Indiana Housing, Colorado Inclusivity, James Webb Space Telescope, more: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, December 22, 2021


Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority: Lt. Gov. Crouch, IHCDA unveil comprehensive dashboard to assist communities with housing inventory. “Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and partners from the Housing Working Group, which represents stakeholders from around the state, today released a housing dashboard that includes a statewide inventory of housing in Indiana…. Information can be compared county by county, including housing stock in Indiana by age, by price, by number of units in a structure, by number of bedrooms in a unit, and more.”

Colorado Sun: The Green Book helped Black travelers navigate the U.S. Now two women are creating a modern version in Colorado.. “Here’s how it works. Participants can rate businesses using a range of markers, including courtesy of staff, Americans With Disabilities Act compliance, sense of personal safety and gender-neutral bathrooms. These ratings are used to populate ‘inclusivity scores’ and to grade the store, restaurant or service provider on a scale of 1-5. Business owners who pay to participate receive a detailed report with suggestions and recommendations about how to make their establishments more inclusive.”


Space: How to watch NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launch online in several languages on Christmas Eve. “The James Webb Space Telescope is the successor to NASA and Europe’s iconic Hubble Space Telescope. The next-generation capabilities of the upcoming observatory, paired with the laundry list of mission delays over the last several years, makes this a highly-anticipated event across the astronomical community.”


Engadget: DuckDuckGo offers a first look at its desktop web browser. “DuckDuckGo has offered an early peek at its upcoming desktop app. In a blog post that recaps the company’s year, CEO Gabriel Weinberg looked toward the future as well. He said DuckDuckGo will bring the privacy protections the company is known for to the app. You can expect the speed and simplicity of its mobile app too.”

MakeUseOf: Mozilla Lists the Most Innovative Firefox Extensions of 2021. “Extensions are popular in the world of web browsers, and for a good reason. They are often a handy way to port over extra functionality into your browser. But not all extensions are the same, and Mozilla has revealed what it considers the most innovative ones of 2021.”

The Verge: Google Voice now lets you set custom rules for phone calls. “Google Voice now lets you create rules that dictate how the service responds to incoming calls from specific contacts. And yes, this includes having Google Voice automatically ignore certain contacts for you.”


Reuters: China’s official Xinhua News Agency to issue digital photos as NFTs. “China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday it will issue the country’s first collection of digital journalistic photos via blockchain-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs), ‘imprinting digital memories into the metaverse.'”

New York Times: How the Copycats Came for Clubhouse. “Downloads of the buzzy chat app dipped in the spring as pandemic lockdowns were lifted and new competition emerged, according to the data and analytics firm Sensor Tower. Major tech companies started similar audio platforms: Twitter rolled out Spaces, Facebook made an audio chat feature and Spotify introduced one called Greenroom. And some communities, like those focused on gaming and nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, gravitated to more established chat platforms like Discord, which offers audio features.”

CNBC: Google CEO addresses employee concerns about loss of ‘candor, honesty, humility and frankness’ by execs. “Google employees are pressing executives to bring back a part of the company’s culture that, in the past, made it a desirable place to work: candor. At a year-end all-hands meeting, held virtually earlier this month, CEO Sundar Pichai read aloud one of the most popular questions from employees, based on the company’s internal system called Dory, which allows staffers to post questions and upvote the ones they want addressed.”


CNET: Scientists follow ancient clues to reveal oldest social network. “Way, way, waaay before the invention of Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, researchers say, a social network once existed in Africa — and the striking revelation comes to us through a bunch of ostrich eggshell beads. Among the oldest ornaments ever made, dating back as much as 50,000 years, these neutral-toned, Cheerio-shaped beads, made of ostrich eggshells, are unique imprints of ancient times.”

Mashable: Emoji helped me find my voice in our new remote reality. “Beyond their necessity in a time where we live a lot of our lives online, emoji just make me happy. I enjoy scheming up new ways to use different emoji and watching it catch on within my circle of friends. Lately, I’ve been using 🧘‍♀️ after I say something particularly aggressive or obnoxious, meaning ‘I’m going to attempt to be chill now.'”

Gizmodo: TikTok Got More Traffic Than Freakin’ Google in 2021. “TikTok is truly unstoppable: The video-sharing platform just pushed Google aside to become the most popular website in the world, according to web performance and security company Cloudflare’s 2021 Year in Review internet traffic rankings.” Good morning, Internet…

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