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University of Michigan School of Information


Fun Size for 5/6/22: Wikipedia's weirdest entries

Hoopla over Hoopla

Public libraries are trusted sources for curated, reliable information, so some librarians were disturbed to learn one popular eBook vendor’s offerings include books on Holocaust deniers, Covid disinformation and LGBTQ+ conversion therapyVice reveals that while Overdrive lets librarians select individual books for their libraries, Hoopla bundles books without the same level of oversight and isn’t terribly apologetic about its practice.

Freedom of information, NYC-style

As another wave of book-banning sweeps the nation, the New York Public Library is making some of its digitized collections and archives available to anyone, anywhere in the U.S., through May. Lifehacker details how to get an NYPL digital account (for those 13 and older) or a temporary library card, all part of the library’s Books for All campaign.

Boosting your in-home wi-fi 

“Our house is a very, very, very fine house,” except for the *bleeping* wi-fi. The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern uses a dollhouse in her video demonstration of how to get your wi-fi to work from the cellar to the dome, using mesh connectivity. [Article is behind paywall, but video should play.]

New site for civil seniors 

Facebook is the social media sphere of choice for most seniors, but AARP is hoping to convert some of those users to its brand-new platform for the 50+ crowd, Senior Planet Community. Seniors can now chat with new friends over shared interests like gardening, travel, fitness, food and technology. Regarding moderation concerns, ArsTechnica notes, “everything seems civilized…so far.”

Sitting at the dock of the eBay, wasting time 

If you’re looking for some new time-tracking apps that show you how you’re spending your minutes online, MakeUseOf has found 8 Chrome extensions that do just that. Some even have pretty colored graphs so you can easily see the 40 minutes you frittered on Fortnite or Etsy and resolve to do better tomorrow.

Wordle for wizards 

Fans of Wordle, meet fandom. The original word game quickly spawned multi-level imitators like Quordle and Octordle, and now there are Wordle clones for fans of pop figures like Harry Potter and Taylor SwiftMashable runs down some of the best of the rest: Lord of the Rings, Disney and Star Wars, to name a few.

Wow, that’s weird 

Annie Rauwerda didn’t spend her pandemic baking sourdough or learning to knit. Instead, the University of Michigan sophomore dove deep into Wikipedia for the weirdest entries she could find and shared them on her Instagram account, @depthsofwikipedia. Her quirky site has attracted hundreds of thousands of followers, plus the attention of the New York Times.

Oversharing could cost you 

Bridgerton 2 notwithstanding, Netflix realized its first subscriber loss in 10 years – 200,000 deserted in its first quarter and it expects another 2 million to bail in this quarter. Blaming password sharing for part of the loss, Netflix plans to crack down on sharing passwords with non-household membersTechCrunch explains just how they’ll know and what it could cost you.

Hold the miso 

As children, we learned that liquids and electricity are a bad combination, so putting an electrified object in one’s mouth seems like a bad idea. But putting too much salt in there is worse, and the Japanese consume twice the WHO’s recommended daily amount. Hence this Reuters story on electric chopsticks that can make food taste salty. But the video still gives us the willies.

It took a licking 

Apparently it takes more that an Iraqi bomb to destroy a Nintendo Game Boy. Atlas Obscura, chronicler of the odd and obscure, discovered a banged-up Game Boy that survived the Gulf War and can still play Tetris on display at Nintendo’s flagship store at Rockefeller Center.