Australia, Africa, Amazon, More: Sunday Buzz, June 14th, 2015


The National Archives of Australia has begun a project of digitizing World War I records. “The National Archives of Australia (NAA) has begun a $3.4 million project to mark the centenary of World War I, describing and digitising many of the Anzacs’ repatriation records, ensuring greater public access…. Director-General of the Archives, David Fricker said the details were preserved in more than 600,000 World War I repatriation records, held by the NAA.” “Anzacs” stands for The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Genealogists! Some of the sessions from the Global Family Reunion have been archived online.


I had no idea there was an online presidential library program. It’s called Connecting Presidential Collections. “A free online site for centralized document searching across presidential collections, CPC is housed at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. It works to enhance presidential sites and library materials by providing a consolidated source of information for researchers and learners. Documents may be searched by topic, presidency, partner library, collection, creator or date.” Anyway, this article is about The Ulysses S. Grant Library at Mississippi State University joining the project.


WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization – is expanding its plans to provide access to trademark tools and databases in Africa. “The next major project to be delivered is funded by the Japanese government (which has established a trust fund with WIPO that is valued at approximately $1 million a year and intended exclusively to fund activities that improve IP systems in Africa), with a key objective of digitising the IP records – trademarks, designs and patents – of all 19 of ARIPO’s member states.” “ARIPO” stands for African Regional Intellectual Property Organization, and you can get information on its member states via Wikipedia.

Hey! Amazon released a transparency report. “Stephen Schmidt, chief information security officer for Amazon Web Services, said in a blog post that Amazon does not disclose customer information to the government unless it complies with a ‘legally valid and binding order,’ and notifies customers about requests unless prohibited or there is clear criminal activity in evidence.”

Mozilla is paying higher bug bounties. “Mozilla’s new maximum award has been set to $10,000 (up from $3,000), and moderate vulnerabilities may now be worth a reward.”

The OPM hack of federal government employees is much, much worse than originally thought. “Deeply personal information submitted by U.S. intelligence and military personnel for security clearances – mental illnesses, drug and alcohol use, past arrests, bankruptcies and more – is in the hands of hackers linked to China, officials say.”


Reddit, after several years of being pretty much a free-for-all, is now banning subreddits. I’m not going to name them here because as you might expect they’re offensive. I’m also not linking to some of the reaction articles because they’re worse.

VentureBeat has a retrospective on Dick Costolo’s five years as Twitter CEO. “After all, Twitter still has incredible recognition around the world. At the same time, as someone who has used Twitter since December 2007, I find myself turning to it much less than Facebook. For some live events, it’s great. But even then, the flood of tweets can be a bit useless and chaotic.” It is completely useless and chaotic without third party apps. I use Twitter for conversation some, but mostly for content discovery, and for that even TweetDeck is crap. Instead, I have relied on ListiMonkey (killed by Twitter’s API changes), Undrip (killed by lack of money, looks like), and now Nuzzel, which I desperately hope doesn’t get killed by anything. Twitter needs to show much more love to developers.

Apparently NPR is on the road to break even because of podcasts. This drives me absolutely wild. Not NPR breaking even, but because this is yet one more proof of how strong and popular podcasts are, and yet there is still not a search engine for them that’s worth a tinker’s dam. Someone please tell me I’m wrong. Tell me about a good one.

Google has launched Sidewalk Labs to tackle the problems of urban areas. “Led by former Bloomberg CEO Dan Doctoroff, New York-based Sidewalk Labs is focused on tackling issues like cost of living, transportation, energy usage and more.”

More Google: Google Play is now offering a “free app of the week”. Good morning, Internet…

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