Community Folk Art Center, Houston Murals, Thunderbird, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, July 17, 2020


Syracuse University: Community Folk Art Center Introduces Online Gallery. “The Community Folk Art Center (CFAC) has launched a new online gallery to enable visitors to learn more about artists from the African Diaspora and other underrepresented groups. The robust site also offers a virtual means by which former exhibiting artists, students, researchers and visitors across the country can continue to gather in the spirit of creative expression and dialogue.”

Preview: A new digital map is your guide to Houston’s murals. “The site is a project of UP Art Studio, a for-profit firm that has curated hundreds of civic commissions, including the Mini-Murals program on traffic boxes in Houston and Austin. Many UP Art projects populate the site to start, but the map is crowd-sourced, so others can add to it.” The site contains information on over 800 murals.


BetaNews: Thunderbird 78 unveils major UI changes, restricts add-ons to MailExtension API only. “Mozilla has released Thunderbird 78.0 for Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s the first major update of the popular open-source email client since August 2019, and is only available as a direct download — existing users of the Thunderbird 68.x series are advised to wait for a future release that will provide an upgrade path.”

The Register: Babe, I’ve changed! Twitter wants to try a relationship again with devs after first major API tweaks in years. “For the first time in eight years, Twitter plans to introduce a major revision to its API that describes how developers can access the platform’s data. In doing so, the shouty social network is making yet another attempt to stabilize its development platform and earn the trust of individual, academic, and corporate coders whose software might just make the company more valuable.”

The Next Web: Facebook gears up to take on TikTok with Instagram Reels’ worldwide launch. “Facebook is taking another stab at cutting into TikTok‘s userbase. The company is gearing up to launch Instagram Reels — its own take on short-form video sharing — in the US and more than 50 other markets, NBC News reports.”


The Guardian: Facebook, white nationalists and becoming the target of a hate campaign. “In November, Julia Carrie Wong reported on the continued presence of white nationalist organisations on Facebook – and a weeks-long campaign of racist and sexist harassment followed. She discusses the impact it had on her and why she believes Facebook has played a role in creating the conditions that enable that kind of harassment to happen.” Podcast; I do not see a transcript.

Bustle: Why Cake Memes Are Taking Over Your Feed Right Now. “We’ve seen some pretty weird internet trends circulate in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. There was the bizarre #PillowChallenge where people were tying their pillows to their bodies with a belt like a dress. Then there were those ridiculous but hilarious Gossip Girl memes that demonstrated that people were very bored in quarantine. And now, social media is swarming with new ‘made of cake’ memes based on a running joke where people are convinced they’re… made of cake. Yes, we have collectively lost it.”

The Verge: Black influencers are underpaid, and a new Instagram account is proving it. “Mikai McDermott first realized how underpaid she was while at her first photoshoot. McDermott, then a 19-year-old influencer and the only Black model on set, asked for £100 for the day, not knowing what she should have been asking for. During a break, she turned to a white model and asked how much she was making. The answer shocked her. The woman said she was making £1,000 total for the day — 10 times more.”


CNN: Twitter’s massive hack could be even worse than it seems. “The enormous Twitter hack that led to the accounts of a former US president, a possible future president, numerous billionaire businessmen, celebrities and the world’s most valuable company all promoting a bitcoin scam may go down as one of the worst cybersecurity disasters ever to hit a social media company.”


EurekAlert: Recognising fake images using frequency analysis. “They look deceptively real, but they are made by computers: so-called deep-fake images are generated by machine learning algorithms, and humans are pretty much unable to distinguish them from real photos. Researchers at the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Cluster of Excellence ‘Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries’ (Casa) have developed a new method for efficiently identifying deep-fake images. To this end, they analyse the objects in the frequency domain, an established signal processing technique.”


Polygon: This website turns your browser into a view through someone else’s window. “Their new website WindowSwap invites users to ‘open a new window somewhere in the world.’ When you click on the button on the site, it opens a new browser window (ha) that takes up the width of the computer screen and is filled with a video of a user-submitted view from their window.” I included this in CoronaBuzz, but I liked it so much I’m crossposting it. Good morning, Internet…

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