Vinyl Record Stores, WWI Poetry, Alfred Escher, More: Wednesday Buzz, December 16th, 2015


Fairly new, but mostly new-to-me: check out this online database of vinyl record stores around the world. Brought to you by Discogs and currently listing over 4700 stores.

Researchers at the University of Kansas are building an online archive of WWI poetry written by American immigrants. “For the past six months, KU students have been identifying, encoding, transcribing and annotating poetry about World War I written by American immigrants, particularly those from Germany. So far the project includes more than 300 poems.”

An online archive of Swiss politician Alfred Escher launched this past summer after ten years of work. I had not heard of this gentleman until reading the news story, but he sounds like an amazing guy. I think I need to go find some books about him.

The Search Engine Roundtable now has its own app. “The app is meant for reading daily, not for digging through the archives. With the exception of being able to search old stories, you cannot easily browse old stories. You can continue to scroll and scroll.”

TWEAKS & UPDATES has launched some end-of-year updates as a present for us. “Today’s update on end of year enhancements includes a new Quick Search for legislation, the Congressional Record Index (back to 1995), and the History of Bills from the Congressional Record Index (available from the Actions tab). We have also brought over the State Legislature Websites page from THOMAS, which has links to state level websites similar to”

Facebook is apparently testing a new feature that will help users find local businesses. “The effort is similar to both Amazon and Google’s recent moves to connect customers with home and local service providers, in an effort to unseat industry giants like Angie’s List and Yelp by leveraging both the strength and broad reach of their respective platforms.”

Legal research guide Zimmerman’s Research Guide is shutting down. “Zimmerman’s Research Guide is a free online encyclopedia for legal researchers created, edited and updated by Andy Zimmerman, Manager of Library Services for the D.C. office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Andy has decided it’s time to retire Zimmerman’s Research Guide. The Guide will no longer be available online after December 31, 2015.”


From Paragon Solutions: 5 Open Source Digital Preservation Tools to Assist Enterprise Archiving

The New York Times has published a list of the top “food words” for 2015. Lists like this come in handy when you’re doing food and food culture searching. Not all of them are recent – “zarf” is a very old word – but if you add a word like “foodspo” or “climatarian” to your searches, you’re going to narrow your search to a specific era without having to figure out appropriate search dates.

More words: Merriam-Webster has announced that the 2015 word of the year is… ism. “But not just any ism. The top isms to earn high traffic spikes and big bumps in lookups on the dictionary company’s website in 2015 over the year before are socialism, fascism, racism, feminism, communism, capitalism and terrorism.” In the immortal words of Monie Love (from Monie in the Middle) – “Step into a brand new rhythm, ism schisms / Nope, I’m not with ’em, I’ve given / My undivided attention, you know what I’m saying?”


Google has released its annual Year in Search.


There’s a serious security issue with Joomla. If you’re using it please patch. “The Joomla security team have just released a new version of Joomla to patch a critical remote command execution vulnerability that affects all versions from 1.5 to 3.4. This is a serious vulnerability that can be easily exploited and is already in the wild. If you are using Joomla, you have to update it right now.” Attackers do appear to be active.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have all agreed to quickly remove hate speech that is illegal in Germany. “The move follows pressure from German authorities concerned about the increasing volume of racist abuse being posted on social networking sites.”


Get a lot of your news via social media? You may find yourself in a bubble. “A recent study by Indiana University researchers has found that people who access their news via social media are measurably more at risk of exposing themselves to what co-author Fil Menczer calls information bubbles.” That is, sources of news which are not as broad as those they might find outside social media. And here’s yet another argument against non-transparent distribution algorithms in social media. Good morning, Internet…

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