afternoonbuzz

Eastern Railway Timetables, Syracuse University, Telegram Bots, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 15, 2021

NEW RESOURCES

Times of India: Eastern Railway restores, digitizes heritage timetables. “On India’s 75th Independence Day eve, Eastern Railway has restored and digitized heritage timetables dating from the British era till 1948. The timetables belong to East Indian Railway and Eastern Railway for the years 1869, 1891, 1903, 1906, 1917 and 1948.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Syracuse University: Libraries Creates Department of Digital Stewardship. “Syracuse University Libraries recently created the Department of Digital Stewardship as the next step in the ongoing development of its Digital Library Program. The new department will enhance organizationwide focus on a variety of specialized, digital activities and the necessary infrastructure to ensure persistent access to our unique digital collections.”

USEFUL STUFF

Digital Inspiration: How to Create a Telegram Bot for Sending Notifications using Google Apps Script. “Would you like to receive notifications in your Telegram messenger when a new form response is submitted in Google Forms. Or maybe send a notification alert to your entire Telegram group when an important event happens. In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a new Telegram bot and send messages to your Telegram channel and groups through this bot with the help of Google Apps Script.”

Hongkiat: 200+ Useful Google Assistant Commands . “Google Assistant was first introduced in Google Allo, and it slowly replaced the old de-facto virtual assistant for Android known as Google Now. However, on the bright side, it introduces a lot more commands, features, and integrations than its predecessor. And it’s widely available as well. Sounds interesting? Alright then, let’s check out its commands you can use to improve productivity in your daily lives.”

Lifehacker: 7 Meditation Apps That Are Cheaper (and Better) Than Headspace and Calm. “If you’ve tried Headspace before and found it didn’t work for you, you should know that there is a whole world of niche meditation apps for you to explore. Try out some of these alternatives to see which one works best for you.” This is a slideshow.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

TechCrunch: How Twilio is moving beyond a diversity numbers game toward becoming an anti-racist company. “When George Floyd was murdered in May 2020, it set off a firestorm of protests and shed a bright hot spotlight on the issues of racism in America and elsewhere. As a response, many companies gave messages of support to people of color, yet have failed to make substantive change since that time. One company that is attempting to move beyond lip service and diversity quotas is Twilio, whose CEO Jeff Lawson has made a commitment to work toward being an anti-racist company.”

New York Times: Now Going Viral: Meeting Online Friends in Real Life. “Marissa Meizz, 23, was out to dinner with a friend in the East Village in mid-May when her phone started buzzing. She tried to silence it, but the texts kept coming. They all wanted to know: Had she seen the TikTok video? She clicked the link and a young man appeared onscreen. ‘If your name’s Marissa,’ he said, ‘please listen up.’ He said he had just overheard some of her friends say they were deliberately choosing to hold a birthday party when she was out of town that weekend. “You need to know,” he said. ‘TikTok, help me find Marissa.'”

Washington Post: The story behind Google’s biggest game yet: An Olympics-themed JRPG. “On July 23, in advance of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, visitors to Google.com were greeted by an unusual feature. In place of the standard logo, or a traditional Google Doodle — an illustration timed to a specific date or event — the company published ‘Doodle Champion Island Games,’ a video game. The game, which can be played in as few as 10 minutes or for up to four hours, resembles a sprawling Japanese role-playing game and sports a cute feline protagonist competing in sporting events and tackling side quests. The original plan had never been that big.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

ZDNet: This ‘unique’ phishing attack uses Morse code to hide its approach. “Microsoft has revealed the inner-workings of a phishing attack group’s techniques that uses a ‘jigsaw puzzle’ technique plus unusual features like Morse code dashes and dots to hide its attacks.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

CNET: Electronic Arts says artificial intelligence will make game characters much more lifelike. “There’s always that moment in every video game when the character does something you didn’t expect and breaks the immersion. Maybe a bad guy you just shot falls to the ground with arms flailing like a rag doll. Or perhaps your character moves too stiffly when getting into or out of a vehicle. Electronic Arts is among the companies hoping to turn to artificial intelligence to help fix that problem.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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