Rhode Island Courts, Socratic Google Search, Hip Hop Hall, More: Saturday Buzz, June 25, 2016


The Rhode Island Historical Society has launched a digital archive of very early court records. ” From a single online location, users can now access selected 1729-1812 records from the courts of Providence County, Kent County, and what was known as Kings County (now Washington County). The online archive is free and open to the public. The earliest documents are those from 1729-1741 for the Providence County Justice Court at Warwick and those from 1730-1739 for the Kings County Court Records.”

A gentleman named Ted Hunt has developed Socrates, a wrapper for Google search. “Hunt’s project combines his principles with Google Custom Search technology to provide the answers to five search buttons – Seek Clarity, Challenge Assumptions, View Evidence, Explore Alternatives or Consider Implications.” The article doesn’t make it too clear, but the engine’s at . It didn’t work that well when I tried it, but the implications for using a CSE for weighing and slanting search results with words are interesting.

The Hip-Hop Hall of Fame is getting a digital archive (PRESS RELEASE). “The official website now under construction will become a National and International Hip Hop Digital Archive Resource for artists, culturists, fans, educators, students, and preservationist that will be continuously updated with historical contributions being made in real-time by hip hop music & culture artists, influencers, innovators, and entrepreneurs in business, entertainment, and in society at-large for future generations.” Not ashamed to say I’m still a Kool Moe Dee fan.


DPLA and FamilySearch are teaming up. “In concert with the American Library Association national conference in Orlando, Florida, this week, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world, have signed an agreement that will expand access to’s growing free digital historical book collection to DPLA’s broad audience of users including genealogists, researchers, family historians, students, and more.”

The University of Virginia has completed a second phase of digitizing the Charlottesville newspaper “The Daily Progress”. “The project began in 2012 as a way to commemorate Charlottesville’s 250th anniversary and make this portion of local history more easily accessible. The first phase digitized editions from 1893 to 1923, and the second phase runs from 1923 to 1964.”


The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC-G) has published a blog post with its upcoming digitization project priorities. Too many to count here, though there’s also a funding/partnership search going on for one project.

Interesting: the Chinese social media response to Brexit. “Overall, many netizens see Britain’s vote to leave the EU as the beginning of a further disintegration of the EU. Apart from a potential referendum in the Netherlands, there are also many expecting a second independence referendum in Scotland. News and analysis outlet writes: ‘The UK decision will encourage the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Austria and other countries to also leave the EU,’ reporting about a speech given by U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage earlier today.”

From Law Technology Today: The Future of Google Maps. “Google’s Ali Turhan shared a little more on how these promoted pins would impact more typical local results on both mobile and desktop experiences. And while, in typical Google fashion, there was a lot of ‘we’re experimenting with an array of different display options,’ the current plan was clear: one of the ‘organic local’ results is going to be replaced by a paid, promoted pin. (Apparently we have to call this ‘organic local’ now—obviously in need of yet another term, but I digress.)” Fewer organic listings, lots of spammy results as the article mentions, and Google Maps losings its credibility and people looking elsewhere. This seems really familiar…


Uh-oh. A court in Germany has ruled that digitizing an artwork in the public domain creates a new copyright. “The case was brought by the Reiss Engelhorn Museum (REM) in Mannheim, Germany, against the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland—the local German chapter of the global Wikimedia movement—over 17 images of the museum’s public domain works of art, which have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. The Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland argued that the digital versions sought to reproduce the paintings as exactly as possible, which meant that there was no room for new creativity, and thus nothing to be protected by a new copyright. The court disagreed.”

Snapchat has filed for a patent which feels to me a bit icky. “Snapchat Inc. could begin paying users to post photos and videos, according to patent filings. Through its popular Live Stories feature, the Venice company produces highlight reels of events across the world made up of user-submitted images related to specific cities, sports games, concerts or other occasions. In most cases, these videos are available for a day for any Snapchat user to watch. But only those lucky enough to bring their smartphone or tablet to a relevant location are invited to submit to a Live Story.” Good morning, Internet…

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