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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-10-01

This band used Facebook Live’s lag to loop their song / Boing Boing We rearranged each instrument on “Bear Claws” to fit Facebook Live’s delay, with each loop getting more complex, adding instruments, rhythms, and melodies. Additionally, by projecting the video live from a soundstage we created an infinite tunnel consisting of all the previously recorded loops. Is the Wolf a Real American Hero? – The New York Times This story — that wolves fixed a broken Yellowstone by killing and frightening elk — is one of ecology’s most famous. It’s the classic example of what’s called a “trophic cascade,” and has appeared in textbooks, on National Geographic centerfolds and in this newspaper. Americans may know this story better than any other from ecology, and its grip on our imagination is one of the field’s proudest contributions to wildlife conservation. But there is a problem with the story: It’s not true. Hundreds of White House emails sent to third Kushner family account – POLITICO some security measures were taken when it was installed BBC – Future – The deadly germ warfare island abandoned by the Soviets A year later, the corpses of two missing fishermen were found nearby, drifting in their boat. It’s thought that they had caught the plague. Not long afterwards, locals started landing whole nets of dead […]

03

WordPress Plugin Health Dashboard (Early POC)

In trying to get a better handle on how we’re going to manage our plugins in the future, I found the API for the WordPress.org plugins data. Not like they were hiding it but I’d not seen it before.Consider me Columbus– absent the genocide, slavery, and other terrible things. Replacing *slug* in the following URL gives you a pretty robust javascript With that option, I could build a little Google Sheet/Scripts viewer that would look up information based on a list of plugin slugs. I could set conditional formatting to do various things for visual cues . . . I could even build a little mini-algorithm to evaluate different aspects and weight them towards a total plugin score. I’m debating whether it’s worth working into a more sophisticated plugin that will tell me how many sites the plugin is installed on, display that data etc. There are plugins like that out there but they die on large multisite installations.1 I’d also like some way to tie into the vulnerable plugin announcements. Here are the two little functions that look up and write the plugin’s health based on the slugs being written in column A and a header in row 1. 1 I have a functional, if crude, option that paginates through them in a way that doesn’t crash/die.

03

Javascript for Added Accessibility

Imagine you’ve got a legacy WordPress site built using one of those drag/drop themes. Now complicate it by having a chunk of content created by a non-standard javascript-based slider plugin. Continue to imagine you have a very, very short window of time to bring it up to WCAG2.0 accessibility standards.1 Child themes aren’t a viable option because of the complexity and the tools that built this mess don’t even pretend to allow you to address most of the concerns. Enter our good friend javascript. I can now take our empty section elements and give them aria2 labels as Site Improve demands. One of the slider plugins was also attaching the same ID in two places. The weird one was on the HTML tag at the top of the document. That threw errors and was weird but it was also applied via javascript after the page finished loading so it was harder to get at. Awkward but apparently functional. 1 As interpreted by Site Improve . . . and yes it should have been there already but interpretation of WAVE vs Site Improve has some significant differences. 2 I’m pronouncing this like the opera solos but it’s actually stands for Accessible Rich Internet Applications

01

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-09-24

BBC – Future – The deadly germ warfare island abandoned by the Soviets A year later, the corpses of two missing fishermen were found nearby, drifting in their boat. It’s thought that they had caught the plague. Not long afterwards, locals started landing whole nets of dead fish. No one knows why. Then in May 1988, 50,000 saiga antelope which had been grazing on a nearby steppe dropped dead – in the space of an hour. BardBots — Babble Lab BardBots is a project in which students are introduced to key concepts in computational thinking via an unlikely combination: Shakespeare and robots.  We believe that the distance between the humanities, the arts, and computer science is not as wide as it appears. Poetic Computation: Reader There is something poetic about code itself, the way that syntax works, the way that repetitions work, and the way that instruction becomes execution through abstraction. h/t Jon Becker The Schank Academy: Cyber Attack Academy Is the Cyber Attack Academy right for you? The Self Driving Car Whiz Who Fell from Grace | WIRED In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer at the heart of the patent and trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, […]

24

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-09-17

Cloudstitch These Amazon Reviews Of “Mr Men” Books Are A Triumph Of Literary Criticism h/t M. R. Trump’s blocking of Twitter users violates U.S. Constitution: rights institute A free-speech institute on Tuesday sent a letter to President Donald Trump demanding the prolific tweeter unblock certain Twitter (TWTR.N) users on grounds the practice violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A Day With Alex Viada: The Hybrid Athlete The key behind everything is to learn to be lazy. Or a better way to put things would be to say “learn to minimize stress/overuse while maximizing progress.” It’s important to understand that, when dealing with such extremes and goals that are at opposite ends of the endurance-strength spectrum, everything is a precious commodity and it’s crucial to learn how to condense training stressors. —and, as usual, why not also think through this with learning

22

Will Blackboard Eat It?

I have1 a number of preconceptions about ol’ Blackboard . . . I figured, like Mikey, Bb wouldn’t eat anything2 and I enviously watched Keegan and others play in the Eden that is Canvas. I decide the other day that I needed to just pry at the edges of Bb and see what I could do. It turns out, there is a whole lot of stuff you can do. I’m not saying it’s necessarily ready for basic faculty use but there are some huge doors we can open up given what’s available. All the following examples were done by going to Build Content>Blank Page then clicking the view HTML button and pasting stuff in. iFrames It seems like I can iframe in anything I want. That really surprised me so I started to see what I might embed. I tested initially on expected things like Google docs and charts — that stuff worked well. But could I do a Google Drive folder like I do in WordPress? Yes. Could I do something a bit less typical like awesome table? Yep . . . Rampages? Yes . . . So I’m pretty sure I’m close to unlimited in what I can iframe in. Jeff has already started roughing out some iframe widgets for Blackboard that meet particular faculty requests. Scripts and […]

22

Add New Mime Type to WordPress Multisite

In WordPress multisite there is a set of allowed file extensions that can be found at Settings>Network Settings in the “Upload File Types” field. You can add to this list but what isn’t necessarily apparent is that if the extension isn’t already part of the list here1 then you can add extensions all day and you’ll still get the security warning. To make a weird extension work . . . like .studio3 for instance you have to add the extension there and do a bit more. I tossed the following code in our network activated custom Rampages plugin. It’s just a hodgepodge of bits of code like this that I want applied across the site but that doesn’t seem like it deserves a plugin of its own. Take note that if you try to guess at the mime type and get it wrong, things won’t work. You’ll be able to select the file in the media uploader but it’ll still give you the security warning. I found this site for determining mime types. There may be other ways but it worked. 1 It is a generous list.

21

Email Templates in GMail

Another quick and easy option if you end up sending similar patterns of responses via email. We also use a more aggressive option that uses form submissions etc. but this one doesn’t require anything more than GMail account.

21

Auto-Built (and Linking) Table of Contents in Google Docs

I did a workshop on productivity and now know that I took a bunch of knowledge for granted that could be helping people. So my new goal is to do a better job documenting stuff just in case it’s of use to people. To be clear, I don’t really care what people do with the time they reclaim from trivial and/or unpleasant tasks. I just hope to alleviate some degree of suffering. Maybe they’ll use their extra time to go for a walk or pet a puppy or something. You might also note the sub 60 seconds video tutorial time.1 1 I just want to tell you something as quickly as possible. Video tutorials seem to tend towards lengthy meditation sessions although now that I can control the playback speed very exactly they may become tolerable.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-09-10

I Can’t Get Google – YouTube think about this sometime you assume people have some shared understanding of the Internet Is there any value in people who cannot write JavaScript? The worst part about pushing the “know everything” mentality is that we end up creating an industry full of professionals suffering from burnout and mental illness. We have people speaking at conferences about wellbeing, imposter syndrome and full stack anxiety, yet despite that, we perpetuate this idea that people have to know everything and be amazing at it. Corrupted Blood incident – Wikipedia The spell, intended to last only seconds and function only within the new area of Zul’Gurub, soon spread across the virtual world by way of an oversight that allowed pets and minions to take the affliction out of its intended confines. By both accidental and purposeful intent, a pandemic ensued that quickly killed lower-level characters and drastically changed normal gameplay, as players did what they could do to avoid infection. Despite measures such as programmer-imposed quarantines, and the players’ abandoning of densely populated cities (or even just not playing the game), it lasted until a combination of patches and resets of the virtual world finally controlled the epidemic. h/t https://twitter.com/lindseybieda idyll-lang.github Idyll is a tool that makes it easier to author interactive narratives for the web. The […]