Syed Sajjad Zaheer, Cyndi’s List, Google Chrome, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, March 7, 2021


H-Asia: Announcing the Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive. “The product of many years of work by many, many hands, the online archive is a portal to the private collection of Syed Sajjad Zaheer (1905-1973), renown Urdu litterateur and political activist. As the personal and working archive of an author, activist and family member, the Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive is a rich collection of materials from letters to manuscripts to photographs.”


Congratulations to genealogy resource site Cyndi’s List, which is 25 years old! “After all these years people still don’t often believe me when I say that I am the only person who works on the site. It’s true, it’s just me. This is my job, but it’s also my life’s work and my passion. I still enjoy what I do and still find it rewarding, particularly when I hear of success stories from all of you. I am happy to keep providing Cyndi’s List as a genealogical research tool for everyone to use.”

Neowin: Google refreshes Chrome profile experience on desktop, adds Reading List feature. “Google announced today that Chrome’s profile experience on desktop is getting an overhaul that makes it easier to switch between profiles and create your own customizations.”

The Verge: SoundCloud will pay indie artists based on their actual listeners. “SoundCloud’s trying something new for a major music streaming service: paying indie artists a share of their actual listeners’ subscription fees. The company calls this ‘fan-powered royalties,’ and it means a SoundCloud subscriber’s subscription fee or advertising revenue will be divvied up among the artists they actually listen to, rather than going to a big pot and being split up among the platform’s most popular artists.”


Ubergizmo: How To Create A QR Code For Your WiFi Password. “We’re sure that many of us have had that experience when your friends or family members come to your home and ask for the WiFi password. Maybe you use this password for other things and you’d rather not give it outright, or maybe you’re tired of having to repeat it over and over again. Thankfully, there is a quicker way of giving your guests access to your home’s WiFi and that is by generating a QR code.”


TechCrunch: Cappuccino lets you share short, intimate audio stories with your friends. “The app lets you create groups with your friends or your families. Members of the group can record a short audio message — a bean, as the startup calls it. They talk about what’s on their mind for a couple of minutes. The next morning, group members receive a notification saying that your morning cappuccino has been brewed.”

TNW: How Twitter’s battle with India is boosting its local rival, Koo. “As the world moves towards the Splinternet, India’s trying to define its own versions through local laws and promoting homegrown apps. In this story, we’ll take a look at Twitter’s fight with India’s government, Koo’s opportunity to take advantage of that, and what challenges it could face by trying to rely on its nationalistic ties.”

Mashable: There are two types of texters in the world. Which one are you?. “Though you may not realize it, there are two types of texters in this world: those who send one detail-packed paragraph and those who use multiple messages to get their points across. Both styles have unique pros and cons, but chatting with someone who has different texting style than you isn’t always ideal.”


Emerging Europe: Poland and Hungary are gunning for the social media giants. “At a time when major social networks, primarily Facebook and Twitter, are facing increased scrutiny over issues such as the spreading of misinformation and the promotion of extremist ideologies that could undermine democracy, Poland is debating a new law that will stop social media platforms from deleting content or banning users who do not break Polish laws.”

Chicago Booth Review: Law and order and data. “Algorithms are already being used in criminal-justice applications in many places, helping decide where police departments should send officers for patrol, as well as which defendants should be released on bail and how judges should hand out sentences. Research is exploring the potential benefits and dangers of these tools, highlighting where they can go wrong and how they can be prevented from becoming a new source of inequality. The findings of these studies prompt some important questions such as: Should artificial intelligence play some role in policing and the courts? If so, what role should it play? The answers, it appears, depend in large part on small details.”


The Guardian: This AI-powered app will tell you if you’re beautiful – and reinforce biases, too. “Want to shatter your self-esteem in under five seconds? There’s an app for that! A startup called Qoves has developed an AI-powered beauty assessment tool that tells you how attractive you are. The free version spits out a list of your ‘predicted flaws’ and explains what sort of surgical interventions and expensive serums are needed to ‘fix’ you.” You’re wonderful just the way you are.

New York Times: Fixing What the Internet Broke. “The Election Integrity Partnership, a coalition of online information researchers, published this week a comprehensive analysis of the false narrative of the presidential contest and recommended ways to avoid a repeat. Internet companies weren’t solely to blame for the fiction of a stolen election, but the report concluded that they were hubs where false narratives were incubated, reinforced and cemented. I’m going to summarize here three of the report’s intriguing suggestions for how companies such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter can change to help create a healthier climate of information about elections and everything else.” Good morning, Internet…

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