Political Podcasts, Wolfram|Alpha for iOS, Google, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 12, 2022


Brookings Institution: A new data set for better monitoring of the political podcast ecosystem. “To help policymakers, researchers, and the tech community better understand podcasting’s role in the information ecosystem, we have developed a dashboard that aggregates political podcast episode data into a single, easy-to-use format and provides an overarching look at the medium in near real time. This data set represents the first publicly available, centralized collection of podcast episode data describing the political podcasting industry in a ready-to-use, downloadable format.”

Wolfram|Alpha: Wolfram|Alpha, iOS and Math OCR. “Wolfram|Alpha for iOS is now available for free. The free app has all of the features from the previous paid app, minus basic step-by-step solutions, plus a few new features available with an active Wolfram|Alpha Pro subscription, including math optical character recognition (OCR) and the assistant apps previously available as separate apps.”


Reuters: Google Appoints Top Washington Post Exec as General Manager of News. “Alphabet Inc’s Google has picked the Washington Post’s longtime chief information officer to help run its news division as general manager, the tech giant said on Wednesday. Shailesh Prakash, who also led the news publisher’s design, product and tech teams for over a decade, will join Google in November.”

TechCrunch: Google okays fantasy sports and rummy apps in India in a pilot. “Google plans to run a pilot to permit daily fantasy sports apps and rummy games on Play Store in India, addressing a request from the local community that has long expressed frustration at the Android-maker for not welcoming services on its store in the world’s second-largest market that it allows in many parts of the world.”


WIRED: A Spotlight on the Art of Video Games. “It’s hard, walking around MoMA’s exhibit, not to think of Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, a novel about the making of video games and the way a group of people creates them together—and then plays them together. I also couldn’t shake the memory of something Zevin told my colleague Will Bedingfield: Nowadays, almost everyone is a gamer. ‘If you’re playing Facebook, if you’re playing Instagram, if you’re playing on a social media network—as in, using one—you are playing a game,’ she said, ‘it’s just a sort of dull game with no end.'” Unless you’re on Twitter, then it’s an endless game of bumper cars, only the cars are on fire and have rocket launchers.

KGOU: Archivist begins preserving KGOU audio in a race against time. “Magnetic audiotape was the workhorse of radio in the 1980s, in KGOU’s early days of serving the campus community at the University of Oklahoma with music and a few NPR programs. Local news and feature interviews, and sometimes whole radio shows were recorded on reels of tape and saved for future use, or erased and recorded over with the next episode. But audiotape begins to deteriorate after about 10 years, depending on how and where it is stored. If properly cared for, it can last longer, but is likely to start to disintegrate or suffer severe loss of audio quality with the passage of time.”


Los Angeles Times: FBI, DHS join probe into massive LAUSD cyberattack as school goes on . “The cyberattack that disabled computer systems across the Los Angeles Unified School District school was criminal in nature, but by Tuesday most online services — including key emergency systems — were operating safely.”

Lad Bible: Man arrested after uploading social media video of his dog driving his car. “A 35-year-old man from Ein Naqquba, west of Jerusalem, posted the video of his small pooch on his lap as he placed his paws behind the steering wheel. However, this stunt proved to be a little too fast and furious for police, who saw the video online and promptly arrested the man.” My favorite part of this story is that the man didn’t have a license either.


Arizona State University: Smelling strawberries, smoke and space in virtual reality. “LiKamWa, an associate professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and an assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, leads a multidisciplinary team of students and faculty from across ASU departments to incorporate realistic, environmentally-sensitive smell into VR for more than just entertainment. He and his team see possibilities for VR to be a valuable tool in a variety of scenarios in which smells represent vital information and are a powerful emotional tool.”

Phys .org: Do art museums prioritize visitor well-being enough?. “By design, art museums are meant to showcase beautiful objects and their creators, offer insight into history, and elicit wonder and awe. A recent study by Penn’s Katherine Cotter and James Pawelski revealed that people who visit art museums experience a range of benefits from doing so. But when it comes to visitor well-being, how do art museum professionals think their institutions are faring?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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