The Old Weather project is a crowdsourced effort to gather data on historic climate patterns by transcribing entries from old, logbooks, some typed and some handwritten. The project is jointly run by NOAA and the Smithsonian. (via Kottke)
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42,000 Mozilla supporters contributed to Common Voice, a free-open dataset of 1,361 hours of voice recordings in 18 languages, which is now free for anyone to use as a set of "high quality, transcribed voice data... available to startups, researchers, and anyone interested in voice-enabled technologies" -- in a field plagued with sampling bias problems, this is a dataset that aims to be diverse, representative and inclusive, and it's growing by the day (you can contribute your voice too!) -- the whole project is inspiring. (via Four Short Links)
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Surfsafe is a browser extension that compares all the images you load in your browser to images that appear on "trusted news sites," fact-checking services, and Snopes, and pops up a tool-tip warning when you hover over known hoax images with links to more information.
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People with a Wikipedia article about them usually resign themselves to living with an error-ridden, lopsided version of their life and work as a top search result. Artist Adrian Piper took matters into her own hands after numerous attempts to get hers corrected, rebuilding hers on her own site. Read the rest
ToS;dr is a crowdsourced database of website terms of service; install the associate plugin and your browser will display a letter grade (from A to F) for every site you visit, with subcategories for things like data-retention and the rights the site asserts to your contributions.
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Hammer Fidget Spinner Artisan Keycap
cost $20-$22, and fit any Cherry MX-compatible keyboard, with shipping in February. (via Ohgizmo
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Mat Ricardo (previously) writes, "After 30 years of being the undisputed go-to guy for performing feats of dexterity live on stage, I've got a problem - I think I've done all the tricks I can think of. So, in what could be the dumbest move of my career, or the most fun, I'm issuing an open challenge for my next one man show." Read the rest
What happens these days when a photographer's photo inadvertently shoulder-surfs your phone screen? If you're a politician and the content vaguely resembles porn, internet sleuths are on the case. In one case this week, depending on your point of view, the results were a disappointment or a relief. Read the rest
English Wikipedia participation peaked ten years ago and is down about 20,000 active users a month from its high point. Three big factors often get cited: deletionism, poor mobile editing options, and a lost spirit of inclusiveness. Everipedia wants to address all three with the latest attempt at an encyclopedia of everything. I spoke with co-founder Sam Kazemian about the project, which often pops up as a top search result for college-related news and people. Can they crack the code of next-gen participation? Read the rest
Mozak is a game where you score points for participating in the mass-scale, crowdsourced mapping of dendrites in scanned brains of humans, rodents, and other organisms. Read the rest
Wikitribune (strapline: "Evidence-based journalism") is a newly launched project from Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, conceived of as a crowd-edited, crowd-funded tonic against fake news. Read the rest
After being a major contributor for many years, I've cringed as Wikipedia slowly devolves like a dying coral reef. Today's example is hemovanadin, an innocuous article deleted through a mix of vandalism, bots, and incompetent humans. Read the rest
GlobalXplorer is the latest crowdsourced science project, this time in the service of preserving archaeological sites that are being looted. Participants scan satellite images for signs of looting, and mark sites off a map. Read the rest
Todd writes, "We the Builders brings together 3D printer operators from all over the world to create sculptures that inspire makers. Our sculptures have toured maker-related events of all sizes around the northeastern United States, from local STEAM education events all the way to the White House. They are crowd-sourced, made up of hundreds of pieces 3D printed by people like you, and then mailed to Baltimore." Read the rest
Adam from Bold Progressives writes, "For the first time, questions from the internet will asked to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at a presidential 'town hall' debate this Sunday. Even better, the wisdom of crowds can impact what gets asked!"
The Atlantic reports, "Debate moderators confirmed they are embracing a format that a broad bipartisan cross-section of activist and civic groups known as the Open Debate Coalition have been pushing for years. Americans will be able to submit and then vote on questions online at PresidentialOpenQuestions.com, and ABC and CNN have agreed to consider the 30 most popular queries when they jointly plan the debate."
Organizations across the political spectrum are taking this seriously and engaging their supporters, from the NAACP to NARAL to the NRA. Millions of votes have been cast so far. Add your voice to the mix -- vote today!
What Would You Ask the Candidates? Read the rest
Reddit and social media have proven that some people will do anything for points, likes, follows and so on, including work for free, so YouTube announced Heroes, a new platform for people who will moderate their site in exchange for points. Ironically/unsurprisingly, the announcement video hasn't gotten many likes. Read the rest