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Daily Archives: September 13, 2021

How 9/11 turned a new site called Wikipedia into history’s crowdsourced front page

Fast Company: “The volunteers who documented the attacks on the fledgling site were also laying a foundation for its future… had only been launched nine months earlier by a digital ad entrepreneur named Jimmy Wales and a graduate student in philosophy named Larry Sanger. By July, hundreds of visitors were arriving a day, many brought by links that appeared on Slashdot and Kuro5hin and in the results of a new, fast-growing search engine called Google. Many articles were short, amateurish, questionable. But there were a lot of them, and by the start of September, Wikipedia already boasted versions in French, German, Catalan, Swedish, and Italian, and some 10,000 articles in English. On the morning of September 11, its prospects as a long-term project were far from certain. But as the attacks exposed the weaknesses of America’s 21st century communications, with cell phone networks struggling, first responders’ radios failing, and the world wide web slowing to a crawl, Wikipedia managed to hold up—mostly. At some point, a link to Wikipedia’s 9/11 page appeared on Yahoo’s popular news portal. Traffic began to spike…Whatever you think of it, if you’re online, Wikipedia is now almost impossible to avoid. It’s a modern wonder, a monument to collective sense-making, a bizarre counterexample to the rest of the internet. With over 1 billion visitors a month, it now sits just behind in terms of traffic. Google, the most visited website, depends on Wikipedia for its Knowledge Graph, while YouTube and Facebook help users detect fake news by suggesting links to Wikipedia articles. (Lately, the “September 11 attacks” page makes regular appearances.) There are now over 300 non-English editions, a dozen spin-off Wikimedia projects, and thousands of volunteer-run WikiProjects…”

Zoom is adding live translation services, more hybrid work features

CNET – “Zoom unveils a number of upgrades to the video chat platform to help co-workers connect, whether they’re in the office or working remotely. At its annual Zoomtopia conference on Monday, Zoom unveiled several new features for the video chat platform, aiming to help its millions of users in the transition to the hybrid… Continue Reading

Johns Hopkins Launches Comprehensive Global COVID Behavior Dashboard

Johns Hopkins School of Public Health: “In a global survey fielded last month, more than half of those who are unvaccinated in more than 50 countries indicated they definitely or probably won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine. A new dashboard launched today by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) unpacks the survey findings and… Continue Reading

How to Hide Your House From Nosy People on Google, Apple, Bing Maps

Lifehacker: “With the rise of increasingly convenient features such as street-level 360º photos available on Google Maps and other competing mapping services, there’s always a risk your personal data will be captured in a publicly available photo in a way you’d rather avoid—whether than means the outside of your house or the location where you… Continue Reading

Coadministration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines

CDC – “Although data are not available for COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, extensive experience with non-COVID-19 vaccines has demonstrated that immunogenicity and adverse event profiles are generally similar when vaccines are administered simultaneously as when they are administered alone. COVID-19 vaccines were previously recommended to be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or… Continue Reading

14 Trillion of Pentagon Spending on war in Afghanistan went to 5 government contractors

Watson Institute, Brown University / William D. Hartung Center for International Policy: Profits of War: Corporate Beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 Pentagon Spending Surge – September 13, 2021: “Pentagon spending has totaled over $14 trillion since the start of the war in Afghanistan, with one-third to one-half of the total going to military contractors.A large portion… Continue Reading

The ‘Pirate Bay of Science’ Adds 2 Million New Journal Articles

Vice: “On September 5, 2011, the Sci-Hub was born. It’s a place where people can find scientific studies that are typically hidden behind expensive paywalls for free. The site is constantly under legal threat and only periodically uploads. On its tenth birthday, it did what it does best. Uploaded paywalled articles to a database where… Continue Reading

Report – How Social Media Intensifies U.S. Political Polarization

NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights: September 2021 Report Release, Fueling the Fire: How Social Media Intensifies U.S. Political Polarization — And What Can Be Done About It, Paul M. Barrett, Justin Hendrix, J. Grant Sims. “This report analyzes the evidence bearing on social media’s role in polar-ization, assesses the effects of severe… Continue Reading