Yeshiva University Newspapers, Windows PowerToys, Twitch Sings, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 7, 2020


The Commentator: Student Newspapers’ History Digitized by YU Libraries. “For the first time in their histories, most issues of The Commentator and the YU Observer — Yeshiva University’s two undergraduate student newspapers — have been digitized and uploaded online. This project was undertaken by Librarian of Electronic Reserves Stephanie Gross, and includes articles dating as far back as 1935, leading up to 2000.”


BetaNews: Microsoft releases two new PowerToys builds and adds new ‘Video conference global mute’ utility. “It seems like it has been a little while since Microsoft made any significant changes to PowerToys for Windows 10, but now the company has pushed out a pair of new releases. For people who want to stick with the more stable releases, there is PowerToys v0.21.1 which is largely about bug fixes and addressing stability issues. For anyone looking for new PowerToys utilities, however, there is the ‘experimental’ version 0.22.0 which features a new ‘Video conference global mute’ tool.”

Neowin: Twitch Sings service to close down by the year’s end. “In late 2018, Twitch announced a karaoke live-streaming feature called Twitch Sings at TwitchCon 2018. This was part of the video-streaming platform’s initiative to help its streamers ‘grow, connect, and thrive’. Following the initial announcement, the musical game was launched roughly six months later in April 2019. Today a message posted by the Amazon-owned gaming website came to light, revealing that the year-old karaoke service is going to be shut down.”


Digital Inspiration: How to Search Google Images by the Exact Size. “The ‘exact size’ search option is no longer available in Google Image Search but you can still limit your image searches to a particular size by using the secret imagesize search operator in the query itself.”


CanIndia News: Don’t blame us for classified ad decline in newspapers: Google. “Google reiterated on Monday that it is passing on the vast majority of money advertisers pay the Search engine giant directly to Australian publishers and it should not be blamed for classified ads decline in newspapers. The company said it does not object to the idea of an Australian Code called ‘News Media Bargaining Code’ to oversee relationships between news businesses and digital platforms.”

Mashable: ‘Cooking in a Wheelchair’ is a joyful, accessible YouTube show full of practical tips. “Cheese, joy, and an inordinate amount of garlic are just a few things in abundance in the new YouTube cooking show Cooking in a Wheelchair. The idea to make an accessible cookery show came during lockdown when disability campaigner Katie Pennick was shielding at home for three months, and unable to leave the house for any reason. Prior to the pandemic, Pennick tended to eat out quite often. So when she began shielding, she got stuck into cooking every day out of sheer necessity in addition to keeping herself busy.”


The Register: Utes gotta be kidding me… University of Utah handed $457K to ransomware creeps. “The University of Utah has admitted to handing over a six-figure pile of cash to scumbags to undo a ransomware infection during which student and staff information was stolen by hackers. The American school that gave the world science fiction author Orson Scott Card, ballistic missile designer Simon Ramo, and NBA player Keith Van Horn says that last month it paid crooks $457,059.24 to reverse an attack on the network of its College of Social and Behavioral Science.”

Gizmodo: Prison Phone App Exposes Millions of Inmate Messages and Personal Data. “As many incarcerated individuals are having their visiting privileges restricted due to the global pandemic, Telmate’s Getting Out app has become one of the only options that families separated by incarceration have to keep in touch. But according to research published today, hundreds of millions of intimate messages from many millions of inmates were sitting exposed on the web.”


MIT Technology Review: This know-it-all AI learns by reading the entire web nonstop. “To collect its facts, Diffbot’s AI reads the web as a human would—but much faster. Using a super-charged version of the Chrome browser, the AI views the raw pixels of a web page and uses image-recognition algorithms to categorize the page as one of 20 different types, including video, image, article, event, and discussion thread. It then identifies key elements on the page, such as headline, author, product description, or price, and uses NLP to extract facts from any text.” How fortunate that every page on the Internet is 100% true.

The Conversation: Is mathematics real? A viral TikTok video raises a legitimate question with exciting answers. “While filming herself getting ready for work recently, TikTok user @gracie.ham reached deep into the ancient foundations of mathematics and found an absolute gem of a question: How could someone come up with a concept like algebra? She also asked what the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras might have used mathematics for, and other questions that revolve around the age-old conundrum of whether mathematics is ‘real’ or something humans just made up. Many responded negatively to the post, but others — including mathematicians like me — found the questions quite insightful.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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