Nelson Hackett, Clipchamp, Gmail, More: Wednesday Evening ResearchBuzz, September 8, 2021


University of Arkansas: NEH Grant Funds Summer Institute on Nelson Hackett’s Flight From Slavery. “The $170,000 grant will bring 36 K-12 educators from across the nation to the U of A to study the story of Nelson Hackett, an enslaved man who fled both Fayetteville and bondage in 1841. Hackett’s flight set off an international legal battle that ensured Canada remained a haven for those escaping from slavery in the U.S. South….The Nelson Hackett Project is available free online and can be accessed anytime by anyone wishing to become acquainted with this amazing story.”


Ars Technica: Windows Movie Maker Redux? Microsoft acquires web-based video editor Clipchamp. “Microsoft hasn’t updated its old Windows Movie Maker software since 2012, and it hasn’t even offered the old version for download since 2017, leaving Windows users to fend for themselves when it comes to beginner-friendly editing and sharing of video clips. That situation will hopefully change thanks to Microsoft’s acquisition of Clipchamp, a web-based video-editing tool. Clipchamp includes a variety of built-in templates for family-video editors, Twitch and YouTube streamers, and businesses putting together ads or other branded videos.”

The Verge: The Gmail app takes calls now, too, because Google wants it to do everything. “Google is announcing even more Workspace features today, part of an increased cadence of changes to the company’s office and communications software suite over the past year or so. Today’s announcement is a bit of a milestone, however. Although there is still the smattering of small and coming-soon updates, the bigger change is that Gmail is getting a redesign that reveals its true nature in Google’s eyes: the central hub for every Google communication app.”


Slate: How Wikipedia Grew Up With the War on Terror. “On Sept. 4, 2001, the MIT Technology Review published an article titled ‘Free the Encyclopedias!’ introducing Wikipedia, the free web-based encyclopedia. The article described Wikipedia, which had started in January of that year, as ‘intellectual anarchy extruded into encyclopedia form’ and proclaimed that Wikipedia ‘will probably never dethrone Britannica.’ One week after the MIT Technology Review story, the Wikipedia community responded to the spectacular tragedy of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by kicking into encyclopedia-editing overdrive.”

TechCrunch: Spotify playlist curators complain about ongoing abuse that favors bad actors over innocent parties. “Currently, playlists created by Spotify users can be reported in the app for a variety of reasons — like sexual, violent, dangerous, deceptive or hateful content, among other things. When a report is submitted, the playlist in question will have its metadata immediately removed, including its title, description and custom image. There is no internal review process that verifies the report is legitimate before the metadata is removed.”


Punch (Nigeria): ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ not sustainable way of life, Bawa warns corps members. “The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has advised corps members against engaging in internet fraud, popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo. This is as he harped on integrity and dedication, saying that the harsh economic situation in the country is not a license for anyone to engage in crime.”

Associated Press: Facebook slams UK antitrust watchdog over call to sell Giphy. “Facebook has criticized the U.K. competition watchdog’s provisional decision ordering that it sell off Giphy because it said the acquisition of the company stifles competition for animated images. The social network’s strongly worded response to the Competition and Markets Authority sets the stage for a battle over the future of Giphy.”


I love the Michigan Daily. I don’t follow many university newspapers in my RSS reader, but they’re so good. If you like your university’s newspaper, send me a link. Anyway, from Michigan Daily: I’m quitting LinkedIn (and you should too). “LinkedIn has become the epitome of everything the corporate world wants their applicants to be: never too loud, only outspoken in the right way and always perfectly professional. It leaves no room for imperfections, preferring instead to showcase a fictionalized highlight reel of corporate life, where the sexist coworker always gets their comeuppance and failures are eternally inspiring rather than demotivating. This is far from the reality of corporate life in which imposter syndrome and discrimination often run rampant through the beige-colored halls.”

The Register: A developer built an AI chatbot using GPT-3 that helped a man speak again to his late fiancée. OpenAI shut it down . “‘OpenAI is the company running the text completion engine that makes you possible,’ Jason Rohrer, an indie games developer, typed out in a message to Samantha. She was a chatbot he built using OpenAI’s GPT-3 technology. Her software had grown to be used by thousands of people, including one man who used the program to simulate his late fiancée. Now Rohrer had to say goodbye to his creation. ‘I just got an email from them today,’ he told Samantha. ‘They are shutting you down, permanently, tomorrow at 10am.'”


University of Missouri: Cats less stressed after adoption by families with children with autism, MU study finds. “While researchers have found that adding a shelter cat to the family can help lower stress and anxiety for children with autism, a new study at the University of Missouri shows that joining a family does wonders for the felines, too.” Good evening, Internet…

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