“Linguists who study endangered languages have identified a few early warning signs,” writes Mayyasi. “One is when a prominent language like English or French replaces a native language for a specific function like literature or commerce. Another is when a native language is seen as dated by younger generations.”
In the 2013 paper Digital Language Death, researcher András Kornai investigated the dangers to existing languages caused by a move to the digital realm, by applying the same methods of “language vitality assessment” that are used for regular languages. At the end, Kornai concludes that, at best, only 5% of the world’s languages are “digitally ascending.” That is, 95% of languages are not vital, thriving, or even borderline viable online.
The problems are complex. For instance, even if a language has a good online presence, it doesn’t mean that it has a community that uses it in any meaningful way (Kornai cites Klingon as an example of this). Also, thanks to the way content hangs around online forever, a language can still exist and be dead at the same time. “Wikipedia is a good place for digitally minded speakers to congregate,” writes Kornai, “but the natural outcome of these efforts is a heritage project, not a live community.”
Black Scientists in the Movies
Octavia Spencer plays Mathematician Dorothy Vaughan in the film Hidden Figures, that comes out Jan 17 2016. Who was Dorothy Vaughan?
Full Name:Dorothy Johnson Vaughan
Birthdate:September 20, 1910
Birthplace:Kansas City, MO
Education:BA, Mathematics, Wilberforce University 1929
Center:Langley Research Center
Work Dates:1943 - 1971
Position(s):Computer; Section Head, West Area Computers; Mathematician, ACD
Group(s):West Computers; ACD Specialties:Flight paths; Scout Project; FORTRAN programming
Dorothy Vaughan came to the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1943, during the height of World War II, leaving her position as the math teacher at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, VA to take what she believed would be a temporary war job. Two years after President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 into law, prohibiting racial, religious and ethnic discrimination in the country’s defense industry, the laboratory began hiring black women to meet the skyrocketing demand for processing aeronautical research data. Urgency and twenty-four hour shifts prevailed– as did Jim Crow laws which required newly-hired “colored” mathematicians to work separately from their white female counterparts. Dorothy Vaughan was assigned to the segregated “West Area Computing” unit, an all-black group of female mathematicians, who were originally required to use separate dining and bathroom facilities. Over time, both individually and as a group, the West Computers distinguished themselves with contributions to virtually every area of research at Langley. MORE
HEY Lady Lovers!
The HER App is “the most popular app for lesbian and queer women. Beautiful design, individually verified profiles and a timeline to keep in touch with all-things-lesbian. For dating, friendship or just chatting.” It’s honestly amazing! I love it! So many fun discussions, you can even share articles or videos you love! Also, create/check out gay events in your area!
HER is available in 55 countries!
If you would like HER to launch in a city in another country, just complete this form.
CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: A Tumblr Book
co-editors: Allison McCracken, American Studies, DePaul University; Louisa Stein, Department of Film and Media Culture, Middlebury College; Alexander Cho, University of California Humanities Research Institute
We’re putting together a book to identify ways in which Tumblr has had an important social and industrial impact, both as a digital platform and a cultural forum. This volume will be multi-vocal and accessible to a broad audience, representing a variety of Tumblr users and commentators, including scholars, public intellectuals, activists, and fans. We are particularly compelled by Tumblr’s status as a social media platform known for fostering spaces for socially marginalized users, including youth, people of color, queer people, the disabled, and the poor.
This publication will be in English, but we are committed to exploring non-Western perspectives and others beyond the US/UK. We are soliciting contributions that focus on various aspects of the platform, including any combination of:
- Tumblr’s affordances and limitations as an interface/platform and as a cultural space
- Aesthetic and linguistic traditions on Tumblr, including hashtags, gifs, images, and notes
- History and development, including the Yahoo acquisition
- Industry presence, marketing practices and goals
- Creative production and/or critical analysis
- Intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, age, and ability
- Community development and support
- Politics and activism (including the “social justice warrior” discourse)
- Identity formation and affirmation
- Education and mentoring networks
- Transnational/transcultural studies
- Tumblr within the transmedia landscape
- Fan cultures and activities
- The centrality of sexually explicit content (“nsfw”), pornography, and pleasure
- Teaching, therapy and other professional uses (such as “social media director”)
- Ethical concerns
We welcome proposals that address any of the aforementioned topics of analysis, and we are looking for work in a range of formats, including traditional academic essays, shorter think pieces, personal testimonies, interviews, video essays, art, GIF essays, and group discussions. This book will combine hard copy and digital components in order to incorporate multimedia contributions. For example, we are interested in community histories and activities (written by individuals or groups), critical discourses and discussion (including specific examples of such), and creative production we can reference in the book and publish digitally (such as fan art). We will use both illustrations and written excerpts with artist and author permission. It is very important to us to feature a variety of voices; please feel free to contact us for help in developing a proposal, especially if you are not familiar with the publication process but have an idea of something you’d like to contribute.
Written work should generally fall between 2,000 and 7,000 words. Inclusion in the book will be based on abstracts of between 300-500 words and, for full consideration, they should be received by September 30, 2016. Contributors can use their tumblr or public names or remain anonymous. Please send this abstract and any questions or concerns you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://a-tmblr-book.tumblr.com for more information.
If you’re a human with a computer, this is information you need to know! Journalist or not, we all have digital work that we care about saving for the future. Learn personal digital archiving with our colleagues at the Journalism Digital News Archive.
When Alesha Randolph wants to post a selfie on Instagram, she knows there’s only one filter that is flattering to her skin tone: Sierra. Yes, Instagram filters can work against people of color. But Randolph, a senior designer at Vox, and her fellow designers and engineers were tired of accepting it as a given. So they developed Tonr, a photo-editing desktop app built to enhance and affirm nonwhite skin tones.
On September 25th, 2016, I want to launch #NoMoreCraptions.
What is #NoMoreCraptions, you may ask? It’s a campaign that I want to start to make people aware of the lack of proper closed captioning on YouTube.
As you know, I have been working for almost two years to make YouTubers aware of closed captioning for their deaf audience. I have been somewhat successful, but I’m not clearly as close as I want to be. That is because I cannot do this by myself. There are too many people on this earth. I am one person in a world of seven billion. I can only make so many “caption your videos!” videos. Every channel has a different audience consisting of different people. In order to reach out to everyone, I need everyone’s help.
I have only one rule for this video: the video must be captioned, obviously. The video must be captioned before you make it public.
I want the videos to cover these topics:
- Introduce the campaign and what it is
- What closed captioning is
- Why it’s important (d/Deaf/HOH people, people with auditory processing disorder, for people learning other languages, etc)
- What auto c®aptions really are and why they don’t work
- How it benefits creators (captions get translated into subtitles, brings it more viewers/subscribers)
- How to caption (you can refer them to my 3 Ways To Caption video or tell them to Google, lol)
- Note that if creators choose to go the fan contribution route, they NEED to look over the submissions before publishing. Caption with jokes and unnecessary commentary are not real captions and should not be published.
- Anything else you can think of that would be worth noting.
I want to emphasize that I would really like to see these videos go up on Sunday, September 25th. Why? While September is fully dedicated to deaf awareness, there is one day dedicated to the cause: the last Sunday of September. So, for 2016, that’s the 25th.
Please, please, please, if you can get anybody you know on board with this, please send them this post. I want as many people involved as possible. My mission is to make this a huge thing. I want this to make this as big as possible in just one day.
When the day arrives, I will make a #NoMoreCraptions playlist on my YouTube channel so all the videos will be in one place.
If you have any questions, feel free to message me! I will reblog in about two weeks and then another a week after that with reminders to get your videos finished and ready to go.
Holy shit. How did this get to 1,000 notes?
The company emailed members of the Government Relations committee of the Indian ISP association, asking them to support Facebook’s Internet.org program, which delivers “a poor Internet for poor people.”
Facebook has proposed that ISPs in India should create a two-tiered Internet: the free tier would have services that Facebook approved, and would be free for anyone to use. The pay tier would have anyone Facebook didn’t approve of, and would only be available to people who had the cash to pay for metered data.
This has been tried in many places, always in the name of improving Internet access for poor people. These programs have been intensively studied, and the conclusion is clear and start: zero-rated services do not contribute to poverty-eradication or other development goals. Rather, they’re used by middle-class and rich people as a cheap way to surf between wifi access points.
The Indian Internet community rose up against Internet.org with a force and determination that puts even the US net neutrality/Title II fight to shame, bringing with it government scrutiny that sent Faceboook scrambling to retrench.
But it turns out that Google – a major advocate of net neutrality in the USA – is on Facebook’s side in India:
Google joined hands with Facebook to try and prevent the Internet and Mobile Association of India, which represents some of the largest Internet companies in India, from taking a stand that counters Zero Rating. According to emails exchanged between IAMAI’s Government Relations committee members, of which MediaNama has copies, Vineeta Dixit, a member of Google’s Public Policy and and Government Relations team, strongly pushed for the removal of any mention of Zero Rating from the IAMAI’s submission, as a response to the Department of Telecom’s report on Net Neutrality. Please note that Google hasn’t responded to our queries, despite multiple reminders…
Change the background colour of the pages to a mint green shade.
It is said that green is a calming colour, however, the main reason why I like this, is because I can write for a much longer period of time now, as a white background I used before made my eyes dry and exhausted after just a few hours of working.
It is basically much more soft and careful to the eyes. I can’t precisely explain why that is. I think it’s that by making a pinch softer contrast of the text and the background, your eyes does not get exposed to as much light.
Just make sure to not make the background too dark, or else your eyes will get exhausted do to over-fixating the lack of contrast between text and background.
And maybe you find a nice pastel/light background shade that fits you; give it a try.
Different things work out and fits for different people. And I just felt like sharing this.
Here’s the shade numbers I used to get my preferred colour:
Thanks for reading.
You just solved a very real problem for me! Thanks!
For those who might not know where to find this: It’s in the Page Layout tab.
I had no idea this was possible before today!