Colonial-Era African Postcards, TRS-80 Emulation, Spotify, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, March 1, 2023


Library of Congress: Library of Congress Releases Newly Digitized Colonial-era African Postcards. “The Library of Congress has announced the initial release of over 1,300 newly digitized postcards from the Africana Historic Postcard Collection, which depicts life under French, Italian, German, Belgian and British colonial rule in sub-Saharan Africa from the 1890s until the end of the 1930s.

New from Hackaday: Emulating All The TRS-80 Software. “There are 15,873 pieces of software on the site, although some of them are duplicates or multiple versions of a single program. You can download them in a format that is useful for some emulators or, in some cases, the original files. But here’s the kicker. You can also click to launch a virtual TRS-80 in your browser and start the program.”


Techdirt: Sometimes Open Systems Beat Those Who Try To Lock Them Up: Spotify’s Podcast Colonization Flops. “While it was, perhaps, an understandable move driven by the economics of our totally broken copyright systems which made it impossible to be truly profitable with just music, Spotify’s decision to go after the podcast market, shelling out massive dollars for podcast-focused companies like Gimlet Media and the Ringer, was all about taking a system based on open protocols — mainly mp3s and RSS — and trying to lock it up behind a proprietary moat.”

Search Engine Journal: Bing “Content Medically Reviewed By” Doctor For Health Queries. “Microsoft Bing now shows if the content is medically reviewed by a medical professional for health-related search queries. So if you search for [heart burn] or other health-related queries, Bing will show you which doctor reviewed the content and even link you to their LinkedIn profile.”


Slashgear: YouTube Was Designed To Be A Dating Site (But Pivoted After No One Used It). “YouTube launched in 2005 and quickly became a special place on the internet. It was the first platform that allowed users to easily upload video to the world wide web (and without having to pay for the privilege). The site rapidly gained a huge following, and has since grown into the second-most-visited site on the internet globally, behind only Google.”

The Verge: On the internet, nobody knows you’re a human. “Over the past few years, AI tools and CGI creations have gotten better and better at pretending to be human. Bing’s new chatbot is falling in love, and influencers like CodeMiko and Lil Miquela ask us to treat a spectrum of digital characters like real people. But as the tools to impersonate humanity get ever more lifelike, human creators online are sometimes finding themselves in an unusual spot: being asked to prove that they’re real.”


Associated Press: Lebanese state media archives looted in heart of Beirut. “Unknown assailants broke into the offices of Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency and stole the servers that contain its archives, the Information Ministry said Monday.”

Business Insider: Elon Musk faces upward of $130 million in legal costs to fight laid-off Twitter workers over severance pay. “The full process of arbitration, which companies commonly require employees to agree to as a private alternative to more public litigation, typically costs about $100,000, according to several law firms. Arbitration costs are often the employer’s burden, as employees often can’t afford the high cost of what an employer is essentially forcing them to do. Given that, Musk could see upward of $130 million in costs to individually arbitrate the employee cases filed so far.”

Times of Israel: Hebrew U threatens to pull content if National Library politicized. “The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has warned that if the government moves ahead with plans to make a fundamental change to the National Library Law, the institute will pull its content from the institution.”


PsyPost: Habitual checking of social media linked to altered brain development in young adolescents. “New neuroimaging research provides evidence that the frequency of checking social media during adolescent might influence how the brains of teenagers develop. The findings, published in JAMA Pediatrics, indicate the the use of social media is related to developmental changes in neural sensitivity to anticipation of social rewards and punishments.”

Newswise: Rutgers Researchers Use Artificial Intelligence to Predict Cardiovascular Disease. “Researchers may be able to predict cardiovascular disease – such as arterial fibrillation and heart failure – in patients by using artificial intelligence (AI) to examine the genes in their DNA, according to a new Rutgers study.”


PC Gamer: This hack lets you use YouTube as infinite cloud storage. I’m filing this here because this is more of an impressive stunt than a useful tool. “Storing data in video isn’t new, but this is the first time we’ve seen it used to turn YouTube into your own free cloud storage service. Hackaday shows off the work achieved by DvorakDwarf, who managed to encode bytes into pixels to store data in YouTube videos just in time for World Backup Day next month.” Good morning, Internet…

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