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Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-08-14

Walmart’s Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy To cut down on calls to police, Walmart has been rolling out a program where first-time offenders caught stealing merchandise below a certain value can avoid arrest if they agree to go through a theft-prevention program. At some higher-crime stores, the company is also hiring off-duty police and private security officers. According to Walmart Stores executives, it’s all starting to work. Police chiefs and their officers on the ground say that’s just not so. Ross likes to joke that the concentration of crime at Walmart makes his job easier. “I’ve got all my bad guys in one place,” he says, flashing a bright smile. His squad’s sergeant, Robert Rohloff, a 34-year police veteran who has to worry about staffing, budgets, and patrolling the busiest commercial district in Tulsa, says there’s nothing funny about Walmart’s impact on public safety. He can’t believe, he says, that a multibillion-dollar corporation isn’t doing more to stop crime. Instead, he says, it offloads the job to the police at taxpayers’ expense. “It’s ridiculous—we are talking about the biggest retailer in the world,” says Rohloff. “I may have half my squad there for hours.”

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-08-14

Walmart’s Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy To cut down on calls to police, Walmart has been rolling out a program where first-time offenders caught stealing merchandise below a certain value can avoid arrest if they agree to go through a theft-prevention program. At some higher-crime stores, the company is also hiring off-duty police and private security officers. According to Walmart Stores executives, it’s all starting to work. Police chiefs and their officers on the ground say that’s just not so. Ross likes to joke that the concentration of crime at Walmart makes his job easier. “I’ve got all my bad guys in one place,” he says, flashing a bright smile. His squad’s sergeant, Robert Rohloff, a 34-year police veteran who has to worry about staffing, budgets, and patrolling the busiest commercial district in Tulsa, says there’s nothing funny about Walmart’s impact on public safety. He can’t believe, he says, that a multibillion-dollar corporation isn’t doing more to stop crime. Instead, he says, it offloads the job to the police at taxpayers’ expense. “It’s ridiculous—we are talking about the biggest retailer in the world,” says Rohloff. “I may have half my squad there for hours.”

14

Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-08-07

Amazon’s Interesting Finds/Prehistoric Invertebrates/Fraudster Calls / Boing Boing TIP: Any bones or skulls you collect can be whitened up without using chlorine bleach, which can weaken the bone. Use concentration hydrogen peroxide, which will fizz and brighten bone to a brilliant white very quickly. You need stronger stuff than the dilute peroxide found in drug stores. Head to the hair care aisle or hair product stores, and look for bottles of concentrated H2O2 in bottles labeled as Clairoxide or the like. — KK

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-08-07

Amazon’s Interesting Finds/Prehistoric Invertebrates/Fraudster Calls / Boing Boing TIP: Any bones or skulls you collect can be whitened up without using chlorine bleach, which can weaken the bone. Use concentration hydrogen peroxide, which will fizz and brighten bone to a brilliant white very quickly. You need stronger stuff than the dilute peroxide found in drug stores. Head to the hair care aisle or hair product stores, and look for bottles of concentrated H2O2 in bottles labeled as Clairoxide or the like. — KK

WordPress/Google Spreadsheet Chimera Community

flickr photo shared by NASA on The Commons with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Many professors don’t want students having to go into the backend of WordPress. Imagine also that you’re dealing with many hundreds of students and don’t want the hassle of people asking you about password resets or any other attendant drama. You’re willing to give up some things in return for as much simplicity as possible. You’ve got a few options for front-end editors. Gravity Forms is one I use all the time but it doesn’t give you the full WP editor which is pretty handy if you’re asking students to write posts of any complexity. AccessPress Anonymous Post Pro Forms is another option that I used on this project. It’s worth checking out and I think there’s a free version as well. Alan and Brian’s SPLOT tools are also worth checking out if your actions fit into those patterns consistently. That helps address one problem but it opens up a few other issues. We’ve got lots of students and lots of individual sections. How do we group them into courses or teams? How do we aggregate individual student’s work to their own page if they aren’t authors (in the WordPress sense)? Can we do that without drama? After a few false starts, I think this works […]

07

Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-07-31

Ten Theses In Support of Teaching and Against Learning Outcomes | Jeff Noonan: Interventions and Evocations Lots of good stuff in here. “awakening in students a desire to think by revealing to them the questionability of things” h/t Amy Collier On extraordinariness — Code for America Blog — Medium I’m not a fan of the way this glorifies things but . . . “Admiration and gratitude for a public servant who has achieved the impossible. Made things work in spite of the rules, not because of them. Broken dozens of protocols, risked his job. “He made it work. He’s the only guy who can run it. He knows it wouldn’t work without him so he’s deferred his retirement. I mean…he’s extraordinary.” Meet Moxie Marlinspike, the Anarchist Bringing Encryption to All of Us | WIRED that yes, people will use encryption to do illegal things. And that may just be the whole point. “I actually think that law enforcement should be difficult,” Marlinspike says, looking calmly out at the crowd. “And I think it should actually be possible to break the law.”

07

Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-07-31

Ten Theses In Support of Teaching and Against Learning Outcomes | Jeff Noonan: Interventions and Evocations Lots of good stuff in here. “awakening in students a desire to think by revealing to them the questionability of things” h/t Amy Collier On extraordinariness — Code for America Blog — Medium I’m not a fan of the way this glorifies things but . . . “Admiration and gratitude for a public servant who has achieved the impossible. Made things work in spite of the rules, not because of them. Broken dozens of protocols, risked his job. “He made it work. He’s the only guy who can run it. He knows it wouldn’t work without him so he’s deferred his retirement. I mean…he’s extraordinary.” Meet Moxie Marlinspike, the Anarchist Bringing Encryption to All of Us | WIRED that yes, people will use encryption to do illegal things. And that may just be the whole point. “I actually think that law enforcement should be difficult,” Marlinspike says, looking calmly out at the crowd. “And I think it should actually be possible to break the law.”

Set Default Gravity Forms From Email

On rampages we only have the ability to send out emails from rampages.us addresses. This caused a bit of confusion for me when our Gravity Forms email notifications stopped working.1 It seems like Gravity Forms now defaults to send emails from the form admin’s email address. In our case, that’s a vcu.edu domain . . . . which causes the emails to fail. You can see that when you go to Settings>Notifications for a form. The From Email now says {admin_email}. We have Gravity Forms network activated on rampages which means it’s live on all 17,000+ sites. Granted, I have no real idea how many people use it but I didn’t relish the thought of how many questions this might cause. Luckily, Gravity Forms has a way to take care of this and I was able to write a tiny, little, itsy, bitsy plugin to set the from email for all our sites. Problem solved. 1 Tim, from the ever-reliable Reclaim Hosting guided me back to sanity after I tried to make this much harder than it needed to be.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-07-24

Nothing To Do With Arbroath: Motorist led police on hour-long high-speed chase because he was bored McNalley didn’t appear to be impaired by drugs or alcohol, Odegaard said. “He said he was just bored,” Odegaard said. “It looks like to us right now … he instigated this pursuit because he was bored and just wanted to do it.” The Journalist-Engineer — Medium This example is different. It’s a well-designed data dump. It’s raw numbers without any abstractions. There’s no attachment to the news cycle. There’s no traditional thesis. It cannot be made in Photoshop or Illustrator. You must write software. It represents the present-day revolution within news organizations. Some call it data journalism. Or explorable explanations. Or interactive storytelling. Whatever the label, it’s a huge shift from ledes and infographics.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-07-17

The “Jennifer Aniston neuron” is the foundation of compelling new memory research — Quartz “We have a relatively limited memory capacity and that much of our perception of our memory is in fact an illusion.” ” Looking for the areas of the brain that cause epileptic seizures, Quiroga discovered that one subject had a neuron that steadily fired whenever she was shown a photo of Jennifer Aniston. It didn’t fire for other celebrities, but seemed linked to the concept of Jennifer Aniston. Another subject had a Halle Berry neuron, and another had one that fired in response to Bill Clinton.” The Suit That Couldn’t Be Copied – The New Yorker Among the interesting things about Savile Row is that the people who work there have complete confidence that what they do is genuinely different and better than what other people can do. They appear to invite scrutiny, arguing that when their work is examined, it will be found admirable. Not only did Taub say yes; he also offered to give me a garment, so that it could be taken apart and so that the tailor who was trying to reproduce it would have the best possible information. His reasoning was that something made by Gieves & Hawkes could be taken apart but not put back together again in as lovely […]