Boston Catholics, Microsoft, Federal Research, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, January 11, 2017


The Boston Globe has news on a new collection of records on Boston Catholics. “For genealogy and history buffs, a new collaboration between the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is bringing more than a century’s worth of church records within reach of the nearest Internet connection. The organizations Tuesday unveiled the beginnings of an online archive of sacramental records for Boston’s earliest Catholics.”


Engadget: Microsoft privacy dashboard gives you control over your data . “Microsoft has been accused of overstepping privacy boundaries with Windows 10, but it’s ready to try and regain some of that broken trust. It’s launching a web-based account privacy dashboard that lets you monitor and control the information Microsoft services use. You can view and wipe your Bing search history, Edge browsing history and your location activity. And if you’re worried about what Cortana Notebook and Microsoft Health are doing, you can edit your data for those services.”

From Making Federal Research Results Available to All. “In recent weeks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed their public access plans and posted them on their open government web pages. As a result, 22 Federal departments and agencies accounting for more than 99 percent of U.S. Federal R&D expenditures now have public access plans in place. A consolidated listing can be found here.” How long the public access plans stay in place remains to be seen.

Monmouth University has acquired Bruce Springsteen’s archives. “The rocker’s personal collection of written works, photographs, magazines and other artifacts from throughout his career will make up the new Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music. Monmouth is fittingly located near the Jersey Shore, not far from Springsteen’s hometown of Freehold and even closer to Asbury Park, the beach town where his career began.”

With the news that Facebook is planning advertising for its video, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that Instagram is on board too. “Instagram … is planning similar ads for its Stories feature — the sharing function it copied from Snapchat in August. ‘Instagram is testing them now with select publishers and content creators,’ an unidentified ad agency exec told Adage about the new ad format.”


From The Daring Librarian: 4 Fun FREE Apps to Win The Instagram Game. “There are a lot of cool FREE Apps out there that can add functionality and sparkle to the number one picture and video App Instagram, but I’m going to share my favorite four! And yeah, I’m still mourning the loss of Vine. But, finding these new Apps has helped me get past the it… a little! ”


Huh. YouTube is hosting a competition to make a video for an Elton John song. “Like many legendary musicians, Elton John didn’t get music videos for some of his best-known songs — they simply came too soon for the likes of MTV. Thanks to the internet, however, he’s getting a second chance. YouTube is backing a competition, Elton John: The Cut, that challenges you to brainstorm an official music video treatment for ‘Bennie and the Jets,’ ‘Rocket Man,’ or ‘Tiny Dancer.'”

The Atlantic: All of Human Knowledge Buried in a Salt Mine. “Martin Kunze wants to gather a snapshot of all of human knowledge onto plates and bury it away in the world’s oldest salt mine. In Hallstatt, Austria, a picturesque village nestled into a lake-peppered region called Salzkammergut, Kunze has spent the past four years engraving images and text onto hand-sized clay squares. A ceramicist by trade, he believes the durability of the materials he plies gives them an as-yet unmatched ability to store information. Ceramic is impervious to water, chemicals, and radiation; it’s emboldened by fire. Tablets of Sumerian cuneiform are still around today that date from earlier than 3000 B.C.E.”

From The Verge: How a group of Redditors is creating a fake stock market to figure out the value of memes. “Like jokes, dreams, and teen culture, it’s uncool to explain a meme. Explanations take effort, and effort is antithetical to an art form that begs to be perceived as effortless. r/MemeEconomy is a quirky solution, a subreddit in which people discuss memes as if they’re real-world commodities. If a meme is just beginning to bubble up online, you say you’re going to BUY. If a meme has peaked, you SELL, SELL, SELL. No real money is involved. The game is just an artifice with which to vocalize your commentary as a knowledgeable insider. It’s intentionally tongue in cheek, talking ‘investments’ without seeming too invested.”


Do you use autofill? Please read this. “The phising attack is brutally simple. [Viljami] Kuosmanen discovered that when a user attempts to fill in information in some simple text boxes, such as name and email address, the autofill system, which is intended to avoid tedious repetition of standard information such as your address, will input other profile-based information into any other text boxes – even when those boxes are not visible on the page.” Good afternoon, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply