FADER, World War II, Taipei, More: Wednesday Buzz, October 14th, 2015


Music magazine The FADER has released its first 100 issues for free on BitTorrent. “The Fader 100 BitTorrent Bundle, available starting today, includes every issue since the magazine’s founding in 1999, as well as a video with testimonials and footage of former editors, photographers and the magazine’s founders, Jon Cohen and Rob Stone.”

There is now an online archive of items taken from German World War II concentration camp prisoners. “50,000 documents have been uploaded last week to the center’s website, among them are photos of 3,300 personal items which lay in ITS’s archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany, just waiting for someone to recognize them.” The goal is to get the items back to the owners or their families, but there are other things on the site as well: “Also put online as part of the new archive, were documents concerning the routes of Death Marches and locations of burial sites, and files of the Child Search Branch founded by the UN after the war. Under each item, visitors to the site can leave a comment, and as researchers hope, reveal previously unknown information.”


The city of Taipei is adding theft crimes to its online database of criminal activity. “The database lists information contained in police reports on house burglaries and automobile and bicycle thefts in areas throughout the city.” The site is in Chinese.

Google Street View has five new collections. “Starting our journey in NorCal, hike through the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve with the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, who work to preserve some of the state’s most beautiful parks and nature refuges. On your Street View stroll, you can see the old growth redwoods—the largest forest stand in Sonoma County open to the public—as well as countless beautiful meadows and vistas.”

Google Maps and Pinterest are hooking up. “Location info, available through either Google Maps or Apple Maps, will be automatically added to the 7 billion existing place Pins, the company stated in an announcement today. Of course, all place Pins going forward will contain this new functionality.”


I love me some Wolfram|Alpha: 16 Searches You Can Run on Wolfram Alpha That Don’t Work on Google. In the last couple of years, the antivirus software I use does not give your expiration date for its subscription. It just says something like 149 days from today. I love WA in that I can search for 149 days from today and get that date.

Genealogist Kerry Scott has a new book out! It’s called How to Use Evernote for Genealogy. And if you want to get a sense of what it’s about, check out this article from Genealogy Insider.


DuckDuckGo is throwing shade on Google. “Gabriel Weinberg participated in an Q&A session at Hacker News this week where one person expressed concern that DuckDuckGo could disappear if it doesn’t make money. In response, Weinberg explained that the company is already profitable — and took a shot at search giant Google in the process.”

More Google: Google has registered a pair of drones with the FAA. “Google has registered a pair of drones with the FAA, each one codenamed B3 and M2. Google has been working on various aerial projects for a while, most notably Project Wing, and earlier this year it set out on a new UAV design. The newly discovered drones in the FAA registry may be of the new UAV designs, though that isn’t clear. The registration only provides basic details, such as engine type.”

While the Democrats debate, the Internet Archive will be watching. “When Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders take the podium tonight along with other contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, their debate will be televised. The Television Archive will be tracking the news coverage surrounding the debate, viewable and searchable… And this tool, developed by political scientist Kalev Leetaru and fueled by Internet Archive data, allows users to see how many times a particular candidate’s name is mentioned in news coverage.”


Firefox is dropping NPAPI plugins by the end of 2016except for Flash. “Microsoft dropped NPAPI support in Internet Explorer 5.5, and its Edge browser in Windows 10 also drops support for ActiveX plugins. Google’s Chrome started phasing out NPAPI support in April this year and dropped it entirely in September. Now it’s Firefox’s turn. Netscape’s open source descendent will be removing NPAPI plugin support by the end of 2016. Some variants of the browser, such as 64-bit Firefox for Windows, already lack this plugin support.”


Google Books may not be that great for research. “By not taking into account the relative popularity of texts, Google Books leaves itself open to disproportionate influence from less widely recognized sources. ‘It’s as if you’re giving every work in a library the same weight,’ [Peter] Dodds said. When an author publishes numerous books about a single character, for example, that character’s name may appear to be far more central to an era’s discourse than it actually was. Dodds pointed me to the example of Star Trek novelizations, which made names like Spock appear with improbable frequency. By contrast, Dodds noted, a long-standing best-seller like A Tale of Two Cities has trouble making a dent at all, even in eras when everyone was reading it.” I know that sometimes things evolve to different uses, but is this why Google Books was started in the first place? Good morning, Internet….

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