Don Ho, FOIA, GED, More: Wednesday Buzz, January 6, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The University of Hawai’i has received the archives of entertainer Don Ho and will be organizing and digitizing them over the next year. “The University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu ʻUluʻulu Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi recently acquired the complete collection of the late entertainer Don Ho’s films, videos and personal memorabilia from the Donald Tai Loy Ho Trust. The extensive collection from Hawaiʻi’s most famous entertainer includes archival film and video footage and related personal memorabilia from the early 1960s through 2007, and will be housed in the ‘Uluʻulu Archive’s permanent collection.”

The state of West Virginia has launched an online database of FOIA requests. “Those publicly-funded agencies using the database include: state agencies; county governments; city governments; governing boards and commissions; school boards and departments; and, any public body created or primarily supported by public funds. These agencies will be required to report the following: date the FOIA request was received; name of the person or entity making the request; subject of the request; whether the request was granted or denied and the reason for any denial; date of final completion of the request; and the amount of any charges to the person or entity making the request.”

Now available: a database of GED classes (PRESS RELEASE.) “The database includes classes offered by community colleges, literacy councils, high schools, libraries, community action agencies, churches, and many other organizations committed to education and the improvement of the lives of those who were unfortunate enough to not finish their regular high school education.”

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has announced a list of digitization award recipients. And it’s lovely. I’m looking forward to Digitizing Over Fifty Years of Jukebox Music News: Cash Box, 1942–1996.

TWEAKS & UPDATES

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is adding PDFs of cited sources to official case dockets. “Since 2008, court librarians in the Ninth Circuit have been tracking citations to online resources and preserving original documents and/or web pages as Adobe PDF files. Although stored on the court website, http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/library/webcites/, the availability of these files is not readily apparent to legal researchers. The process will change January 4, 2016, when PDF files of online resources cited in opinions are automatically added to the official case docket. The files will be immediately available to anyone accessing the docket through the court’s case management/electronic case filing system, or CM/ECF, and the federal judiciary’s PACER system.”

USEFUL STUFF

Phil Bradley has a quick writeup on a neat-sounding tool called Notifer. “You simply add in @handles and it then does the job of contacting the person you’re talking about to let them know. Very simple and quite elegant.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Fun with Google Translate: No, Russia is not Mordor. “The California company was forced to explain on Tuesday why translations of certain words from Ukrainian into Russian gave users controversially—and sometimes hilariously—inaccurate results. For some, a translation of the words Russian Federation from Ukrainian into Russian returned the word Mordor, the evil fictional realm in J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Pro-Ukrainian groups have taken to using the term when referring to Russia.”

And in today’s episode of Stupid Facebook Censoring: Facebook censored the statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen because it was pornographic. Or something. “A Danish politician has accused Mark Zuckerberg’s social network of blocking her from uploading an image of the 102-year-old statue, which is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade, to the site.” Facebook later reversed the decision, but by then the stupidness had been accomplished.

EFF confirms it: yeah, T-Mobile is throttling video. “The first result of our test confirms that when Binge On is enabled, T-Mobile throttles all HTML5 video streams to around 1.5Mps, even when the phone is capable of downloading at higher speeds, and regardless of whether or not the video provider enrolled in Binge On. This is the case whether the video is being streamed or being downloaded—which means that T-Mobile is artificially reducing the download speeds of customers with Binge On enabled, even if they’re downloading the video to watch later.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Google has fixed a rooting vulnerability in Android. “The new patches address six critical, two high and five moderate vulnerabilities. The most serious flaw is located in the mediaserver Android component, a core part of the operating system that handles media playback and corresponding file metadata parsing.”

There’s been another leak of voter information. “Last week, Salted Hash reported on the massive voter records leak after a database was exposed due to a configuration error. … Around the same time the first database was discovered a second, smaller database was also found by researcher Chris Vickery. This second database contains voter profiles similar to those previously discovered, however, it also includes records that hold targeted demographic information.”

German publishers have filed a complaint against Google. “German publishers have filed a complaint against Google in a row over whether or not the search engine should pay the publishers to show their articles online, a spokesman for VG Media – a consortium of around 200 publishers – told Reuters.” Because this always works. Just ask Spain. In six months or so you can ask the EU. Good morning, Internet…

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