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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-12-03

Kleptocrat Kleptocrat is a unique game of strategy and tactics, based on real-life patterns of money laundering and offshore structuring that have been used by actual corrupt public officials… that is, until they got caught. This game, created by The Mintz Group, a global investigative firm that specializes in tracing assets, offers you insight into the strategies of the corrupt, as well as those who are trying to bring them to justice. Millions Are Hounded for Debt They Don’t Owe. One Victim Fought Back, With a Vengeance – Bloomberg He started a spreadsheet, Scums.xlsx, to keep track. xkcd: Bad Code “it just looks bad because it’s a spreadsheet formula” Hitting Reset, Knewton Tries New Strategy: Competing With Textbook Publishers | EdSurge News The secret to its swift entry into publishing was OER (open education resources). Rather than hire authors to write textbooks from scratch, the company is now curating open-educational materials already on the internet. Firefighters attempt to contain Bel-Air blaze ahead of the strong winds expected Thursday night – LA Times The Los Angeles Police Department asked drivers to avoid navigation apps, which are steering users onto more open routes — in this case, streets in the neighborhoods that are on fire.  Food taboos: their origins and purposes the Ache people, i.e., hunters and gatherers of the Paraguayan jungle. […]

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-11-26

This Magical Software Makes Facebook Profile Pictures Come Alive “What Facebook will do with this–I don’t know.” It’s reasonable to imagine that Facebook would like to incorporate such a fun feature into its platform as soon as possible. h/t Matt Syndicating annotations – Jon Udell Although it sprang to life to support ebooks, I think this mechanism will prove more broadly useful. Unlike PDF fingerprints and DOIs, which typically identify whole works, it can be used to name chapters and sections. At a conference last year we spoke with OER (open educational resource) publishers, including Pressbooks, about ways to coalesce annotations across their platforms. I’m not sure this approach is the final solution, but it’s usable now, and I hope pioneers like Steel Wagstaff will try it out and help us think through the implications. For Example How Far Will Sean Hannity Go? – The New York Times Until a few years ago, the staff of “Hannity,” the top nightly cable show in the United States, shared news by text or email, but today, much of the collaborative work is handled via a Twitter account accessible to only the staff. “If I like something, I’ll click Like, and if other producers like something, they’ll click Like,” Berry told me. The result is a “pool of ideas” — “50, 60, 70 […]

Small plastic toy shovel.

The Toy Shovel

The Eyes of A Child flickr photo by -Jeffrey- shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license Once upon a time there was a young human who loved the beach. She had a toy shovel that she used at the beach all the time. She used that shovel to dig holes and make sand castles. Many fond days at the beach were spent with that shovel. This young human also had a dog. The dog did what dogs do. Her responsibility was to clean up the dog doo when the dog was done. She disliked this task intensely and would often complain about it. “Eureka!”1 exclaimed her parental unit one day. “Our daughter loves her beach shovel! Let’s have her use that shovel to clean up the dog mess instead of using the big metal shovel.” After a few sessions where she was required to use her beach shovel to clean up after the dog her parental unit asked “Isn’t cleaning up after the dog so much fun now? You get to do it with that shovel you love so much.” As you might guess, the daughter did not enjoy the shift. The beach shovel did not make cleaning up dog poo more pleasant. It actually made things worse. It was a poor fit for the unpleasant task compared to the […]

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-11-19

What city is the microbrew capital of the US? Using scrollama (or something close to that. h/t Jeff Megalopyge opercularis – Wikipedia “grid-like hemorrhagic papular eruption with severe radiating pain”. — I played ring-around-the-rosy with a tree that had one (maybe more) of these on it when I was around 5 years old. An Introduction to Scrollama.js Scrollama is a modern and lightweight JavaScript library for scrollytelling using IntersectionObserver in favor of scroll events. Using IntersectionObserver abstracts element-in-view detection and removes the need to monitor scroll events, which contribute towards a sluggish experience. It offers three main features: Defensive Exploitation Shortridge-Zero-Nights Presentation that starts with the idea that you understand tech and uses it to explain how humans will behave in a infosec scenario. Mnuchin: ‘I didn’t realize’ viral dollar bill photo would go public – POLITICO Mnuchin said he changed his signature because it was “very, very messy” and “barely” legible. “It was very effective at signing things, but I felt since it was gonna be on the dollar bill forever, I should have a nice, clean signature,” he said. Strange and Curious Wills of the Georgian Era in the Canterbury Court – Geri Walton WILLIAM SHACKELL, ESQ. – Governor of Plymouth – 12 October 1782 “I desire that my body may be kept as long as it may […]

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-11-12

Strange and Curious Wills of the Georgian Era in the Canterbury Court – Geri Walton WILLIAM SHACKELL, ESQ. – Governor of Plymouth – 12 October 1782 “I desire that my body may be kept as long as it may not be offensive, and that one of my toes or fingers may be cut off to secure a certainty of my being dead, I also make this further request to my dear wife, that as she has been troubled with one old fool, she will not think of marrying a second.” Interactive marginalia – Liza Daly – Medium marginalia and annotation considerations . . . Character Building – Futility Closet A man gets well pummelled at a public school; is subject to every misery and every indignity which seventeen years of age can inflict upon nine and ten; has his eye nearly knocked out, and his clothes stolen and cut to pieces; and twenty years afterwards, when he is a chrysalis, and has forgotten the miseries of his grub state, is determined to act a manly part in life, and says, ‘I passed through all that myself, and I am determined my son shall pass through it as I have done;’ and away goes his bleating progeny to the tyranny and servitude of the long chamber or the large dormitory. It […]

A screenshot of the site on codepen that has the three columns of html, css, and javascript visible.

Headless(-ish) WordPress Example

This is a bit of an odd one but possibly odd enough to be interesting. The Scenario We can’t run WordPress on the University servers but we’ve got a bunch of people who have content on WordPress and like that editing experience. They also want VCU domains which are much harder to get for off-site servers. The Proposal What if we take one of those sites and see what we can do with the REST API data in a headless1 HTML/JS/CSS only environment? I also wanted to keep it out of Vue or other larger javascript frameworks so it’d be less abstract to explain. At this point I am unsure that was a great choice but I can make a different choice next time. More Details The faculty member already had a WordPress site. It had a bunch of pages and had no posts. The faculty member also wanted the header image to change on various pages and for a sub-menu to be created on certain pages. The Proof of Concept – Step One HTML Shell I opted to sketch out the HTML portion loosely with Bootstrap 4. Initially, I’d gone to one of the HTML5Up templates but pulled back as it added a chunk more complexity than I needed initially. Plus, I knew Matt was going to handle taking […]

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YouTube Full Screen Player Page from Playlist

The request was that we do something interesting with the random screens we have scattered around our area. It seemed like it’d be easy to make a little full-page player for a YouTube playlist with some lightweight overlays to emphasize the connection with our department. Handling the videos displayed via a playlist makes it easy to add/remove content and the making the logo overlays part of the webpage let us keep things consistent across videos we didn’t control. Since we weren’t activating sound by default turning on captions by default was also a key need. The codepen example is here. The HTML is dead simple. We’ve got a wrapper div which lets us make it full screen, an ytplayer div for the videos, and two divs to do the logos. The javascript is pretty much a cut/paste from the YouTube API docs. There are a few changes to reference the playlist instead of a single video and some stuff around closed captions and that’s noted below. The main tweak here is to get the fullscreen video to behave. I use this pattern from CSS tricks. The other stuff just staples some divs over the lower corners to show the logos.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-11-05

Various – Don’t Trust Your Neighbors: Early Albanian Traditional Songs & Improvisations, 1920s-1930s (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs Various ?– Don’t Trust Your Neighbors: Early Albanian Traditional Songs & Improvisations, 1920s-1930s In the Land of Vendettas That Go On Forever | VQR Online Prenga burst into the station with his brother and a cabal of associates, discharging several rounds of gunfire and hollering, “We will eradicate your tribe!” Theme 1: The information environment will not improve. The problem is human nature | Pew Research Center Theme 1: The information environment will not improve. The problem is human nature Why an (interactive) picture is worth a thousand numbers – O’Reilly Media Miriah Meyer explores how interactive visualizations can help us find meaning in mounds of data. MNT Reform: DIY Portable Computer For a long time, I wanted a portable personal computer which you can… Repair by yourself with parts from the hardware store or 3D printing Thoroughly understand on any level Take apart, modify and upgrade without regret Adapt to your tastes and use cases, staying with you for many years In Summer/Autumn 2017 I teamed up with industrial designer Ana Dantas to make this machine happen. Three months later, I can type this article on the first prototype of Reform, our DIY portable computer. Fact Checks  |  Search  |  Google Developers If […]