Web Projects<!-- --> | <!-- -->Ben Pettis
Ben Pettis

Web Projects

Tracking the HTTP 451 Error Code

web

May 15, 2022

A cartoon image of a server icon with a flame and cloud in the background

This project automatically tracks use of the HTTP 451 (Not Available for Legal Reasons) code, how frequently it's used, and archiving error pages. Geoblocking is a reality of the modern Web, and the code could be appropriate to use in some of these situations. We know that gov censorship is a reality in many places, but despite all the restrictions on the full flow of content online, this specific HTTP response code is actually not used all that frequently!

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Lantern 2.0

web

May 1, 2022

The Lantern logo. It is a cerulean blue color. There is a mining-style lantern on the left, and the word 'lantern' in curvy lowercase letters beside it.

During the Summer and Fall of 2021, I have been working with Eric Hoyt to upgrade and the backend and redesign the interface for Lantern, the search platform for the Media History Digital Library. This has been a highly involved project, and has required me to essentially recreate the entire website with a newer version of Ruby on Rails to use a more recent version of Blacklight. We are currently running an open test of the upgraded interface, and plan to fully deploy the new version later in 2022.

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Alternative Implicit Association Test

web

May 1, 2021

A screenshot of a website. It has a white background and a large header which says 'Implicit Bias Test About Crime'

This is an alternative Implicit Bias Test created as part of the Code and Power course (LIS500) in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's iSchool. Our Implicit Bias Test about Crime aims to test each individual’s biases towards race and gender through a series of questions along with a summary of results. Each question is directed at the individual’s thought process, thus giving them a score determining how biased they are towards each photo in relation to crime. Safiya Noble (2018) has argued that even in cases where people are attempting to seek accurate information, search engines can nevertheless feed their confirmation biases. We recognize there may be some limitations in our test as there is no exact “right” answer; however, it allows each individual to compare their answers with the public and to reflect on their own choices. Ultimately, the test gathers information on one’s implicit racial and gender biases within crime by using timed elements and numerical responses.

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Jazz Genius

web

May 1, 2021

A black and white photograph of Louis Armstrong mid-bite with a large forkful of spaghetti

Jazz Genius is an experimental Digital Humanities project that interrogates the conventions and trends of jazz lyrics. The website contains thousands of songs collected from Genius.com and enables users to browse this collection and explore connections. Jazz Genius also offers several tools for analyzing this collection—including topic analyses, TEI markup, and various data visualizations.

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.org Doesn't Mean Credible

web

January 1, 2018

A screenshot of a website. In the screenshot there is a shooting star with the words 'the more your know' in its tail.

Many textbooks, online research guides, and other resources claim that a .org domain name is an indicator of credibility. The common explanation is that only non-profits, professional associations, and other organizations are able to register a .org domain name. One of the course objectives for SPCM 200 (Public Speaking) at CSU was to develop research skills, including practice evaluating the credibility of web sources. To that end, I wanted to teach students that there are rarely hard and fast rules to immediately assess a website – such as looking at the URL. Instead, they should expect to think critically about the web page and its content. To demonstrate this point, I purchased a domain name and created this simple website..

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Trumpster Fire Twitter Bot

web

January 1, 2018

A photograph of a large dumpster with flames coming out of it. The flames have been edited to appear as the face of President Donald Trump

I wrote a simple Twitter bot to represent anything tweeted by the President in a somewhat different format. Running on a simple Virtual Machine, the bot checks Trump’s Twitter feed every 10 minutes for new posts. Whenever it detects a new tweet, it pulls the text and overlays it atop an animated GIF of a dumpster fire using a python script and the Python Image Library (PIL).

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