Digital Primary Sources, Scraped Recipes, Oklahoma Newspapers, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, May 19, 2016


In development: a new listing of digital primary sources. “The April issue of the American Historical Review inaugurates a new listing of digital primary sources. This feature serves as a preliminary guide to freely accessible online collections that will grow with each issue. We encourage readers to use this form to submit their own favorite digital primary-source archival collections for listing in future issues. As Lara Putnam argues in her article ‘The Transnational and the Text-Searchable: Digitized Sources and the Shadows They Cast’ in the same issue, historians should be more aware of the implications of using these kinds of sources for the stories we tell about the past.” I was kind of shocked at how brief it was.

If I had time, I’d love to do a Storify on the initial announcement of the BBC getting rid of its recipe site, the social media outrage, the quick mobilization of institutional archiving services, and then the DIY scrapes and archiving services. I wish there was some kind of network of institutional/company/hobbyist scrapers so that when a lesser promoted announcement is made, a closing site could easily be scraped and indexed if the owner’s okay with it. I’m thinking of small community newspapers which go out with no external archive, creative writing journals, etc. I started thinking about this because someone has scraped the BBC’s recipe archive and made it available as Torrent and Zip file. It’s over 500MB, though.

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M college has digitized its student newspaper and put it online. “From 1948 to 2007, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) published a campus newspaper entitled The Norse Wind, which was written, edited, and circulated by students. Recently, the NEO Archive digitized all issues currently held in the campus collection so that students and alumni can access them online. More than one thousand issues of the newspaper are now available thanks to a partnership between the college library and the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society (OHEHS).” I took a quick look at the early issues and they are rough, but digitized in a high-enough resolution that you can really zoom in.

Nine scrapbooks from Ocracoke, North Carolina have been digitized and put online. “From the Ocracoke Preservation Society, these scrapbooks range from the 1940s to 1980s and include photographs, newspaper clippings, brochures, booklets, drawings, letters, maps, short stories, and histories about Ocracoke. The newspaper articles are often about local people and families, events, and news such as park projects and ferries opening. The brochures and booklets are typically informational, about nature, animals, boats, and lighthouses on the Outer Banks and Ocracoke Island .”


Google is launching a couple new messaging apps. Duo looks really good! “Whether it’s welcoming a new baby, celebrating the winning shot in overtime, or discovering the best taco stand ever—we all want to share these moments with friends and family the instant they happen. Most of the time, this means picking up our phones and sending a message or starting a call. Today we’re sharing a preview of two new apps that take a fresh look at how people connect.”

Crap, Instagram is making some changes to its API that will impact IFTTT. This is going to screw up some of my recipes. Plllbt. “Instagram’s logo isn’t the only thing they’ve updated recently: They’ve also made significant changes to their API. Their Channel is an active connection for many of our users, so we want to let you know exactly how those changes will affect your Recipes and offer some alternatives.”


From The Hindu Business Line: Is Google getting bigger than India’s national security? “Though the Centre has received flak for its proposed Geospatial Bill, security experts and analysts tracking the mapping space say that even Google should be more sensitive to India’s security needs. According to top officials in the government, several requests have been sent to Google in the last few years to block or mask areas of strategic and military importance on its mapping service to prevent any security threats arising from the ability to constantly monitor military bases free of cost from any country. Google, as per the officials, has not complied with even a single request so far.”


Looks like LinkedIn had a data leak, but it might be an old data leak. “Yesterday, we became aware of an additional set of data that had just been released that claims to be email and hashed password combinations of more than 100 million LinkedIn members from that same theft in 2012. We are taking immediate steps to invalidate the passwords of the accounts impacted, and we will contact those members to reset their passwords. We have no indication that this is as a result of a new security breach.”


Sounds like Facebook wants its emoji to actually have your face. “Using facial recognition technology, it appears Facebook wants to sort through your tagged photos to find faces that best match the emoji you meant to use. For example, if typing 🙂 leads to the 😀 emoji, it may instead replace that with a photo of you smiling.” The last two photos I was tagged in were a screwdriver and a friend’s dog. Emoji that, Facebook.

Interesting read from Medium: Facebook is the new paperboy. “More important, if less noticed, is that newsrooms are losing control of how news gets distributed. That’s an historic change. Platforms are increasingly taking over distribution, in the sense that people get their news on platforms, rather than the websites of newsrooms. It’s happening fast. One study last year found nearly two-thirds of Facebook users read news on the site — a big jump from two years earlier, when less than half did.” This is why nontransparent algorithms drive me insane. Social media platforms have huge control over how the populace receives news and we have very little idea of how they’re managing it. Good afternoon, Internet…

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