San Antonio Photography, Chicago Torture, NC in WWI, More: Thursday Buzz, October 13, 2016


The University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom center has put its Goldbeck collection of photos online. “Many of the negatives, which date primarily from the mid-1910s through 1930, were taken by E. O. Goldbeck (1892–1986), a San Antonio-based commercial photographer whose career spanned the better part of the twentieth century. Also included are those he acquired from his contemporaries including C. W. (Charles W.) Archer, W. W. (Walter W.) Mitchell (1890–1928), and C. A. (Charles Albert) Stead (1870–1932). Known as the ‘unofficial photographer of America’s military,’ it is no surprise that more than one third of all the negatives are of military subjects. Documented are military efforts and camp life in and around San Antonio, during and shortly after the First World War.”

The Pozen Center at the University of Chicago has launched an online archive documenting the torture of African American men by the Chicago Police Department. “The Pozen Family Center for Human Rights at the University of Chicago announced a new online archive hosting nearly 10,000 documents collected by the People’s Law Office related to the interrogations, criminal trials, civil rights litigation, journalism, and activism stemming from the so-called Chicago Police torture cases…. As is now widely known, during two decades beginning in 1972, more than 100 African American men were tortured by Chicago Police officers under the direction of Commander Jon Burge. After decades of litigation and activism by the torture survivors, their lawyers, family members, journalists, artists, and other allies, the Chicago City Council brought some closure to the cases with the passage of an historic Reparations ordinance in June 2015.”


The State Archives of North Carolina has added a bunch of World War I material to its online archive.

Hmm. Baidu has set up a 20 billion Yuan ($3 billion US dollars) investment fund. “According to Reuters, the fund ‘Baidu Capital’ will focus on mid- and late-stage firms, with individual funding amounts ranging from $50 million to $100 million.”

Google has added new features to Google Photos. “Today we’re bringing you four new features for Google Photos — three new ways for you to relive and the share moments that matter, and a quick way to fix some of those pesky sideways photos in your collection.”

Google has acquired FameBit. “Google announced today in an official blog post that it has acquired three-year-old influencer marketing platform FameBit, which pairs social media stars with brands to collaborate on sponsored content. The deal will provide YouTube with an avenue into the innumerable sponsored video transactions that proliferate across its platform on top of the advertising revenues that it already shares with creators.”


And in our latest episode of “Goony Facebook content-blocking,” we have a picture of a mammogram. “Less than a month after facing backlash over its censorship of the Vietnam War’s iconic ‘Napalm Girl’ image, the social media giant is now under fire for removing an article published by Les Décodeurs, a data-focused website affiliated with French newspaper Le Monde. The story, about the French government’s efforts to overhaul mammogram-screening in the country, included a lead image of an exposed female breast. The nipple in the photograph apparently violated Facebook’s nudity policy.” As you might imagine, this article features images of female breasts.

Google wants YOU… to register to vote. “Google is upping its efforts at getting its U.S. users registered to vote, via a pop-up ad that now appears directly on the desktop home page. The company has historically made an effort to help web users get registered to vote and find answers to their voting-related questions by placing instant answers in its Search results. That has continued this year, as voter searches were redirected to answers about the registration process, deadlines, poll hours and more.”


Microsoft is changing how you patch your Windows machine. “Starting this month, home and business Windows users will no longer be able to pick and choose which updates to install and which to leave for another time. For example, I’ve often advised home users to hold off on installing .NET updates until all other patches for the month are applied — reasoning that .NET updates are very large and in my experience have frequently been found to be the source of problems when applying huge numbers of patches simultaneously. But that cafeteria-style patching goes out the…err…Windows with this month’s release.” Considering how many Windows patches have caused problems lately, I find this very upsetting.

Oh gross: ACLU exposes Facebook, Twitter for feeding surveillance company user data. “The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday outed Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for feeding a Chicago-based company their user streams—a feed that was then sold to police agencies for surveillance purposes. After the disclosure, the social media companies said they stopped their data firehouse to Chicago-based Geofeedia. In a blog post, the ACLU said it uncovered the data feeds as part of a public records request campaign of California law enforcement agencies. Geofeedia touts how it helped police track unrest during protests.”

Oh boy: Ransomware raises the bar again. “Ransomware just got even more real: it’s now the number one attack vector in the financial services sector, which traditionally has been considered a model industry for best security practices.”


EurekAlert (which is apparently back! YAY!): New study reveals how scientists use social media. “A new study published in the international journal PLOS One today reveals how scientists use Twitter to communicate. The study is the first to survey scientists on their attitudes towards social media and show how they are using digital channels to communicate their research with both the public and one another.” This press release is a little light; link to full article on the right menu. Good morning, Internet…

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