Tom Lehrer, Twitter, NFTs, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, December 30, 2022


Techdirt: Tom Lehrer Puts Whatever He Hadn’t Already Donated To The Public Domain Into The Public Domain. “Back in 2014, we wrote about how a fan had basically put all of his works on YouTube, and then contacted Lehrer to apologize. Lehrer told him there was nothing to apologize for: he was glad the works were out there. The fan then asked if he needed to do something to make sure that no one would ever copyright strike the videos, and Lehrer again says not to worry, as far as he’s concerned it’s all in the public domain, and he has no heirs to cause problems after he dies.”


Washington Post: Twitter experiences a widespread global outage. “Twitter experienced a global outage late Wednesday, according to numerous reports from Twitter users and the online tracker Downdetector. It wasn’t immediately clear how many Twitter accounts were impacted by the outage. As of just before 8 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, Downdetector had tracked more than 10,000 user reports of outages. Virtually all 10,000 reports had emerged over the course of the previous hour.”

Yahoo Finance: 2022, the year NFTs fell to earth. “OpenSea’s best trading day of this year, 1 May, saw a record $2.7bn (£2.2bn) in NFT transactions, but on the worst performing day a few months later on 28 August, it recorded just $9.34m in trade volume.”


Defector Media: When Adults Banned Their Books, These Teens Fought Back By Organizing. “Meghana Nakkanti really loved the book Homegoing. The 18-year-old high school student in Nixa, Mo., loved how author Yaa Gyasi’s work of historical fiction, following the descendants of one Ghanaian woman across multiple families and two centuries in both Ghana and the United States, delved into intergenerational trauma. But Homegoing was also one of more than a dozen books that parents at Nakkanti’s school wanted to ban. She found this not just odd, but also extremely disconcerting. So, she and her fellow students mobilized.”

Loudoun Now (Virginia): Morven Park’s 246 Years Project Expands Access to Enslaved Family History. “The 246 Years Project is an initiative of Morven Park and Loudoun County Circuit Court Clerk Gary Clemens and his Historic Records Division team. Morven Park is building an online database organizing fragmentary information about Loudoun’s enslaved communities, allowing descendants to delve deeper into their family histories.”

Cleveland .com: In objection to Musk’s leadership, University Heights suspends its Twitter account. “During his report during City Council’s Dec. 19 meeting, Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan said that, ‘Hate has no home in University Heights,’ and then told council that the city has suspended its Twitter account.”


Politico: Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration. “Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google who has long sought influence over White House science policy , is helping to fund the salaries of more than two dozen officials in the Biden administration under the auspices of an outside group, the Federation of American Scientists.”

Engadget: Google is making its internal video-blurring privacy tool open source. “Google has announced that two of its latest privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs), including one that blurs objects in a video, will be provided to anyone for free via open source. The new tools are part of Google’s Protected Computing initiative designed to transform ‘how, when and where data is processed to technically ensure its privacy and safety,’ the company said.”


Bloomberg: Musk’s Frequent Twitter Polls Are at Risk of Bot Manipulation. “New Twitter Inc. owner Elon Musk has outsourced several controversial decisions — like whether to reinstate former US President Donald Trump’s account, and if he should leave the Twitter CEO job — to public polling on the network, saying he intends to follow the will of the people. But the results of such surveys can be easily gamed by bots, according to new research.”

The Verge: How Kindle novelists are using ChatGPT. “Earlier this year, I wrote about genre-fiction authors using AI in their novels. Most wrote for Amazon’s Kindle platform, where an extremely rapid pace of publishing, as fast as a book a month, is the norm. AI helped them write quickly, but it also raised complex aesthetic and ethical questions.”

Utah State University: USU Folklore Announces Digital Trend of the Year. “Utah State University’s Digital Folklore Project has named the hashtag #MahsaAmini, which launched a significant grassroots protest of the Iranian government’s treatment of women, the #DigitalLoreoftheYear for 2022.”


Star of Mysore: Over 6,500 Kodavas Gather At One Venue To Break Guinness Record. “Kodava Clan portal, which had entered the India Book of Records for the largest family tree, attempted to break the earlier Guinness Book of World Records after hosting ‘Okkoota’ the largest-ever family reunion on Dec. 24. The event was attended by over 6,500 people/family members at ‘Coorg Ethnic’ in Bittangala, Kodagu district.” Good morning, Internet…

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