Chinese Immigration, Government Documents, FEMA, More: Tuesday Buzz, May 3, 2016


Berkeley University has launched a new digital archive covering Chinese immigration to the United States between 1884-1944. “From 1882 to 1943 the United States Government severely curtailed immigration from China to the United States. This Federal policy resulted from concern over the large numbers of Chinese who had come to the United States in response to the need for inexpensive labor. Congress passed several laws restricting their immigration and naturalization. In its efforts to regulate these matters, the Congress also established federal agencies that created documentation related to those activities and its management of those people under the existing legislation. This website provides an overview of that history and offers an online, searchable index to many of the nearly 200,000 ‘casefiles’ held at NARA which cover the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1880-1943).” Use the navigation links at the top of the page – this site is a little confusing.

New-to-me: props to Rachel D. for the heads-up about a Tumblr for government documents. “LIS-GISIG: Gov Info, Sources, Data & Docs – Government Info/Doc Library School students’ primary sources of Gov documents, information, data, reference & resources. ”


FEMA will start actively monitoring social media during disasters in the hope of facilitating rescues. “The initiative is an expansion of broader DHS social media monitoring efforts, which have been ongoing since 2012. In a preemptive counter to concerns that the monitoring may violate privacy laws, the documents explain that FEMA would only monitor publicly available information, and would only be allowed to collect personally identifiable information, like location and physical condition in the case of circumstances where life and death are at stake.”

A man on Kickstarter is trying to raise $6,400 to digitize his father’s album of over 200 photos from World War I. Watch the video for more information and some pictures from the album.


From School Library Journal: How to use Snapchat for Readers’ Advisory. “Due to Snapchat’s increase in popularity, a colleague and I decided to harness its power by posting content that would appeal to teens and new adults (ages 23–30) in our community. Our Cape May (NJ) County Library Snapchat username is the same as our other social media usernames for consistency: @CMCLibrary. While we advertise our programs, the most positive feedback we receive is about no less than my weekly booktalk videos called #TeenBookTuesday.”


Google wants to help the people in Flint, Michigan. “Access to clean drinking water is a concern all over the world, but in the United States it’s often a foregone conclusion. That is not the case recently for the residents of Flint, Michigan, many of whom we now know have been exposed to lead in their tap water. It’s a crisis, one to which the American people readily responded by donating water and resources to help alleviate the immediate pain. But the problem won’t go away quickly, and understanding its extent is both challenging and an absolute necessity. Today, is providing $250,000 to partners in the Flint community to help, with a special focus on a technical solution for understanding and resolving the crisis for the long term.”

This is a little troubling but it would be more useful with comparative data: Google has hired 197 former US government employees since Obama took office. “Google has been called ‘the best company to work for in America’ by Business Insider thanks to its reported emphasis on employee happiness – and that message has clearly reached Capitol Hill as 197 government staff have moved there since Obama took office. That’s on top of 61 people who’ve moved from Google (and related firms, including those entirely funded by Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt) to government in that time.”

From the CBC: ‘Open data’: Why it’s making waves across Canada. “In Montreal, an app that draws on municipal data helps citizens avoid snow plows when parking their cars during winter. In Waterloo, Ontario, students used city data to create an app that maps every single tree the city owns. ‘Open data’ is already shaping Canadians’ lives, and open data advocates — including academics, businesspeople and policymakers — say opening up government databases for members of the public to analyze is leading to positive social outcomes for Canadians.”

Internet Explorer has been toppled as the most popular Web browser. Now it’s Chrome. “It controls 41.66 percent of the market whereas Internet Explorer and Microsoft’s new Edge browser collectively have 41.35 percent. Chrome is unlikely to cede the position as Google plans to introduce a new Chrome design, made to be even more touch-friendly.”


Apparently local governments aren’t conversant with accessibility rules. “A recent survey conducted by Vision, an El Segundo, California-based firm that creates web tools for the public sector, found that 89 percent of the 140 government respondents had moderate, weak or no knowledge whatsoever of federal accessibility requirements.”

It probably won’t shock you to learn that The Internet of Things isn’t setting any benchmarks for security. “To test their theories, the research team created a handful of scary proof-of-concept attacks. In one, a SmartThings user downloads a malware app that, while helping the user set up a smart home front door lock also sends the user-generated PIN code to a would-be intruder via SMS….In another attack, the researchers steal an OAuth token for an Android app that works with the SmartThings hub and reset the door lock PIN from a remote computer.”


Interesting: predicting neighborhood gentrification through social networking data. “The Cambridge researchers, working with colleagues from the University of Birmingham, Queen Mary University of London, and University College London, used data from approximately 37,000 users and 42,000 venues in London to build a network of Foursquare places and the parallel Twitter social network of visitors, adding up to more than half a million check-ins over a ten-month period.” Good morning, Internet…

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Categories: morningbuzz

2 replies »

  1. I love your “obsession” Tara, thank you for helping me shape my particular obsession for genealogy and family history resources, databases and more! I’m definitely considering supporting your research next month. Get up the good work!

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