New Zealand, North Dakota, South Dakota, More: Wednesday Buzz, October 7th, 2015


Zooniverse has a new project. “The Measuring the ANZACs project brings together an international team of researchers, community connections around New Zealand’s military history from the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and the power of the Zooniverse community to explore, analyze, and digitize original World War I personnel files from Archives New Zealand.”

The North Dakota Quarterly now has an open access archive. (It’s a literary journal.) “I’m very happy to announce that we’ve worked with the HathiTrust to release the first 74 volumes of North Dakota Quarterly to the Open Access University under a CC-BY-ND license. The ND for all you open access crusaders who saw that and immediately started to sharpen blades is an unfortunate necessity because for much of NDQ’s history we published without contracts or with very restricted contracts that only allowed works to appear in a particular volume of NDQ. We know that it’s not idea, but it is better than nothing or a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”

Historic South Dakota newspapers are newly-available at Chronicling America. “The Canton newspapers from 1876 through 1916 include five different titles: The Canton Advocate; Dakota Farmer’s Advocate; Dakota Farmers’ Leader; Lincoln County Advocate and Canton Daily Leader….In addition, the Yankton newspapers from 1875 to 1885 are also available. The Daily Press and Dakotan; Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan; and the Press and Daily Dakotan are on the Chronicling America website.”


You can now get a Dropbox “badge”. “As it always has, the badge lets you see if other people are working on shared Word, Excel or PowerPoint files at the same time as you, and whether or not they have unsaved changes – a pretty handy feature to avoid ‘revision clash.’”

Facebook is tweaking its newsfeed for the developing world’s Internet. “This is an ongoing effort, driven in part by a relatively new organization inside the company called the Facebook Accessibility team, which also helps to ensure that people with disabilities can use the social network. But recently, the company stepped up efforts to refine the Facebook News Feed—-the primary means of using Facebook on mobile phones—for use on slow connections.”

Google has released a Live Wallpaper. Have no idea what live wallpaper is? Read on: “This wallpaper goes by the name ‘Meter’ and provides an Android smartphone or tablet user with a series of geometric shapes that change color based on your device’s signal strength, battery life, and notifications count. While all Live Wallpapers use more power than their non-live compatriots, this might be a good example of a time to throw caution to the wind.”


The UK’s Art Fund is supporting a new digital archive initiative. “Art360 is one of the most ambitious archiving projects for UK visual arts to date. The national pilot scheme will help the digitisation of works by some of the top British artists and offer advice on how to safeguard Britain’s visual culture….Each year, 30 to 40 artists from the Modern British canon (1900 to 2000) and contemporary artists (active between 2000 and 2014) will be invited to explore how cultural heritage in the visual arts can be safeguarded for future generations.”

Facebook and Google are teaming up — in the sky. “…the two companies are collaborating on efforts to use balloons and drone aircraft to expand Internet access to the four billion people that don’t have it. Documents filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission show that both companies are pushing for international law to be modified to make it easier to use aircraft around 20 kilometers above the earth, in the stratosphere, to provide Internet access.”

You may have heard about Peeple, a “Yelp” for humans that would potentially make Mean Girls look like Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Its initial announcement did not go over well. After several days of hue and cry and some of the most boneheaded attempts at spin ever foisted on Twitter (and that’s saying something), Peeple is pivoting. Now it’s all about the positivity.


It looks like the Patreon crowdfunding site has been hacked, and user information has already been put online. “Security researcher Troy Hunt has since downloaded the archive file, inspected its contents, and concluded that they almost certainly came from Patreon servers. He said the amount and type of data posted by the hackers suggest the breach was more extensive and potentially damaging to users than he previously assumed.”

Google is pushing back against claims that Android Auto collects a lot of car information. “Android Auto does not phone key automotive data back home, Google says. This comes after Motor Trend stated Porsche opted to not include Android Auto in the new 991/2 as Google’s system collects and transmits back to Google information such as vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs.”

Argentina wants to do some big-time copyright extension. “As a post on the Wikimedia Argentina blog explains (original in Spanish), a proposed law would extend the copyright in photos from 25 years after an image was taken (or 20 years from first publication) to life plus 70 years — a vast extension that would mean that most photos taken in the 20th century would still be in copyright. That’s a big problem for Wikipedia in Argentina, since it is using photographs that have passed into the public domain under existing legislation. If the new law is passed in its current form, large numbers of photos would have to be removed…” Good morning, Internet…

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