Jean Walkinshaw, Public Pianos, Introduction to Cryptography, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, March 29, 2022


Crosscut: Trailblazing Seattle filmmaker finally gets her due. “Documentarian Jean Walkinshaw shared stories of everyday people in the Northwest. Now, her long career is being honored with an online archive.”

Found on Boing Boing: a database of “public” pianos. “…currently tallying 8,287 public pianos in 117 countries around the world. The random page generates cool galleries of people playing public pianos.”

Wolfram Blog: Classical Ciphers to Digital Signatures. “Today, I am happy to announce a new, free interactive course, Introduction to Cryptography, that will help students around the world get a grasp on the variety of topics this vast field offers. The Wolfram Language allows the course to deliver unique hands-on material and address questions such as ‘How can I secretly transmit information between two people?’ and ‘How do cryptocurrencies operate without a central authority?'”


Engadget: TikTok is testing a watch history feature. “TikTok could soon make it easier for you to rediscover videos you’ve watched in the past. According to Hammod Oh, a Twitter user who’s known for uncovering new features social media companies are working on behind the scenes, TikTok is testing a watch history tool that would allow people to see a list of videos that appeared in their For You feed.”


CNET: 6 Browser Extensions to Help You Surf the Internet Privately . “According to CISA, updating your web browser, as well as your devices and applications, is a good step to protecting your data and privacy. We regularly recommend improving your overall privacy by trying out a security-focused browser like Brave, or updating your current browser’s security settings to tighten up your control over how much of your data is collected. You can further protect yourself online by using a security-focused browser add-on. Here are six browser extensions to help you stay safe online.”


UCLA: UCLA poised to become a world leader in hip-hop studies. “UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies today launched its wide-ranging Hip Hop Initiative, which will establish UCLA as a leading center for hip-hop studies globally by way of artist residencies, community engagement programs, a book series, an oral history and digital archive project, postdoctoral fellowships and more. Chuck D, the longtime leader of the politically and socially conscious rap group Public Enemy, is the program’s first artist-in-residence.”

Engadget: Whistleblower says Microsoft spent millions on bribes abroad. “In an essay published Friday on the whistleblower platform Lioness, former Microsoft manager Yasser Elabd alleged that Microsoft fired him after he alerted leadership to a workplace where employees, subcontractors and government operators regularly engaged in bribery. He further alleges that attempts to escalate his concerns resulted in retaliation within Microsoft by managers, and eventual termination from his role.”


Reuters: Bullion Groups Launch Gold Bar Database to Thwart Fraud. “Two gold industry associations are working with miners, refiners, traders and shippers to create a database of gold bars in an effort to prevent trade in counterfeit metal and allow buyers of bullion to trace its origin, they said on Monday. The scheme aims to exclude gold linked to violence and crime from the mainstream market.”

Associated Press: Alabama Creates Registry for Elder Abuse Convictions. “A new state database, created by legislation called “Shirley’s Law” after a woman who survived elder abuse, will include the names of anyone convicted of mistreating senior citizens.”


The Conversation: Charities are contributing to growing mistrust of mental-health text support — here’s why. “Like many areas of society, mental healthcare has changed drastically as a result of the pandemic. Forced to adapt to a growing demand for counselling and crisis services, mental health charities have had to quickly increase their digital services to meet the needs of their users…. Recently, two charities faced a public backlash as a result of how they used machine learning and handled data from users who contacted their mental health support services at a point of crisis.”

Illinois State University: Highlighting linked data projects. “While Library of Congress’ Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME) may be the most visible project to integrate library catalogs with linked data, other cultural heritage institutions have begun work on their own linked data projects. These initiatives can focus on creating new or converting existing data to linked data and work with external partners or be largely inward focused, but all have the goal of improving discoverability and access for their patrons.” A little fuzzy on the concept of linked data? This explanation from Ontotext helped me out.

The Atlantic: Kids Are Learning History From Video Games Now. “Last year, Nicholas Mulder, a history professor at Cornell University, asked his Twitter followers to help him understand a certain kind of student in his classes: players of the video game Europa Universalis. Students kept enrolling in his course on modern Europe because of the game, which he had only recently learned existed. Bret Devereaux, a history professor at the University of North Carolina, saw Mulder’s tweet as an opportunity to explain a new phenomenon.” Good morning, Internet…

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