19th Century Astronomy, Punjabi-Americans, Yahoo Mail, More: Tuesday Buzz, October 11, 2016


Documents related to a 19th century astronomy expedition have been digitized. “The papers relate to the expeditions organised from the Royal Observatory to observe the 1874 transit of Venus. This is a rare event, when the planet Venus can be seen passing in front of the disk of the Sun – it last occurred in 2012 and won’t be seen again until 2117. In the 18th and 19th centuries a huge effort was made to organise observing expeditions: it was hoped that careful observations from widely spaced locations on Earth would provide a means to triangulate the distance between the Earth and sun.” Please note that the expedition was to Hawaii, this was the 19th century, and some of the documents reflect racist stereotypes and viewpoints.

Last month I mentioned an upcoming archive of Punjabi-Americans in California. The archive has officially launched. “The digital archive seeks to share the stories and contributions to California of these pioneering Punjabi Americans and their descendants through more than 700 video interviews, speeches, diaries, articles and photographs.”


This is absolutely disgusting. You can no longer forward Yahoo Mail. “Yahoo no longer offers the option to automatically forward email to another email address, although the setting was available earlier this year…. On the help page for the feature, Yahoo explains that auto-forward is ‘under development.'” If there is an legitimate reason for this Yahoo needs to provide it immediately. Otherwise I’ll end up coming to the conclusion that this is a gutless, desperate attempt to keep users locked into Yahoo Mail.

Looks like Facebook for Work is here. “The platform will be sold to businesses on a per-user basis, according to the company: after a three-month trial period, Facebook will charge $3 apiece per employee per month up to 1,000 employees, $2 for every employee beyond up to 10,000 users, and $1 for every employee over that.”


Social Media Examiners: How to Automatically Reshare Your Social Media Updates Using Free Tools. Great setup, though I’m not really a fan of “looping” content.

Search Engine Journal: How To Find Anyone’s Email Address In 60 Seconds Or Less “You need to develop personal connections with influencers, regardless of whether you work in PR or SEO, it’s always the same. But finding the right person’s email address can be a draining, time-consuming task. Who has time for that? Well, actually, it’s not so difficult, or time-consuming. In this post, I’m going to walk you through the exact step-by-step process our agency uses to find (almost) anyone’s email address, in 60 seconds or less!”


The Getty Iris: Saving Electronic Records from Rot and Decay. “In the past, digital files have come to us hidden within paper collections on old floppy disks and CDs. In more recent years, staff have been actively transferring their files to us through hard drives, network drives, email, and drop boxes. The files we deal with encompass your standard text documents and photographs, but also sound and video files, emails, databases, CAD files, digital art installations, and even the Getty’s website and social media presence. How do we handle all this? Well, Institutional Archives’ strategy for preserving born-digital files is very much a work in progress. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find any organization that has digital preservation completely figured out.”

allAfrica: Tanzania: How Social Media Is Shaking Up Govt. “When a group of trainee teachers at a school in Mbeya savaged a hapless student in a typical Hollywood gangster style last week, the outrage was palpable. It wasn’t just the public that rushed to condemn the senseless battering of the student, within hours, regional authorities and cabinet ministers also chipped in. And within hours the, the government reacted by firing the ‘mafia’ trainee teachers. Interestingly, all it took was a video clip of the shocking incident that went viral on various social media platforms.”

The evolution of the chatbot continues – now they’re into money management. “More broadly these chatbots are targeting millennials who, they claim, typically aren’t as financially savvy as they could be and who are perfectly comfortable communicating entirely through emoji. I jest, kinda. Choosing to announce news or fully launch today are Plum, Chip, and Cleo, which is a little awkward. You wait around for a chatbot financial assistant and three arrive at once, said nobody.”

Google wants Google Assistant to make you laugh. “Future conversations with your intelligent gadgets may be co-authored by your favorite comedy writers. It’s not too great a leap: according to a Wall Street Journal report, comedy and joke writers from Pixar movies and the Onion are already working on making Google’s upcoming Assistant AI voice service feel more loose and vibrant.” Confession: I kind of like Alexa’s cheesy jokes.


Looks like the EU will not be investigating Google over tax issues (maybe because it’s too busy investigating Google over antitrust issues?) “Looks like Google is getting a pass from the European Commission on possible tax issues — at least for now. The Commission’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, is currently investigating whether or not Alphabet, Google’s parent company, abuses its market dominance in search and mobile software to edge out competitors. But the Commission will not be extending its probe to address questions of back taxes, according to a report Monday by Reuters.”


A man in Texas saved his brother in Cumberland county, North Carolina, thanks to a drone and its operator. “Searching through #HopeMills on Twitter, the city his brother lives in, he found a drone picture of homes almost completely flooded. Trying to cheer up his brother he sent this picture and teased him that at least this isn’t his house, but the house all the way to the right actually was where Chris was stranded.” Cumberland County got over 14 inches of rain. You’ll see in the picture in this article that houses in Hope Mills were flooded to the gables. I hope all of y’all got through Matthew okay. Good morning, Internet…

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