Carnegie Mellon University: Online Atlas of Aquatic Insects Aids Water-Quality Monitoring. “Carnegie Mellon University, working with Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH), the Stroud Water Research Center, the University of Pittsburgh, Clemson University and a set of volunteer biomonitoring organizations, led development of the new visual atlas and digital field guide. It features highly detailed images of 150 common aquatic bugs, such as mayflies, dragonflies and beetles, along with a few mussels, clams and snails of interest.”
Ars Technica: EverQuest’s long, strange 20-year trip still has no end in sight. “Twenty years ago, a company in Southern California launched an online game that would go on to serve as the model for many more titles to come in the massively multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG) space. And unlike many games that sought to replace it over the years, this one is still going today. No, this isn’t about World of Warcraft—that game only turns 15 in 2019. Before there was WoW, there was the MMO pioneer EverQuest. This sword-and-sorcery-based game was developed by a small company, 989 Studios, but it eventually reached its pinnacle under Sony Online Entertainment after SOE acquired that studio roughly a year after the game’s launch. Today, EQ marches on with a dedicated player base and another developer, Daybreak Games, at the helm.” An astounding deep dive.
Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute: Factions on the Left and Right Want Change in the Social Media Industry. “Social media giant Facebook, Inc. is facing angst from the both the Left and Right of the political spectrum in the United States. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is weighing new regulatory action against Facebook and possibly other social media companies. Facebook has around US$ 3 billion saved for anticipation of an FTC fine. Some people argue that social media is akin to a public utility and that some regulation needs to occur.”
State Library of Western Australia: State Library’s oral histories recognised by UNESCO. “The State Library of Western Australia’s Migration Voices collection of oral histories will be recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under its Australian Memory of the World Program (AMW). The program is aimed at identifying and safeguarding significant documentary heritage materials of national significance to Australia.”
Slate: Practice Hacktivism at Your Own Risk. “People launch cyberattacks for all sorts of different reasons—to steal money, to steal secrets, to show off their skills, to wreak havoc, but also for (what they consider to be) altruistic reasons. Martin Gottesfeld did it to draw attention to the case of Justina Pelletier, a Connecticut teenager who was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital in 2013 and kept in a psychiatric ward there, against her parents’ wishes, for more than a year. Pelletier was ultimately returned to her family, but before that, Gottesfeld launched distributed denial-of-service attacks on two Massachusetts medical facilities involved in Pelletier’s care.”
Ars Technica: Archaeologists map centuries of history beneath world’s oldest cathedral. “The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran doesn’t quite look its age. The basilica, where the Pope presides in his role as Archbishop of Rome, was already ancient when it was rebuilt in the 1650s…. Centuries of Roman history lie buried in the darkness in layers stretching down to 8.5 meters (27.89 feet) below the modern floor of the cathedral, and the subterranean archaeological sites are like a honeycomb through the city’s Caelian Hill. Now, using a combination of laser scanning and ground-penetrating radar, archeologists have made a complete map of the site.”
Politiko: KWF to create digital archive for Philippine languages. “The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) is set to develop a digital archive of Philippine languages. ‘Archiving is among our efforts to help preserve languages nationwide,’ KWF Sangay ng Literatura at Araling Kultural Officer-in-Charge Lourdes Hinampas said on Monday. The agency, tasked to promote Philippine languages, held a seminar-workshop on language archiving in Quezon City.”