California Educational Resources, Public Domain Game Jam, Spotify, More: Sunday Evening ResearchBuzz, January 16, 2022


PRNewswire: Gale and California State Library Partner to Provide K-12 Students and Educators Access to STEAM Digital Resources (PRESS RELEASE). “The California State Library and Riverside County Office of Education have partnered with Gale, part of Cengage Group, to provide California’s more than six-million K-12 students and over 300,000 educators with access to science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) digital resources from Gale. These new resources are part of California’s K-12 Online Content Project and are available at all schools (10k+) and public libraries (1.1k+) throughout California to support and strengthen STEAM learning.”


Techdirt: There’s Still Plenty Of Time To Join The Public Domain Game Jam!. “We’re approaching the halfway point of the jam, so there’s still plenty of time to sign up on and start working on an entry! You don’t need to be an experienced game designer to get involved — entries can be as simple as a page of instructions for a roleplaying game or rules that require a normal deck of playing cards. If you want to try your hand at making a digital game, there are easy-to-use tools out there like Story Synth, created by our partner in running these jams, Randy Lubin.”

Tubefilter: Spotify Shutters Internal Podcast Studio, Laying Off And Reassigning Staffers. “Spotify has shuttered its in-house podcast studio and laid off several staffers affiliated with the division. The studio, dubbed Studio 4 inside the company and referenced externally as Spotify Studios, was behind shows like Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls 1 Keith, Dissect, and Chapo: Kingpin on Trial.”


Wired: The Mega-Guide to Fixing Your Own iPhone. “APPLE’S IPHONES ARE some of the best smartphones you can buy, but no device is perfect. Things can and do go wrong with these powerful pocket-size computers. Tracking down the correct iPhone fix can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. But don’t let it get you down. Before you give up on your malfunctioning iPhone, have a look through our troubleshooting guide.”


Android Authority: Who handles your death better? Google, Facebook, and Apple compared. “With so much of our lives wrapped up in online services, we tend to be thankful for companies stepping up security to prevent hacking and privacy violations. But this can actually backfire when it comes to the deceased — suddenly, partners and family may not be able to access vital information, such as bank and insurance accounts, or photos and videos of important memories. Personal data might disappear in the ether after our death. A number of tech companies are trying to address this problem. Google, Facebook, and Apple are among the most prominent in people’s lives — so how do they stack up against each other when it comes to dealing with the inevitable?”

Mashable: Creator of a years-old app called Wordle will donate proceeds from its newfound popularity. “Wordle is the daily, browser-only word game we can’t get enough of, so it’s not surprising that Wordle copycats have been sprouting up in the App Store. Those copycats aren’t the first to use that name, however. Developer Steven Cravotta actually used ‘wordle’ first — five years ago. Now, he’s using his app’s surprise popularity to help others.”


Route Fifty: Top Public Sector Cybersecurity Threat No Longer is Employees. “Hackers pose the greatest cyber risks for states and localities, followed by careless workers and foreign governments, according to an annual IT report.”

The Verge: Safari 15 bug can leak your recent browsing activity and personal identifiers. “A bug in Safari 15 can leak your browsing activity, and can also reveal some of the personal information attached to your Google account, according to findings from FingerprintJS, a browser fingerprinting and fraud detection service (via 9to5Mac). The vulnerability stems from an issue with Apple’s implementation of IndexedDB, an application programming interface (API) that stores data on your browser.”


The Next Web: Dear websites, please stop asking me to download your mobile app. “Please stop asking me to your mobile app. I don’t want want to use it. I don’t care if you think your app is the bees-knees. If I wanted to use your app, I’d go to the app store and download said app. But I didn’t do that. Instead, I’m writing this letter to make my stance clear: I prefer to access your service within the comfort of a browser, thank-you-very-much.”

SciTechDaily: Ancient Ostrich Eggshell Beads Reveal 50,000-Year-Old Social Network Across Africa. “Humans are social creatures, but little is known about when, how, and why different populations connected in the past. Answering these questions is crucial for interpreting the biological and cultural diversity that we see in human populations today. DNA is a powerful tool for studying genetic interactions between populations, but it can’t address any cultural exchanges within these ancient meetings. Now, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History have turned to an unexpected source of information—ostrich eggshell beads—to shed light on ancient social networks.” Good evening, Internet…

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