Wordle-Avoidance, Online Collaboration, YouTube Creators, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, January 15, 2022


KnowTechie: How to remove any mention of Wordle from your Twitter feed. “Muting words on Twitter is a great way to keep your feed clean of spoilers and people you would rather not think about, so it’s the perfect option in this instance. Follow along below and free yourself from the grasp of Wordle.”

MakeUseOf: The 14 Best No-Signup Collaboration Tools You Can Use in 10 Seconds. “Many believe that collaboration should be as ‘painless’ as possible. This article presents you with a worthy collection of no-signup tools for the ultimate collaboration experience at work or school.” Several of these I had not heard of at all!


BBC: YouTube rich list: MrBeast was the highest-paid star of 2021. “Jimmy Donaldson, the 23-year-old American better known as MrBeast, was YouTube’s highest-earning content creator in 2021, according to Forbes. His elaborate stunts have generated more than 10 billion views on the platform and earned him $54m (£39m).”

Independent: Developer sabotages own code to break thousands of apps in protest against world’s biggest companies. “Marak Squires, a coder from New York, seemingly purposefully corrupted two open-source libraries called ‘faker.js’ and ‘colors.js’. The former receives 2.8 million weekly downloads from GitHub and supports 2,500 projects, while the latter is downloaded 20 million times per week and supports 19,000 projects.”

New York Times: Crypto Enthusiasts Meet Their Match: Angry Gamers. “Skeptics argue that cryptocurrencies and related assets like NFTs are digital Ponzi schemes, with prices artificially inflated beyond their true value. Some question whether cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, which are slippery concepts, have any long-term utility. Nowhere has there has been more unhappiness than in the games community, where clashes over crypto have increasingly erupted between users and major game studios like Ubisoft, Square Enix and Zynga.”


Khmer Times: Human traffickers use social media to lure job seekers to Cambodia. “Human traffickers in Việt Nam are finding ever more inventive ways to lure potential victims overseas for exploitation. Through social media networks like Facebook or Zalo, they are offering well-paid jobs at casinos or online games in Cambodia, before springing their trap.”

CNET: TLDR Act aims to make website terms of service easier to understand. “A bipartisan group of US lawmakers has introduced legislation that aims to simplify the often lengthy and complex terms of service that people must agree to before using many online sites and services.”

Irish Examiner: New law regulating social media and streaming services to be approved by Cabinet. “The bill will establish a new media commission, which will include an online safety commissioner. The new body will be responsible for overseeing updated regulations for broadcasting and video-on-demand services, such as Netflix and Disney+, and the new regulatory framework for online safety.”


University of New Mexico: Jupiter-like planet discovered through TESS and citizen scientist collaboration. “Since 2010, Tom Jacobs, a former U.S. naval officer, has participated in online volunteer projects that allow anyone who is interested — ‘citizen scientists’ — to look through NASA telescope data for signs of planets beyond our solar system. Now, Jacobs has helped discover a giant gaseous planet about 379 light-years from Earth, orbiting a star with the same mass as the Sun.”

MIT News: “Hey, Alexa! Are you trustworthy?”. “The researchers found that family members tend to think a device is more competent and emotionally engaging if it can exhibit social cues, like moving to orient its gaze at a speaking person. In addition, their study revealed that branding — specifically, whether the manufacturer’s name is associated with the device — has a significant effect on how members of a family perceive and interact with different voice-user interfaces.”

University of Wyoming: UW Joins Buffalo Bill Center, UK Institutions in Digital Humanities Project . “Researchers at the University of Wyoming and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West have joined international colleagues in Wales in a new project aimed at developing digital tools to analyze historical book illustrations to gain a more thorough understanding of history. Using a nearly $500,000 grant from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities and the United Kingdom’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, the team will use cutting-edge computing techniques to uncover hidden histories contained in the collections of several cultural institutions.”


NiemanLab: The New York Times debuts a fellowship for crossword constructors. “The New York Times announced a new fellowship for crossword constructors on Monday aimed at increasing the number of puzzles created by underrepresented groups, including women, people of color, and those in the LGBTQ community.” Good morning, Internet…

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