Urban Art Mapping Research Project, Google Collections, YouTube, More: Monday Evening ResearchBuzz, September 6, 2021


Western Michigan University: In the Streets; On the Walls: Archiving, Activism, & the Urban Art Mapping Street Art Database. “The Urban Art Mapping George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art database is a crowdsourced, activist archive of street art created in the context of the ongoing movement demanding social justice and equality…. Join guest scholars Heather Shirey and David Todd Lawrence, co-directors of Urban Art Mapping Research Project, and learn about the ways that artists and writers have used walls, posts, streets and boards as sites for vernacular communicative acts and explore the goals, challenges and applications of a crowd-sourced archive of protest art in the community.” September 15th, Webex, free.


9to5 Google: Google app gets redesigned ‘Collections’ tab that is more automated and useful. “The latest version of Google Search’s integrated bookmarking feature is called “Collections.” It was last updated in early 2020, and a redesign of Collections today makes the Google app tab much more useful. The previous version was purely focused on letting users group pages, images, and locations. This new version shows people the content they recently visited and automatically organizes everything.”

CNET: YouTube surpasses 50 million subscribers for music and ad-free video watching. “YouTube has built up a paying subscriber base of more than 50 million accounts, the company said in a letter posted to YouTube’s blog Thursday. The members cross its music-streaming service YouTube Music and its YouTube Premium offering that includes Music as well as perks on its main video site, like watching ad-free. The 50 million figure also includes people on free trials.”


Free Malaysia Today: Digital art of Hermitage Museum to be sold as NFTs. “Russia’s Hermitage Museum, the largest art collection in the world, announced Tuesday it will sell several masterpieces, including a work of Leonardo da Vinci, in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT). The Saint Petersburg-based museum in partnership with the Binance NFT marketplace will run the auction starting Tuesday and until Sept 7, the Hermitage said in a statement.”

BBC: The Taliban embrace social media: ‘We too want to change perceptions’. “Zabihullah Mujahid’s first Twitter account was suspended by the company, but his new account – active since 2017 – has more than 371,000 followers. Underneath him is a dedicated team of volunteers promoting the Taliban’s ideology online.”

Joplin Globe: Joplin couple buys Supertam, the Route 66 attraction in Carterville. “One of Missouri’s popular Route 66 attractions — a small museum dedicated to Superman but that also sells red, yellow and blue ice cream — will soon be reopened under new ownership. Chris and Andrea Briley, of Joplin, recently purchased Supertam on 66 from Larry and Barbara Tamminen, after the latter couple closed the business on May 8.”


Houston Public Media: Texas Senate Passes Bill That Would Punish Social Media Companies For Alleged Political Censorship. “Texas is poised to punish social media companies for alleged censorship of political views after the state Senate passed House Bill 20 on a mostly party line vote of 17-14. Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes of Mineola, the Senate sponsor, argued that social media platforms are, in effect, common carriers – like phone companies and cable carriers – and should be treated as such from the standpoint of the First Amendment.”

The Verge: California bill takes aim at Amazon’s productivity-tracking algorithms. “California is poised to pass a new bill pushing back against the productivity measurement algorithms allegedly used in Amazon fulfillment centers, as recently reported by NPR’s Morning Edition and The New York Times. The bill passed California’s lower legislative chamber in May, and the upper chamber is expected to vote on it next week. If passed, the bill would place new transparency requirements on automated quota systems, and block any such systems that could endanger the health and safety of workers.”


The Markup: The Secret Bias Hidden in Mortgage-Approval Algorithms. “An investigation by The Markup has found that lenders in 2019 were more likely to deny home loans to people of color than to White people with similar financial characteristics—even when we controlled for newly available financial factors that the mortgage industry for years has said would explain racial disparities in lending.”

USA Today: Study: TikTok, livestreaming, and ‘creator economy’ quickly changing social apps landscape. “This year alone, consumers have already downloaded more than 9.2 billion apps and are expected to spend 740 billion hours on them. That includes an estimated 548 billion hours of them live streaming—in top apps including TikTok, Twitch and Instagram, according to mobile data and analytics tracker App Annie in its ‘The Evolution of Social Media Report’ released Monday.” Good evening, Internet…

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