Chicago Sun-Times, Neuromaps, Google Pixel, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, October 7, 2022


Chicago Sun-Times: The Sun-Times’ new chapter: Our digital content is now free for everyone. “…today, we are dropping our paywall and making it possible for anyone to read our website for free by providing nothing more than an email address. Instead of a paywall, we are launching a donation-based digital membership program that will allow readers to pay what they can to help us deliver the news you rely on. It’s a bold move: Reporting the news is expensive, and the converging market forces of inflation and an anticipated (or possibly already here) recession could further endanger local newsrooms like ours. But we know it’s the right thing to do.”

News-Medical: New database brings together multiple brain maps in one place. “The database, called neuromaps, will help scientists find correlations between patterns across different brain regions, spatial scales, modalities and brain functions.”


The Verge: Google’s Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch event live blog. “About Google’s latest phones, which it hopes can use machine learning and artificial intelligence to help you take better photos and get more stuff done. About Google’s first-ever smartwatch, which better be good if Google wants to take a run at the Apple Watch. Maybe even about the tablet Google mentioned at I/O — you know, the one with the huge bezels. There could be more surprises, too, as Google continues to try and make a name for itself as a hardware company. Whatever’s in store, we’re covering it all live, and we’d love it if you’d hang out with us to see what’s new.”


Yahoo Finance: Judge postpones Twitter-Musk trial after company accuses him of ‘mischief and delay’. “News emerged Tuesday that Musk was willing to go through with the $44 billion deal under its original terms after his decision to back out in July prompted a lawsuit from Twitter seeking to force him to go through with the deal. While Twitter confirmed that it intended to close the deal, negotiations grew acrimonious on Thursday after the company objected to Musk’s proposal to halt the trial.”

TechCrunch: Twitter is making its crowdsourced fact-checks visible to all U.S. users with Birdwatch expansion . “After last month’s expansion of Twitter’s crowdsourced fact-checking program known as Birdwatch, Twitter announced this morning the notes fact-checkers leave on tweets will now be visible to all U.S. users. That doesn’t mean everyone in the U.S. will be able to participate in Birdwatch, however.”

BusinessWire: Nextdoor Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Treat Map With New, Pet-friendly Halloween Features (PRESS RELEASE). “Neighbors have the ability to pin their home on the Treat Map and can then explore the interactive local guide to find their favorite streets for treats and Halloween decor. For the first time, a unique pet-friendly pin will be available to neighbors in the U.S., ensuring pet owners or pet-welcoming neighbors can include their furry friends in the trick-or-treating fun.”


NiemanLab: Way back in 1989, USA Today launched an online sports service. I found it at Goodwill. “In 2006, one of the most memorably bad ideas to emerge from Bristol, Connecticut came to life in the form of Mobile ESPN, a service that aimed to convince people to sign up for a specialized mobile phone service, at a time when it was hard to imagine subscribing to a mobile company dominated by one brand. At the time, most people already owned a phone, and they weren’t going to shell out extra for one that shouted sports scores at you.”

Poynter: How memes can fuel political strategy. “Memes, like jokes, are often depicted as mostly harmless and incapable of exerting political influence. But recent elections have demonstrated organizers can easily leverage them to build political movements, spread group narratives and influence voters.”


WIRED: Are You Sure You Know What Revenge Porn Is?. “In nearly every state, there are significant, largely overlooked limitations in the scope of criminal and civil revenge porn laws. Such limitations exclude from protection a wide range of sexual expression that is extremely common in the digital age, yet doesn’t conform to dominant understanding of moral propriety and sexual privacy.”

Daily Beast: Internet Trolls Have Tormented This Sci-Fi Writer for Years—and He Can’t Stop Them. “Four years ago, Patrick Tomlinson tweeted out that he never found Saturday Night Live legend Norm Macdonald funny. That largely innocuous hot take has since resulted in a yearslong mass harassment campaign, culminating in the sci-fi author receiving countless death threats and being on the receiving end of multiple ‘swatting’ attempts—hoaxing a serious law-enforcement emergency at a target’s home—the last of which was just days ago. Worse yet, his anonymous tormentors are protected by the law.”


UK Web Archive Blog: WARCnet Special Report: Skills, Tools and Knowledge Ecologies in Web Archive Research, 2022. “The WARST team are delighted to announce the publication of a WARCnet Special Report, titled: Skills, Tools and Knowledge Ecologies in Web Archive Research… The study focuses on individuals around the globe who participate in web archive research, in the context of web archiving, curation, and the use of web archives and archived web content for research or other purposes.”


Ars Technica: Adafruit’s Cheekmate gets to the bottom (ahem) of chess cheating controversy. “Figuring out how to communicate with a player mid-match was tricky since any kind of visible LED or audible speakers would be far too obvious. The Adafruit team opted to use a tiny vibration motor similar to those used in cell phones, along with a small driver board to supply a bit more current. And because the receiving device must be concealed on (or in) a sweaty human body, it needed to be encased in something sufficiently moisture-proof to protect the electronics.” Good morning, Internet…

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