Charles Darwin, Texas State Library, Snapchat, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 23, 2020


National University of Singapore: Darwin’s handwritten pages from On the Origin of Species go online. “An extraordinary collection of priceless manuscripts of naturalist Charles Darwin goes online today, including two rare pages from the original draft of On the Origin of Species. These documents will be added to Darwin Online, a website which contains not only the complete works of Darwin, but is possibly the most comprehensive scholarly portal on any historical individual in the world. The website is helmed by Dr John van Wyhe, an eminent historian of science. He is a Senior Lecturer at NUS Biological Sciences and Tembusu College.”


Texas State Library and Archives Commission: New Online: Recent Updates to Finding Aids and Digital Images Available Online. “As our archives staff work on an ongoing basis to arrange, preserve, describe, and make available to the public the materials under our care, we spotlight new additions to the website in a regular feature from Out of the Stacks. The column lists new and revised finding aids recently made available online.”

CNET: Snapchat takes on TikTok, Instagram Reels with new Spotlight feature. “Snapchat on Monday launched a new in-app feature called Spotlight to highlight videos on the ephemeral messaging app. Spotlight positions Snapchat to compete with other social video apps and features like TikTok and Instagram Reels.”

BetaNews: Happy 25th Birthday, GIMP — you make Linux a viable Windows 10 alternative. “When it comes to GIMP, many ignorant Adobe Photoshop users will scoff at it, but the truth is, a talented person can have success with either. Usually it’s just a matter of being patient and dealing with the learning curve. Ultimately, having GIMP makes Linux-based operating systems a legitimate option for Photoshop users. And now, GIMP celebrates a 25th Birthday.”


The Art Newspaper: ‘A crisis is always a good time to unite’: Russian art galleries form new alliance to boost industry. “A group of Russia’s contemporary art galleries have teamed up to form an association that aims to simplify the country’s notoriously tricky customs processes and boost the market with the help of some government funding.”

ZDNet: Top 10 Tech Turkeys 2020: The worst products and services of the (worst) year. “From COVID-19 to economic rollercoaster to election mayhem, 2020 is a year we’d all rather forget. But before we start looking ahead to a brighter and better 2021, and with Thanksgiving this week, it’s time for Jason Cipriani and me to hand out our annual Tech Turkey awards. That is, tech products and services that didn’t live up to their promise, overblown hype, or just flat out failed.”


New York Times: How Twitter and Facebook plan to handle Trump’s accounts when he leaves office.. “Many world leaders generally have wider latitude on Twitter and Facebook because their comments and posts are regarded as political speech that is in the realm of public interest. But what will happen to President Trump’s accounts on the social media platforms when he leaves office?”

The Next Web: Facebook patches a Messenger bug that allowed others to snoop on your calls. “The bug was found by Google Project Zero researcher Natalie Silvanovich last month, and it affected Messenger‘s Android users. To start the attack, the hacker would have to initiate a call and send a specially crafted invisible message. Then they could listen to your audio, even if you don’t pick up the call.”


CNN: Facebook says it’s getting better at using AI to take down hate speech. “Facebook has spent years building and deploying artificial intelligence to stamp out hate speech on its massive social network. The company says it’s now using the technology to proactively spot nearly 95% of such content that it takes down. That remaining 5%, however, may be tricky to resolve.”

Phys .org: New digital media keeps families connected through forced migration. “Every morning in Vienna, 24-year-old Rasheed receives a WhatsApp message from his mother, who currently lives in Lebanon. Since he arrived in Austria in 2015 after fleeing from Syria, his mother has been choosing a picture with flowers, added a few words and sent it to Rasheed and to his siblings in their chat group. His brother lives in Dubai, the two sisters are at present in Turkey. One of them wants to get married soon, the other one had a baby three months ago. All four siblings respond, and this is how these five members of one family start their day. Even if the names and places in this example are made up, the scenario is real and typical of refugees in Austria.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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