Collinwood School Fire, African Americans in Silent Film, Scotland Witches, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, October 31, 2016


A new Web site documents the Collinwood School Fire of 1908. “[Michael] Newbury decided to do something to help keep the tragic story of the March 4, 1908, fire that swept through Lake View School in Collinwood — killing a staggering 172 children, two teachers and one rescuer – alive in our collective memories. Nearly the half of the children in Collinwood, then a heavily ethnic suburb of immigrants, were lost.”

Now available: a database about African-Americans working in the movie industry during the silent film era. “While the #OscarsSoWhite controversy raged over the dearth of people of color nominated for Academy Awards this past year, a group of digital humanities students at UCLA channeled their frustration into meticulously reconstructing the little-known history of silent films made for and by African Americans in the early 20th century…. The result of their efforts is ‘Early African American Film: Reconstructing the History of Silent Race Films, 1909–1930,’ an informational website and searchable database that tracks the African-American actors, crewmembers, writers, producers and other artists who were making films during the silent era.”

Now digitized and online: a 350-year-old book documenting people in Scotland accused of being witches. “The Names of Witches in Scotland, 1658 collection, was drawn up during a time when the persecution of supposed witches was rife. The book also lists the towns where the accused lived and notes of confession.”


Just a little over a week before the elections, y’all. We can do this. Facebook wants to help. “The social-media company unveiled a feature this week designed to help users create a voting plan, showing not just presidential candidates but also information on statewide elections. Should you want to dive down to the local level, you can give Facebook your address and the company will tell you what’s on the ballot in your neck of the woods.”

Linux Mint 18.1 is on the way. “”The second release in the Linux Mint 18.x series will be named ‘Serena’. Linux Mint 18.1 is estimated to be released around November/December 2016 and will be supported until 2021. Linux Mint 18 users will have the ability to upgrade.”


Lifehacker has a writeup on Findo, a service designed to help you find your cloud-stored stuff. “Findo, in simplest terms, is a search assistant. You give it access to whatever accounts you want to be searched, and then it indexes your accounts so that you can search for anything. That means emails, files, documents—whatever you have stored on a variety of services.” As the comments note, this service is probably not for those who worry a lot about privacy and permissions.

Social Times: What Twitter Moments Means for Small Businesses. “On Sept. 28, Twitter made Moments available to everyone. But what exactly are Twitter Moments and how can they benefit small businesses like yours? This article will show you how to create your own Moments and use them to engage your customers.”


Wondering what the hot Halloween costumes are this year? Search Engine Journal’s got the scoop. “According to the NRF [National Retail Federation], 34 percent of people turn to search engines for Halloween costume inspiration. Which costumes are inspiring consumers most this year? Harley Quinn, Star Wars, and Deadpool are among the most searched for costumes this year, search data from Google and Bing reveals.”


Search engine results getting more dangerous? From The Register: Search engine results increasingly poisoned with malicious links. “Last year examined 80 million websites, spotting 18,280 infected web pages. In the year up to August the testing lab inspected a similar 81 million websites turning up a much higher 29,632 infected web pages. Both results were recorded without enabling Google Safe Browsing. Both figures are a big increase on 2013 when AV-TEST encountered 5,060 malware threats after examining 40 million web pages.”

Motherboard: Inside The Foggy, Shady Market For Zero-Day Bugs. “In the last few years, the market for zero-days has been a highly controversial topic in the hacking world. For some, unknown flaws should always be reported so that they can get fixed and everyone is safer. For others, it’s OK if the good guys use the flaws in secret to go after the bad guys. Seemingly nobody agrees on what should be done with zero-days, in part, perhaps, because the gray market for them is so secretive.” The article is a lead-in for a 22-minute video which is free to view. Good afternoon, Internet…

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