Progressive Activism, TikTok, 2021 Linguistics, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 30, 2021


New-to-me, from Berkeleyside: New archive of progressive history moving to North Berkeley. “Berkeley is gaining a treasure of activist scholarship: A historical archive documenting more than 60 years of national and international progressive movements is in the process of moving from San Francisco’s Mission District to North Berkeley…. Housed at the archive are over 12,000 hours of audio and video tapes as well as thousands of historical documents, pamphlets, journals, newspapers and other print materials from radical organizations and movements. Many of these materials are digitized and free for use on their searchable website.”


Tubefilter: TikTok Throwing Live New Year’s Eve Concert With Charlie Puth, Kali Uchis, Rico Nasty. “The star-studded special – which TikTok says exemplifies its status as a driver of music and culture – will air on the flagship @TikTok account from 9 pm ET to 10:15 pm ET on New Year’s Eve. The event will be broadcast live from an apartment-themed staging area, with each of the three floors designed to fit each artist’s set.”

Google Blog: “New normal” and other words we used a lot this year. “As a writer, something I’ve been thinking about in the last few weeks of 2021 are the words we used this year. 2020 was the year of ‘now more than ever,’ a phrase that began to feel meaningless as the ‘now more than ever’-worthy moments kept coming (and admittedly, as we all kept calling them that). If 2020 was the year of “now more than ever,” then what was 2021?”


New York Times: How Discord, Born From an Obscure Game, Became a Social Hub for Young People. “While adults working from home flocked to Zoom, their children were downloading Discord to socialize with other young people through text and audio and video calls in groups known as servers. The platform has more than 150 million active users each month — up from 56 million in 2019 — with nearly 80 percent logging in from outside North America. It has expanded from gamers to music aficionados, students and cryptocurrency enthusiasts.”

MakeUseOf: Tumblr Has Banned a Long List of Harmless Tags, but Why?. “In an effort to create a slightly more family-friendly environment and community for Tumblr’s iOS users, the iOS Tumblr app now prevents users from accessing inappropriate content through several different channels of inquiry. This includes a long list of tags most people would consider completely harmless.”

SF Gate: Google Maps may have led Tahoe travelers astray during snowstorm. “Social media posts, including from Crystal Kolden, a professor of forest sciences at UC Merced, have condemned the service for redirecting travelers away from closed highways to potentially precarious shortcuts. ‘This is an abject failure,’ tweeted Kolden Monday evening. ‘You are sending people up a poorly maintained forest road to their death in a severe blizzard.'”


CNET: T-Mobile suffers another, smaller data breach. “T-Mobile has suffered another data breach, just a few months after a huge breach in August, the carrier confirmed Wednesday. ‘We informed a very small number of customers that the SIM card assigned to a mobile number on their account may have been illegally reassigned or limited account information was viewed,’ the company said in an email.”


The Conversation: Hunting galaxies far far away – here’s how anyone can explore the universe. “Only a few decades ago astronomers had to tediously examine photographic plates after a long, cold and lonely night of observing. In the 21st century we have access to information any time, anywhere via the internet. Automatic telescopes and surveys now provide us with so much data we require machines to help us analyse it. In some cases human eyes will only ever look at what the computers have deemed is interesting! Massive amounts of data are hosted online, just waiting to be admired, for free.”

Techdirt: Indian Gov’t Orders YouTube To Block 20 Channels For ‘Blasphemy’ And ‘Impinging On National Security’. “If your national security and national religion are intertwined, a law addressing both is a censorial cudgel. And it won’t make anyone safer or make your religion any more unassailable. What it will do is allow the government to disappear information and content it doesn’t like with impunity.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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