WWII Internment Camps, GayBlade, Mozilla, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, September 3, 2020


Newsweek: PBS Gives You a Virtual Experience of Being Japanese American During WWII. “‘Prisoner in My Homeland’ is the sixth game in the free interactive educational series. The game shows middle and high school students what life was like through the eyes of a Japanese American teenager named Henry Tanaka during World War II. In the game, Tanaka’s family is forced to leave their home on Bainbridge Island, Washington, for a prison camp in Manzanar, California. Players will make decisions based on survival and resistance, and challenge them to think about whether they should help their community, focus on family, support the war effort or resist injustice.”


Internet Archive: The Legend of GayBlade. “The recently released video game documentary High Score includes a sequence in the third episode about a game called GayBlade. GayBlade is one of the first commercially-sold LGTBQ-themed video games, a role-playing romp for Windows and Macintosh occasionally referred to as ‘Dungeons and Drag Queens’. Once thought to have been lost, the game’s software was recently discovered and preserved—and is now available in the Internet Archive!”

IT Pro Today: Mozilla Shrinks to Survive Amid Declining Firefox Usage. “Mozilla has been watching the user share of its flagship Firefox web browser shrink for a while, so it was hardly a surprise last week when the company announced it was doing some belt tightening that would result in another round of layoffs. What was a surprise were the numbers involved: The company is laying off about 250 employees, for a staff reduction of 25%, and is completely closing its operations in Taipei, Taiwan. In addition, 60 employees will be shifted to new jobs, and the company will reduce spending on such things as developer tools, internal tooling and platform feature development.”


Search Engine Journal: 9 Ways You Can Make Your Website More Accessible. “Incorporating accessibility on your website is the right thing to do today. Why? Because 25% of adults in the U.S. live with a disability, according to the CDC. However, too many websites still lack accessibility features. That means millions of users are struggling to use the web.”


RadioFreeEurope: Iran Jailed, ‘Coerced’ Canadian Facebook Whiz To Turn Informant, He Says. “Thirty-seven-year-old Facebook engineer Behdad Esfahbod has made the same wintertime trip every year since 2015. Yet this past January, the 37-year-old programming whiz’s visit to Iran to see his family took a wildly different turn. Within days of his arrival, the Iranian-Canadian dual national and graduate of Tehran’s top Sharif University had been thrown in jail and was being pressured by Iranian security forces to become an informant.”

Chicago Tribune: Column: Library’s digital archives of Blue Island newspaper will soon provide a glimpse into south suburb’s roots. “The Blue Island Public Library is finishing up a grant-funded digitization project that will soon allow public access to editions of the Sun-Standard newspaper from 1911 to 1990 and provide a valuable resource for genealogists, researchers and homeowners. The pages offer a glimpse into the rich history of Blue Island and other south suburban communities. The newspaper chronicled government, crime and other news, but also told stories of everyday life among neighbors.”


Publishers Weekly: Publishers, Internet Archive Propose Yearlong Discovery Plan for Copyright Case. “In a joint filing last week, attorneys for the Internet Archive and four publishers suing for copyright infringement proposed a discovery plan for the case that would extend for more than a year. The filing, known as a rule 26(f) report, lays out a potential road map for the case that would begin with the first proposed deadline for initial fact disclosures on September 11, 2020, and would conclude with expert depositions due by September 20, 2021.”

Canada Newswire: Google Faces Class Action in Canada Alleging it Turns Canadians’ Electronics into Tracking Devices Without Their Consent (PRESS RELEASE). “A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Google on behalf of the millions of Canadians whose personal information the global internet giant collects and profits from, allegedly without Canadians’ consent. The action is part of a coordinated national effort, with additional filings in Toronto and Montreal.”


Arizona State University: General public sees government science advisers through political lens, ASU researcher finds. “What people think of the scientists who advise the federal government partially depends on their own political persuasion and where the scientists work, according to new findings published this week by an Arizona State University researcher. The study highlights the risk of politicizing scientific advice given to government agencies.”

CNET: Here’s how Google Maps uses AI to predict traffic and calculate routes. “On Thursday, Google shared how it uses artificial intelligence for its Maps app to predict what traffic will look like throughout the day and the best routes its users should take. The tech giant said it analyzes historical traffic patterns for roads over time and combines the database with live traffic conditions to generate predictions.” Good evening, Internet…

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