Retro Mobile Gaming Database, Art & Soul of Mosul, Professor’s Press Pass, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, January 29, 2021


North Carolina State University: Tracing the History of Mobile Games . “NC State’s Mobile Gaming Research Lab is launching the Retro Mobile Gaming Database (RMGD). The RMGD is an online, publicly searchable database of early mobile games, intended for use by game scholars, students interested in games, and game enthusiasts. And if there are games missing from the database, we want you to tell us about them.”

Google Blog: Mosul’s Art & Soul comes to life. “Some of us only know of the Iraqi city of Mosul as a place where many have suffered. But there is much more to the city than its recent history. Once a thriving trade centre, Mosul endured years of conflict but also renewal. Mosul, which is nestled in the ‘cradle of civilization,’ has a heritage that dates back to the 25th century BCE, and includes the breathtaking Great Mosque of Al-Nuri. To shed light on its art and history while supporting contemporary Mosulian artists, we’re launching The Art & Soul of Mosul on Google Arts & Culture, in partnership with Iraqi community radio station Al-Ghad Radio.”


Poynter: Our new Professor’s Press Pass delivers timely classroom lessons for journalism educators. “I remember wishing there was a wire service or app for teachers that would pick out the juiciest trends in journalism and deliver them on a silver platter to beleaguered professors. The Professor’s Press Pass is that tool. The service costs $12 a month or $100 a year, and your subscription goes directly back to creating more content for classrooms. A new classroom discussion topic is added each Friday, and I’ll give you a sneak peek in Alma Matters every issue.” Three samples are freely available online.

The Register: In a trial run, Google Chrome to corral netizens into groups for tailored web ads rather than target individuals . “Google’s cookie banishment plan followed shortly after its Privacy Sandbox announcement, a set of proposals since augmented with suggestions from other ad tech firms – there have been about 30 of them to date – that redefine how online ads get auctioned and how behavioral ad targeting can work without the privacy risks.”

BusinessWire: MyHeritage Releases Color Restoration Feature to Bring New Life to Faded Color Photos (PRESS RELEASE). “MyHeritage, the leading global service for discovering your past and empowering your future, announced today the release of color restoration for faded color photos. A major enhancement to MyHeritage’s advanced suite of photo tools, color restoration revives the authentic colors in faded photos, with exceptional results.” This is a freemium model — you can restore ten photos for free. You’ll need a subscription for more.


Make Tech Easier: 6 of the Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives. “When it comes to single-board computers, Raspberry Pi is the undisputed champion. The $35 microcomputer has amassed enthusiasts worldwide, thanks to its ability to perform PC-based functions at a fraction of the price of commercial equipment. Sure, it’s not the most powerful or the cheapest microcomputer, but its explosive success has attracted many imitators. If you are looking for single-board computers that are not Raspberry Pi, here are some of the best Raspberry Pi alternatives to check out.”


CNET: AMC, GameStop stock are on a Reddit-fueled roller coaster. Why, and what happens next. “Over the past few months, a bunch of Reddit users have worked to push up the value of shares for video game retailer GameStop, despite Wall Street investors betting the company will fail. In the process, they sent the stock up more than 14,300% (you read that right), with some wild fluctuations. Then they started spreading their strategy to struggling movie chain AMC, too. In their wake, these online market players have upended Wall Street, creating a drama filled with memes, app trading disasters and weird internet lingo as big-time investors have lost billions of dollars.”

The Verge: Exclusive: Google workers across the globe announce international union alliance to hold Alphabet accountable. “Google workers across the world are coming together to form a global union alliance. The newly formed coalition, called Alpha Global, is comprised of 13 different unions representing workers in 10 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Switzerland.”

Boing Boing: The bizarre internet mystery of an Avril Lavigne song that doesn’t exist. “For the last 20 years or so, I have had a healthy ambivalence towards Avril Lavigne. I don’t get worked up over manufactured pop stars and pop songs; sometimes they’re fine, they have a purpose, whatever. If I happen to be exposed to the music, maybe it’ll be tolerable, who knows. But I recently learned about the Avril Lavigne song ‘Dolphins’ and I’m utterly, utterly captivated.”


Ars Technica: A “no math” (but seven-part) guide to modern quantum mechanics. “My goal in this seven(!)-part series is to introduce the strangely beautiful effects of quantum mechanics and explain how they’ve come to influence our everyday world. Each edition will include a guided hike into the quantum mechanical woods where we’ll admire a new—and often surprising—effect. Once back at the visitor’s center, we’ll talk about how that effect is used in technology and where to look for it.”

Neowin: Unsurprisingly, live streaming grew more than 70% in 2020. “Live streaming on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming grew by a whopping 78.4% year-on-year in 2020, according to the latest data shared by Streamlabs in partnership with Stream Hatchet. The report focuses on the fourth quarter specifically but also provides a look at the entire year.”

The Next Web: Skyrim modders are using AI to generate new spoken dialogue. “If you’re unimpressed by some of Skyrim’s hilarious dialogue, a new AI app called VASynth lets you take over the scriptwriting. The tool uses voice samples from Bethesda games to convert text into speech. You can generate dialogue in the style of many voices from the publisher’s back catalog, including Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Morrowind.” Good morning, Internet…

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