritz, we can now offer materials in another format for learners.”

Lifehacker: Let Your Kids Go to ‘Camp YouTube’. “There are lots of virtual camps out there to choose from this summer, but this one that may hold kids’ attention longer than most. It features more than 1,200 videos from more than 40 different creators across categories that include STEM, arts, sports and adventure.”


Hongkiat: 10 Best WordPress Plugins to Create Forms, Polls & Surveys. “It is a well-known fact that one of the best ways to engage users on your website and gather significant user insights, is through polls, forms and surveys. For websites built on the WordPress platform, there is an abundance of free plugins you can take advantage of. However, to save you from the tiring effort of searching the best WordPress plugins for polls and surveys, I have gathered here some of the top choices I’ve come to know, use and experience.”

CNET: Parler: Everything you need to know about the Twitter alternative for conservatives. “Trump’s campaign has been considering “building audiences” on other social media platforms, including Parler, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. Two days after the Journal article was published, Parler surpassed Twitter and Reddit to become the top-ranked iPhone app in the news category, according to CNBC, which cited app analytics company App Annie…. Parler didn’t respond to a request for comment. Here’s what you need to know about the social media app.”

How-To Geek: 7 Tips to Make the Web More Readable on an iPhone. “You probably spend more time reading on your iPhone than you do texting, calling, or playing games. Most of that content is likely on the web, and it’s not always easy to see or scroll through. Fortunately, there are plenty of hidden features that can make reading on your iPhone a much more pleasant experience.”


The Register: ‘Google cannot stop it, control it or curtail it…’ Inside the murky world of fake addiction treatment center search spam. “An investigator who asked to remain anonymous provided The Register with research detailing online advertising in the substance abuse treatment industry, including a review of Google search results listings and how they’re informed by Google My Business data, which companies provide about themselves to identify their store locations and hours. It appears that many of these are just front organizations, intended to pick up people desperate for care and with the insurance to pay for it.”

Interesting Engineering: A Brief History of Computing and the Web: From 17th Century Computers to Today’s Digital Empires. “Today, most of us depend heavily on the Internet, for everything from work, to managing our finances, answering correspondences, or our social lives. The applications of the web are both endless and vital to modern life. While many of us have been online since the 1990s, the history of computing stretches back even far further – and after all, without computing, there can be no web. In fact, the first primitive computing devices were conceived as long ago as the 17th Century, with the earliest concepts for programmable computers emerging in the mid-19th Century.” Extensive article, chockablock with links.

AP: Facebook groups pivot to attacks on Black Lives Matter. “A loose network of Facebook groups that took root across the country in April to organize protests over coronavirus stay-at-home orders has become a hub of misinformation and conspiracy theories that have pivoted to a variety of new targets. Their latest: Black Lives Matter and the nationwide protests of racial injustice.”


Engadget: Reddit and LinkedIn will fix clipboard snooping in their iOS apps. “The clipboard privacy feature in iOS 14 is prompting more major developers to tone down their apps’ nosy behavior. To start, Reddit told The Verge in a statement that it would fix code in its iOS app that copies clipboard data with virtually every keystroke, as co-founder Don Morton discovered.”

Genealogy’s Star: Reclaim the Records wins FOI fight for 19th and 20th Century Yonkers, New York Birth and Death Records. “After literally years of negotiating and haggling (although luckily stopping short of yet another lawsuit), we are pleased to announce the first-ever publication of tens of thousands of late nineteenth and early twentieth century births and deaths for Yonkers, New York. We’ve photographed the alphabetical indices, and for most years we were able to photograph the full birth and death registers, too!”


Ars Technica: The remote British village that built one of the UK’s fastest Internet networks. “B4RN started planning to roll out its fiber-to-the-home network in Clapham in 2014, and by the end of 2018, around 180 homes out of 300 in the village had been hooked up with an affordable full gigabit-per-second symmetrical connection (currently only around 10% of homes in Britain are even capable of receiving such a connection). The speeds are impressive, especially in a rural context where Internet connectivity lags horrendously behind urban areas in Britain. Rural download speeds average around 28Mbps, compared to 62.9Mbps on average in urban areas. B4RN, meanwhile, delivers 1,000Mbps.” Good morning, Internet…

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