Contemporary Composers, Executive Orders, Moldova Parliament, More: Monday Buzz, January 30, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

A new archive of information on contemporary American composers has been launched. “EarShot, the National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network, announces the launch of the EarShot Composer Archive, a new database of audio excerpts, program notes, and score samples by more than 140 composers whose works have been performed through the EarShot Network, after selection through nationwide calls for scores.”

Larry Ferlazzo is maintaining a list resources for learning about the immigration ban of the current administration. “Here’s a beginning list of resources related to them – I’ll be adding more over the weekend and into the future (you might also be interested in The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day and The Best Sites To Learn About Walls That Separate Us)…”

The Parliament Archive and Library of Moldova will be digitized. “According to the concept, will be digitized files of bills, transcripts of plenary sittings of Parliament, the minutes of the meetings of the standing committees, comparative law studies, analytical character materials, reports, internal documents of Parliament subdivisions etc. These are to be stored on a platform of institutional electronic storage, which will be accessible online.”

Banipal, a magazine of Arab literature, has created an online archive. “The archive allows a reader to leap into translations of works by writers and poets from Morocco (Banipal 5), from Iraq (especially in Banipal 14, and a 3-part series in Banipals 17, 18 and 19, and later in 37). In No 13, the focus is on Jordanian literature, then on to Palestinian literature in the double issue of 15/16 and later in Banipal 45 (both out of print). In Banipal 7, at the beginning of the new millennium, the focus was literature from Algeria.” As you might imagine this is not free; I checked and a digital subscription is $32.99 annually.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

BetaNews: Really, Google? Chrome 57 kills the ability to control and disable plugins. “With web browsers being among the most frequently used pieces of software out there, it’s little wonder that there is so much concern about security surrounding them. Browser plugins can be a major security worry, and with Chrome 57 Google has taken the strange decision to block users from disabling them or changing their settings.”

Search Engine Roundtable: Google News Removes Shareable Sections. “Back in 2011, Google News launched badges and sharable sections – an idea I was not too fond of – but who am I? In any event, it allowed you to create your own news section based on various keywords, news sources and sliders and then share them with your friends.”

USEFUL STUFF

Going through my Google Alerts, I stumbled on this brief writeup about a Web-based dictation tool which supports many different languages. “Available in a multitude of languages including Korean, Lithuanian, Spanish (of many varieties!), Greek, and almost every other language taught in LCSL, this web-based transcription tool is surprisingy accurate when used with good quality audio and even uses context to automatically correct its errors.”

Lifehacker: Krita Is a Fast, Flexible, and Free Photoshop Alternative Built by Artists. “If you’re on the lookout for a digital painting tool and Photoshop is too expensive, Krita is a fast, free, and open source art tool that was developed by artists looking for something that met their needs without a ton of bloat or overhead. Plus, it’s completely cross-platform.” This looks like a great alternative when I’m working on something that’s too arty/complicated for Picmonkey.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Google has created a $4 million “crisis fund” for immigration issues. “The search-engine giant has created a $2 million crisis fund that can be matched with up to $2 million in donations from employees, totaling $4 million, for four organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR. It is Google’s largest crisis campaign ever.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

eWeek: Microsoft Warns of Emails Bearing Crafty PDF Phishing Scams. “Instead of trying to cram malware into inboxes, attackers are increasingly using PDF-based social engineering schemes to to trick victims into handing over sensitive data or email login passwords.”

Techdirt: One More Time With Feeling: ‘Anonymized’ User Data Not Really Anonymous. “As companies and governments increasingly hoover up our personal data, a common refrain to keep people from worrying is the claim that nothing can go wrong — because the data itself is ‘anonymized’ — or stripped of personal detail. But time and time again, we’ve noted how this really is cold comfort; given it takes only a little effort to pretty quickly identify a person based on access to other data sets. As cellular carriers in particular begin to collect every shred of browsing and location data, identifying ‘anonymized’ data using just a little additional context has become arguably trivial.”

NBC News: More Than 4 Billion Data Records Were Stolen Globally in 2016. “Cybercriminals are stealing data at an alarming rate. Both the number of breaches and the number of files stolen globally in these hacks rose dramatically to set a new record in 2016, according to a new report from Risk Based Security. The 4,149 confirmed breaches exposed more than 4.2 billion records. That’s approximately 3.2 billion more records than were exposed in 2013, the previous all-time high.” Good morning, Internet…

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