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
Jess Morrissette writes, "I'm a professor of Political Science at Marshall University, and I recently launched a project aimed at cataloging screenshots of every soda machine to have ever appeared in a video game. We've reached over 400 entries in less than a month, featuring virtual soda machines ranging from the earliest days of video game history through games released in recent weeks." Read the rest
On August 9, Facebook announced that it had defeated adblockers; on August 11, Adblock Plus announced that it had defeated Facebook. Read the rest
The crowdsourced database that was use to seed locations to catch Pokemon in Pokemon Go came from early augmented reality games that were played by overwhelmingly affluent (and thus, disproportionately white) people, who, in an increasingly racially segregated America, are less and less likely to venture into black neighborhoods, meaning that fewer Pokemon-catching landmarks have been tagged there. Read the rest
Pete from Doctors Without Borders writes, "Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders have today launched MapSwipe, an app that enables anyone with a smartphone to map the most vulnerable communities in the world. Geo-data is vital for aid agencies responding to emergencies such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters and MapSwipe now gives everybody the ability to contribute directly to these responses. So, instead of Angry Birds or Candy Crush, you can now do something meaningful on your commute! (MSF has developed MapSwipe as part of the Missing Maps project, where thousands of volunteers assist NGOs by mapping their areas of operations on OpenStreetMap.)" Read the rest
The New York Public Library's spectacular Digital Public Library challenged designers to create new covers for some of the public domain's greatest books, which had been previously doomed to an undeserved dullness thanks to the auto-generated covers that book-scanning projects stuck them with. Read the rest