YouTube, Google, Ancestry, More: Short Monday Buzz, April 27th, 2015


Both Facebook and Google are offering people finders after the Nepal earthquake.

The British Library has announced the launch of the Paston Letters. “They offer a unique glimpse into the personal lives of three generations of the Paston family from Norfolk over a period of 70 years — the family name comes from a Norfolk village about 20 miles north of Norwich. The Pastons rose from peasantry to aristocracy in just a few generations: the first member of the family about whom anything is known was Clement Paston (d. 1419), a peasant, who gave an excellent education to his son William (d. 1444), enabling him to study law…. Five volumes containing some of the most studied items have now been published on our Digitised Manuscripts website: four volumes from 1440-1489 (Add MS 43488, Add MS 43489, Add MS 43490, Add MS 43491) and a volume that contains further material from the second half of the 15th century, together with later correspondence from of the later 16th century (Add MS 33597).”


Lifehacker takes a look at the best DIY channels on YouTube.


You remember that mention a few days ago that Google can now send map directions from the desktop to an Android phone? Looks like that might be expanding. “This will supposedly be done through Google Search as well. As you can see in the screenshots above, typing in ‘note to self’ or ‘send a note’ will take users to a page where they can type in a note and send it to their mobile device. Setting an alarm follows a similar process where they just need to type ‘set an alarm’ and it will take them to a page where they can set the alarm and have it synced to their mobile device.”


Sadly, one of the victims of the Nepal earthquake and subsequent Everest avalanche was a Google executive. “Dan Fredinburg, a respected Google executive who headed privacy for Google X and lead its product management team, has died in the avalanche on Mount Everest which was triggered by the huge earthquake in Nepal. The natural disaster has already killed over 2,000 people in the region and devastated infrastructure. Some 18 other climbers have been killed in what is being described as the worst earthquake to hit Nepal in the last 80 years.”

The Internet Archive is participating in two Web archiving grants. “For the project ‘Archiving the Websites of Contemporary Composers,’ led by NYU Libraries and funded with a grant of $480,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we will work with the Libraries and MIAP. This project will archive web-based and born-digital audiovisual materials, and research and develop tools for their improved capture and discoverability…. The second recently-announced grant project is being lead by Old Dominion University’s Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group, which received a $468,618 National Leadership Grant for Libraries from IMLS for the project, ‘Combining Social Media Storytelling With Web Archives’ (grant number LG-71-15-0077).”

Oh, ouch: Ancestry’s export tool for the shuttered MyFamily site didn’t export everything. “My aunt Amy, who was always the account administrator, had no reason not to trust Ancestry’s promise to export our data. So after she downloaded the 748-megabyte zip file that putatively contained our collected correspondence, she just let it sit on her computer. … when she finally opened the archive, a few months after MyFamily had gone to the great digital hereafter, she was horrified to find nothing but photos. More than a decade of written correspondence was missing.”

A 64-year-old programmer has sued Google for age discrimination. “A Florida man named Robert Heath has filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against Google in federal court, seeking to form a class action of workers who allege they were denied a chance to work at the search giant because of their age.” Good morning, Internet…

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