Beacon Links & Apps – May 2018

By: Barbara Ruben

Leonard Bernstein centennial In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, the Library of Congress has made available online for the first time musical manuscripts and scrapbooks from the legendary composer’s personal and professional archives housed in the library. The public can now access for free more than 3,700 items — including photos, writings,... READ MORE

Even silent smartphones drain our brains

By: Dr. Robert H. Shmerling

Imagine you were asked to complete a series of math problems, ones just hard enough to require your attention and focus, but nothing you couldn’t handle. Now, imagine you were intermittently interrupted from these math problems and asked to remember a random list of letters. This might be even tougher. It’s reasonable to assume your performance on these tasks might be impaired by... READ MORE

Not-so-artificial intelligence needs people

By: Ryan Nakashima

There’s a dirty little secret about artificial intelligence (AI): It’s powered by hundreds of thousands of real people. From makeup artists in Venezuela to women in conservative parts of India, people around the world are doing the digital equivalent of needlework — drawing boxes around cars in street photos, tagging images, and transcribing snatches of speech that computers... READ MORE

How websites and apps track you – and what you can do about it

By: Anick Jesdanun

Though Facebook gets the attention because of a recent privacy gaffe, the social network is far from alone in collecting massive amounts of data on you to help marketers sell you stuff. Google, for one, also does extensive tracking to power its advertising engines. And many other websites and apps run ads sold by Facebook and Google and exchange data with them. Beyond that, plenty of... READ MORE

Beacon Links &  Apps – April 2018

By: Rebekah Alcalde

Edgar Allan Poe monthly podcast WYPR in Baltimore will air the first in a series of new podcasts by the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre on the Air on Tuesday, April 17, with its production of “The Tell-Tale Heart.” The series features fresh, 20- to 30-minute podcast adaptations of the best-known works of Edgar Allan Poe, including “The Black Cat,” “Berenice” and “The Cask ... READ MORE

Downsides of electronic bank statements

By: Spencer Tierney

Electronic bank statements have virtues — saving trees, keeping your desk uncluttered — but they also have a vice: They can be easy to forget. You could instead get paper statements delivered by mail, an option that’s becoming less popular as technology gets better. But Nessa Feddis, senior vice president for consumer protection and payments at the American Bankers Association,... READ MORE