Morning Toolbox – October 2, 2012 – Politics is Unavoidable

To force myself to write more, and because I much enjoy the daily posts at Research Buzz and CFI’s Morning Heresy, I thought I would start doing a daily post of news about tools and technologies of interest to skeptics. This will be a daily digest of interesting tools and techniques that have come to light recently.

In the US the Presidential election is dominating all the news. Much has been written about media bias in news sources. Do you limit yourself to sources that agree with your existing political opinions? A new Chrome browser plugin called Balancer might help you break out of your bubble. It was created by a University of Washington researcher Sean Munson.

Accusations of voter fraud in the US (coming from the right) have led to a series of new laws. A new TruthMarket campaign challenges someone to come up with verifiable evidence that any voter fraud actually occurs.  TruthMarket is a new experiment in crowdsourcing and crowdfunding I wrote about recently.

Most folks think Internet forums are a dead technology, but did you know the JREF Forum was recently cited as a source in a very interesting legal opinion?

There’s a bunch of good skeptic-related stuff to be found in Wikipedia’s list of Unusual Articles.

Can you tell if a website is dodgy just from the URL? Web of Trust did some research on that.

If you use FeedBurner to handle the RSS feed for your blog or podcast, TechCrunch thinks you should be looking for an alternative. They believe there are signs Google plans to kill the service.

Are you a science blogger based in the UK? Submit yourself for a UK Science Blog Prize 2012. This brand new annual prize is sponsored by the Good Thinking Society and comes with a £1000 prize!

Just for fun, check out these ghostly citizens of Google Street View merged back into the real world. This is an ongoing art/technology project called Street Ghosts. (h/t @ResearchBuzz)

Follow me on Twitter at @krelnik.  You can submit stories there or via submit at whatstheharm.net.

About Tim Farley
Focused on online misinformation, Tim Farley is a software engineer, computer security expert and scientific skeptic who created the site What's The Harm. He is a Past Fellow of the James Randi Educational Foundation.

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