100 Days of Dante, 2020 Census, Twitter Redesign, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, August 13, 2021


Aleteia: Take a trip through hell, purgatory and heaven with 100 Days of Dante. “100 Days of Dante is a new website through which modern seekers and pilgrims can follow the great epic poem with free video presentations three times a week. The journey begins on September 14, the date of Dante’s death in 1321, and concludes on Easter 2022. The three books of the Divine Comedy, known in Italian as Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, are divided into 33 chapters known as cantos. Each video will present one canto, with commentary on it from leading experts in Dante studies.”


CNET: US releases 2020 census data, revealing increase in diversity. “Key findings include a dramatic jump in the number of respondents who identified as multiracial, which surged from 9 million in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020, an increase of 276%. The number of respondents identifying solely as white decreased by 8.8% over that same span, but that still represents the majority of Americans, at 204.3 million people, or 235.4 million when you add in respondents who identified as white in addition to another race or races. The total population of the US is now about 332.6 million, according to the Census Bureau’s population clock.”

Mashable: Twitter’s ‘follow’ button redesign is causing lots of confusion and unfollows. “In short: the ‘Following’ button is the same color of the apps background, which looks just like how “Follow” button used to look. That means lots of folks have now accidentally unfollowed people they already followed. It’s sort of a muscle-memory mistake because things look different at first glance.”

The Register: Thunderbird 91 lands: Now native on Apple Silicon, swaps ‘master’ for ‘primary’ password, and more. “Mozilla’s Thunderbird is a cross-platform, open-source email client. Its future looked uncertain in 2015 when Moz CEO Mitchell Baker said ‘sooner or later paying a tax to support Thunderbird will not make sense as a policy for Mozilla.’ Early last year, though, matters improved, with the formation of a wholly-owned subsidiary, MZLA Technologies Corporation, to manage the project.”


The Upcoming: Federico Fellini museum to open this month in Emilia-Romagna’s Rimini. “The seaside city of Rimini, in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, is welcoming a brand-new museum dedicated to Federico Fellini this month, allowing for an aftermath of last year’s centennial of the acclaimed Italian film director and screenwriter. The Federico Fellini International Museum is scheduled to open on 19th August, becoming the world’s largest museum devoted to the life and work of Fellini and his poetic heritage. It features drawings, costumes, exhibitions, film screenings, scenographic elements and multimedia presentations, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the world of Fellini, who is regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century.”

Indy Week: Her Take: Talking With North Carolina Hip-Hop Blogger Nancia Odom. “It has now been a year since this hip-hop column debuted. I have enjoyed every minute of my experience documenting hip-hop in the Triangle area, but I am not the first to do so…. Highpoint native Nancia Odom, a registered nurse by trade who now leads teams in support of clinical software, launched [her blog] in 2008. The blog made her one of the first people to document hip-hop in North Carolina, and the site is still active.”

TechCrunch: Felt raised $4.5 million to get you to ‘think in maps’. “Felt is a collaborative software company that wants to make it easier for people to build maps on the internet. It announced today that it has raised $4.5 million led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Designer Fund, Allison Pickens, Akshay Kothari (COO of Notion), Dylan Field (CEO of Figma) John Lily (former CEO of Firefox), Julia and Kevin Hartz, and Keval Desai.”


WRAL: NC town accused of hiding discriminatory billing by burying thousands of records in a field. “Some town leaders are suing the town, accusing them of burying the documents to hide a history of racially discriminatory billing practices. Whether or not the town is hiding a dark past, the buried documents pose a security risk, with personal information and even social security numbers clearly visible on the unearthed paper.”

CNN: Twitter blocks Indian opposition accounts for revealing identity of child allegedly raped and murdered. “The girl was a member of the Dalit community, the most oppressed group in India’s Hindu system of caste hierarchy. Four men have been arrested, though they have not yet been charged. The incident prompted a judicial inquiry and sparked days of protests from outraged villagers and activists who think Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has not done enough to address longstanding sexual assault problems.”


Search Engine Journal: Web Accessibility for the Human Experience: When We Can Help. “If you were talked into buying an accessibility automatic AI product by today’s version of a vacuum cleaner salesperson selling pink colored Kirby’s, you are making assumptions about the needs of persons with disabilities. The pushback by accessibility advocates and persons who find themselves facing interference by unwanted accessibility tools is intense and justified. The claim that one line of JavaScript inserted into a web page automatically fixes all accessibility issues and prevents an ADA lawsuit has been proven to be false.”

Harvard Gazette: How the government can support a free press and cut disinformation. “In a new book, ‘Saving the News: Why the Constitution Calls for Government Action to Preserve Freedom of Speech’ (Oxford University Press, 2021), Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard Law School, says the First Amendment not only does not preclude the federal government from protecting a free press in jeopardy, it requires that it do so. Minow spoke with the Gazette about some of the ways to potentially clean up social media and bankroll local news, and why arguing on Twitter isn’t a First Amendment right.”

NiemanLab: “No, nothing will be fine” — but could these misinformation games help at least a little?. “In the span of a decade, we’ve gone from a model where most people accessed information through trusted intermediaries, such as newspapers or the evening news, to now getting it through social media, he said. But that world is structured so that inaccurate information can become popular very easily and then ranking algorithms boost it even further. And platforms are constantly changing the rules and tweaking their secret algorithms, said [Professor Filippo] Menczer.” Good morning, Internet…

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