Hymnology, Unemployment Fraud, Firefox, More: Friday Evening ResearchBuzz, March 26, 2021


Park Bugle: People in Your Neighborhood: Peter Mercer-Taylor. “In October, 2020, Mercer-­Taylor celebrated the publication of his second and most recent book, ‘Gems of Exquisite Beauty: How Hymnody Carried Classical Music to America.’ Equally significant is his project’s digital archive… that includes 278 hymn tunes’ scores with piano recordings.”

Department of Labor: US Department Of Labor Launches Website For Victims Of Unemployment Fraud . “The new website at provides key steps to help victims address issues that might arise because of previous identity theft and outlines steps to report the theft of unemployment benefits. To assist victims, the department worked closely with other federal agencies and state workforce agencies to consolidate necessary steps and resources. Site developers recruited actual victims of unemployment benefit theft to test the site and confirm its instructions were clear and easy-to-understand.”


Neowin: Firefox 87 reduces ETP site breakage with SmartBlock. “Mozilla has announced the release of Firefox 87 which introduces several features including SmartBlock which aims to reduce website breakage while using private browsing mode with Strict Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP). SmartBlock provides local scripts to fill the place of those blocked by third-parties, helping websites to function properly.”

ZDNet: The good and the bad with Chrome web browser’s new security defaults. “First, the good news. Starting with the mid-April release of Google’s Chrome 90 web browser, Chrome will default to trying to load the version of a website that’s been secured with a Transport Layer Security (TLS). These are the sites that show a closed lock in the Chrome Omnibox, what most of us know as the Chrome address (URL) bar. The bad news is that just because a site is secured by HTTPS doesn’t mean it’s trustworthy.”


Mashable: Free recipe apps for whatever (and however) you want to cook. “With a decent recipe app, you can instantly convert your smartphone or tablet into a veritable library of cookbooks. We’ve tried and tested five fabulous free recipe apps that together offer you well over 100,000 recipes from all around the world. Many of these also give you the ability to save recipes you want to make, allow you to easily create shopping lists of the exact ingredients you need, and even let you shop for the ingredients with integrated purchasing abilities.”


The Guardian: Berlin’s plan to return Benin bronzes piles pressure on UK museums. “Berlin is negotiating to fully restitute hundreds of the Benin bronzes in a shift of policy that has been welcomed in Nigeria but will put pressure on museums in London and Oxford to also return artefacts looted from Britain’s former west African empire in 1897.”

Online Journalism Blog: “Don’t give me more data — give me a story.” AJ Labs’ Mohammed Haddad on spotlighting human driven data journalism. “Mohammed Haddad joined Al Jazeera just as the Egyptian revolution began to unfold in 2011. Since then he has been behind some of Al Jazeera’s most prolific data stories, covering everything from UN General Assembly voting to mapping India and China’s disputed borders. And, while many of the issues Al Jazeera covers are deeply complex, AJ Labs often help to explain such narratives using data journalism. The key is to avoid overcomplicating the charts, says Mohammed.”


South China Morning Post: Singapore opposition politician ordered to pay PM Lee Hsien Loong US$99,000 in defamation case. “A Singapore court has ordered an opposition politician to pay Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong S$133,000 (US$99,000) in damages for defamation in one of two recent libel suits launched by the island nation’s premier over online comments about him.”

Governing: Judges Are Banning Capitol Rioters from the Internet. “Judges have long been reluctant to ban anyone from the internet, a restriction that essentially cuts a person off from much of modern society and has been reserved mostly for accused and convicted pedophiles. But as toxic disinformation becomes an increasingly dangerous threat, driving domestic terrorism and violence, the courts are facing vexing new questions around how often and under what circumstances those accused of taking part should be taken offline altogether.”


Hyperallergic: Listen to the Sounds of an 18,000-year-old Conch. “Music elites better table your ukuleles and unplug your theremins; science is bringing the noise with the newest in niche musical instruments. Or, more accurately, one of the oldest. A massive conch shell, unearthed by archaeologists in 1931 amid the remains of the Upper Paleolithic Marsoulas cave society, has been recently determined to be a musical instrument.” Good evening, Internet…

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