Berkeley Libraries: Fiat Blocks: Students use Minecraft to build UC Berkeley (and its libraries) in stunning detail. “Imagine a place where social distancing isn’t necessary — where you can gather with friends and resume life as normal, as if COVID-19 and the chaos it has wrought were but a distant memory. Such a place actually exists — and, no, it’s not Georgia. Enter Blockeley University, a student-led effort to build, one block at a time, the UC Berkeley campus on Minecraft, the wildly imaginative (and massively popular) video game. In the expertly crafted virtual world, you can walk through Sather Gate, gaze upon the iconic Campanile, encounter campus’s ubiquitous Kiwibots, and spot Berkeley’s famed peregrine falcons. And, even amid the closures, you can soak in the architectural glory of the campus’s libraries.”
Berkeley News: New live online COVID-19 series connects experts with public. “Across the UC Berkeley campus, researchers are rising to meet the complex challenges of COVID-19, even as the crisis generates waves of news and information that can be confusing and contradictory at times. In response, the university is launching a new online video series, ‘Berkeley Conversations: COVID-19,’ to connect our experts with the public and each other. Through Q&As, seminars, and panel discussions, faculty from a wide range of disciplines – from epidemiology to economics to the computing and data now undergirding their work – will share what they know, and what they are learning.”
Berkeley Library News: Rock ‘n’ roll, clowns, and Roberta Flack: An inside look at a massive new collection of music photography at The Bancroft Library. “Looking through the photographs is like flipping through stacks of vinyl at Amoeba Music, a satisfying exercise in nostalgia. Scanning through the folders, you’ll see Judy Collins, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, and so many in between… The photographs, 60,000 in all, make up the Howard Brainen photo archive. A recent gift to Bancroft, the archive is a time machine into a moment in music history, offering a glimpse into the local scene and the larger-than-life figures who came through the Bay Area.” It’s worth reading the article just to see the pictures included with it.
CNET: Adobe AI can spot facial manipulations in Photoshop. “In a world filled with manipulated photos, deepfakes and even totally fake human faces, Adobe says it’s working on an artificial intelligence tool to spot fake images. Citing ‘the ethical implications’ of Photoshop, Adobe partnered with researchers from the University of California at Berkeley to work on the issue.”
Berkeley News: New online strategy game advances the science of nuclear security. “Love military strategy games like Risk and Diplomacy? Try SIGNAL, a new online game that lets you satisfy your appetite for virtual global domination while simultaneously helping researchers understand the risks of real-world nuclear conflict.”
University of California: UC Berkeley students investigate war crimes using social media. “A ‘super-experimental’ lab launched at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 to teach students to mine social media for potential human rights violations and war crimes today is producing a new generation of human rights investigators — and they’re being scooped up by employers including Amnesty International, The New York Times, the BBC and the International Criminal Court.”
Berkeley Library: Just use it: Change in UC Berkeley Library permissions policy lowers barriers for researchers. “Driven in part by a desire to track the use of their collections, for decades, many museums, archives, and libraries — including the UC Berkeley Library — have required researchers get their approval and, sometimes, pay for permission to include excerpts or images in their scholarship. With the aim of fostering a more researcher-friendly environment, a progressive new policy across all of UC Berkeley’s libraries does away with these hurdles, making it easier for scholars to use a trove of Library materials in their publications.”