Electronic Music, Apple App Store, WordPress, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 11, 2021


Google Blog: Music, Makers & Machines. “Music, Makers & Machines, the new exhibit from Google Arts & Culture and YouTube, celebrates the history of electronic music: its inventors, artists, sounds and technology. More than 50 international institutions, record labels, festivals and industry experts have come together to capture the crucial role electronic music plays within wider culture, from the WDR Studio for Electronic Music to Blacktronika to the ‘Diva of the Diodes’ Suzanne Ciani. There are more than 250 online exhibitions, an extensive archive of photos, videos, 360° tours and 3D-scanned objects, including synthesizers and the door of Berlin’s legendary Tresor techno club.”


CNET: Apple said to deny Parler app back into App Store. “Apple has reportedly told the social network Parler that it still can’t publish its app in the iPhone and iPad App Store. Apple banned the controversial social network, which is popular with extremists and conspiracy theorists, after insurrectionists attacked the US Capitol on Jan. 6.”

Search Engine Journal: WordPress 5.7 Launches With One-Click HTTP to HTTPS Conversion. “Named after musician Esperanza Spalding, the first WordPress release of 2021 offers features such as an easier to use editor and the ability to accomplish more without writing custom code. Here’s an overview of all the new features in WordPress 5.7.”

PR Newswire: Announces New Words Relating to Covid, Social Justice, and More (PRESS RELEASE). “ today announced its latest addition of new words, which reflects the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on language and hits on a variety of additional themes relating to race, social justice, identity, and culture. The leading online dictionary has updated 7,600 entries, including 450 new entries and 94 new definitions in existing entries.”


WSMV: New search engine featuring black authors. “‘I started having a lot of conversations, especially during the lockdown, with some of my friends just trying to understand, “where were melinnial BIPOC youth and young adults getting their news from,”‘ said Dr. Paul McNeil of MB Usable Security LLC. McNeil found many were missing the black perspective. So he created ‘BLAAGLE,’ a search engine he designed where he’s indexing articles specifically written by black journalists and bloggers.” It appears that the site is currently in closed beta, but you can apply for access.

Yahoo Finance: Facebook and Twitter algorithms incentivize ‘people to get enraged’: Walter Isaacson . “The CEOs of Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG, GOOGL), and Twitter (TWTR) will appear later this month before a U.S. House subcommittee to face questions over the spread of misinformation tied to the 2020 election and COVID-19. In a new interview, author Walter Isaacson — best known for his biography of late Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs — said social media platforms should take more responsibility for the extremism and misleading information fostered by their sites. He offered a blistering criticism of the algorithms that determine what users see, calling them ‘dangerous.'”


Toronto Star: Uber, Lyft team up on database to expose abusive drivers. “Uber and Lyft have teamed up to create a database of drivers ousted from their ride-hailing services for complaints about sexual assault and other crimes that have raised passenger-safety concerns for years. The clearinghouse unveiled Thursday will initially list drivers expelled by the ride-hailing rivals in the U.S. But it will also be open to other companies that deploy workers to perform services such as delivering groceries or take-out orders from restaurants.”

The State: Hard to find now, SC senators want to show you how the Legislature spends your money. “The proposal would create a state website with a searchable database showing what the state is spending on and who is receiving money. The S.C. Comptroller General’s website currently has a searchable database for payments made to organizations but doesn’t differentiate from grants, state contracts or budgeted earmarks.”


The Conversation: It’s not just a social media problem – how search engines spread misinformation. “Ad-driven search engines, like social media platforms, are designed to reward clicking on enticing links because it helps the search companies boost their business metrics. As a researcher who studies the search and recommendation systems, I and my colleagues show that this dangerous combination of corporate profit motive and individual susceptibility makes the problem difficult to fix.”

University of Washington News: Large computer language models carry environmental, social risks. “Computer engineers at the world’s largest companies and universities are using machines to scan through tomes of written material. The goal? Teach these machines the gift of language. Do that, some even claim, and computers will be able to mimic the human brain. But this impressive compute capability comes with real costs, including perpetuating racism and causing significant environmental damage, according to a new paper, ‘On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big? 🦜'” Good afternoon, Internet…

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