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Daily Archives: January 24, 2022

Can People Tell When You’ve Blocked Them on Texting or Social Media Messaging Apps?

Consumer Reports: “Here’s what they’ll see on text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, Signal, Twitter, and WhatsApp. If you’ve ever been bombarded with incessant messages on your phone or favorite social media app, or received even just one message from someone you’d rather not hear from, blocking the sender might seem like the obvious decision.  But blocking works differently in different apps. Some apps prevent people you block from sending you messages altogether, which makes it clear to the sender that you’ve blocked them. That could be good if a person (or company) is filling your phone or messaging app inbox with spam, like sketchy links for cash rewards or refunds. On other platforms, the sender might never know they’ve been blocked, though they may catch when you never respond to their messages. This might be an advantage with a casual acquaintance, like the person you met once at a potluck who keeps sending you news articles you’ve already seen. You’d rather not read them, but you want to avoid hurting the sender’s feelings. Whether you want to block someone in a stealthy way or an obvious one, you’ll need to know what happens on each platform or service. If you block someone, what does it look like to the sender?  I spent a week blocking and unblocking my Consumer Reports colleagues, and asking them to block me, to better understand how the feature works on seven different platforms. I think they unblocked me after the testing, but for some apps I can’t be sure. Down below, we’ll look at each one. But first, here are two caveats. First, sometimes muting is better than blocking. This will stop you from getting notifications when the other person sends a message, and some apps will put their messages in a separate folder or tab in the app. But you’ll still be able to read their messages if you want to, so you can catch up on your sister’s food photos before giving her a phone call, even if you don’t want to see them every day. From a safety perspective, it may also be better to mute someone rather than blocking them if they’re sending harassing messages. That will give you evidence of the harassment in case things escalate. Secondly, you might need to turn off read receipts. That’s because if you have it enabled, the person you’ve blocked might quickly notice that you haven’t read any of their messages. That could tip them off . We’ll describe how to check or change this setting for each app…”

Internet Redditors reveal the most useful websites nobody seems to know about

“KnowTechie Redditors reveal the most useful websites nobody seems to know about. Really upset no one mentioned KnowTechie, though. It’s been thirty years since the first “website” on the World Wide Web (W3). In that time, the number of websites has grown exponentially, to a staggering 1.88 billion. With so many options out there, how… Continue Reading – An RSS feed listing all newly released books from your favorite authors

Likas Mathis – “ is a simple tool that allows you to specify a list of authors, and generates an RSS feed with each author’s most recently released book.  I made this because I don’t want a recommendation algorithm to tell me what to read, I just want to know when my favorite authors release… Continue Reading

Duchamp Research Portal

“The Duchamp Research Portal is an online platform that aggregates a selection of digitized archival holdings and museum collections at three partner institutions to make a significant portion of primary source materials related to Marcel Duchamp accessible and discoverable through a single interface.  Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) was one of the most influential artists of the… Continue Reading

Eurasia Group: Top Risks 2022

“Top Risks is Eurasia Group’s annual forecast of the political risks that are most likely to play out over the course of the year. This year’s report was published on 3 January 2022. As we enter 2022, the lack of global leadership that characterizes our G-Zero World is clearer than ever. That’s not a good… Continue Reading

Looking into the Past: Space Telescopes and the Law of Outer Space

In Custodia Legis: “The following is a guest post by Louis Myers, a legal reference librarian at the Law Library of Congress. Louis has authored several blog posts for In Custodia Legis, including New Acquisition: The Trial of Governor Picton, A Case of Torture in Trinidad and Indigenous Law Research Strategies: Settlement Acts. Today, the… Continue Reading

Covid crushed company culture but something better will take its place

Quartz: “Nearly two years into the pandemic, many business leaders are concerned that remote work hurts company culture. They’re also a bit sad without it. “I know I’m not alone in missing the hum of activity, the energy, creativity and collaboration of our in-person meetings and the sense of community we’ve all built,” Apple CEO… Continue Reading

Libraries, Publishers Battle Over Terms for E-Books’ Use

Bloomberg Law: “States that want to give libraries a better deal on e-books are watching a publishers’ suit against Maryland, the first state to set terms for how digital books are distributed for public borrowing. Library associations, including the American Library Association and several state groups, have been pushing for state laws to require publishers… Continue Reading

How Trump’s flirtation with an anti-insurrection law inspired Jan. 6 insurrection

Washington Post: “Within days of President Donald Trump’s election defeat, Stewart Rhodes began talking about the Insurrection Act as critical to the country’s future. The bombastic founder of the extremist group Oath Keepers told followers that the obscure, rarely used law would allow Trump to declare a national emergency so dire that the military, militias… Continue Reading