Napa County Newspapers, Estonian Startups, US Jails, More: Sunday Buzz, June 12, 2016


The archives of the St. Helena Star, a newspaper for the town of St. Helena in Napa County, California, have been digitized and put online. And they are extensive. “St. Helenans are in for a treat. The digitized back issues of the St. Helena Star newspaper, from ‘Volume I, No. 1’ of Sept. 25, 1874 through ‘Vol. CXLI No. 14’ of Dec. 25, 2015, are now available online through the St. Helena Library.” As the article notes, accessing the archives is a touch awkward, but on the upside they’re free.

A new database is focusing on startups in Estonia. “The new database…lists over 400 startups with Estonian founders with their basic information, such as a short description of the main idea, industry tags, amount of investments raised and the development stage. It is possible to sort the startups based on the different data fields, which makes it an easy and user-friendly tool for finding startups in specific industries and development phases.”

New to me: a directory of jails in the United States. “We’ve collected information from thousands of jails, including all of the links to browse the most recent jail rosters and directories. We have over 2,000 county, state, and federal jails from across the country in our directory, so we know that this is the best place to start to locate a person.” It lists jails by state an county and also, for the ones I looked at, links to get inmate lists or do searches for inmates.


The South Georgia Historic Newspaper Archive has expanded again. “The South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive now provides access to nineteen newspaper titles published in twelve south Georgia cities (Albany, Americus, Bainbridge, Brunswick, Cairo, Cuthbert, Perry, Thomasville, Tifton, Valdosta, Vienna, and Waycross) from 1845 to 1923. Consisting of over 164,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date.”

Digg has a new bot for Facebook Messenger. “There is no app for the new service, and there isn’t really a website for it either, although you can click on a link at the end of the twice-daily update it sends you (called Digg Editions) and see the items that have been automatically collected. ”

German publishes are teaming up to form an alliance against Google and Facebook. “Axel Springer, Gruner + Jahr, RTL owner Bertelsmann Group, and Der Speigel owner are among eight of the 10 biggest publishing groups in Germany to be pooling masses of reader data, from just under 1,000 websites including tabloid Bild, and other major titles.”

IFTTT has added Product Hunt. “People all over the world go to Product Hunt to geek out over what’s new. Mobile apps, websites, services, hardware, and more are discussed and debated by one of the most engaged communities online.”


Google says it is not skewing search results to favor Hillary Clinton. Danny Sullivan, at Search Engine Land, breaks down some autocomplete weirdness. “Type ‘lying’ into Google, and it will suggest ‘Lying Ted,’ the moniker US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump placed on his onetime rival, Ted Cruz. But type ‘crooked’ into Google, and it doesn’t bring up the ‘Crooked Hillary’ label that Trump has attached to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. What’s going on?” As Danny pointed out on Twitter, a lot of the problem is Google’s non-transparency. Here is Google’s blog post about its autocomplete process.

More Google Maps weirdness: Google has blurred out a house in the UK but not even the resident knows why. “Resident Jane Allison told The Gazette: ‘I’ve been in this house since 2000, but I have no idea why you can’t see it. If you find out it would be nice to know why.'”


Mozilla wants to stop the next Heartbleed before it starts. “Mozilla today announced that it is launching the Secure Open Source (SOS) Fund to help make open source code more secure. The fund, which will get an initial grant $500,000 from the Mozilla Open Source Support program, aims to prevent the next Heartbleed or Shellshock by providing open source projects with the means to audit and fix their code.”

The latest country to send tax notices to high tech and social media companies is Pakistan. “Pakistan’s Punjab government has served tax notices to social media networking websites Google and Facebook as well as video-sharing websites YouTube and Dailymotion, asking them to register by June 17 and pay for displaying Punjab-specific advertisements.”

Protip: when you’re a fugitive on the run from a murder charge, don’t take selfies. “It was a case of justice by selfie. An Indian man, who had been on the run for seven years after murdering his wife, finally got caught because of a Facebook selfie.” Good morning, Internet…

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