ProQuest, Baseball Music, Dark Web, More: Sunday Buzz, February 12, 2017


ProQuest has launched a “displaced researchers” program (PRESS RELEASE). “ProQuest has launched a program to provide no-cost access to its databases for students and researchers who have been separated from their universities and libraries because of travel bans or other immigration changes. The company has an email hotline where these displaced researchers can arrange for access to the materials they need to continue their work.”

The Library of Congress has aggregated a collection of baseball-related music. “This exhibition features baseball sheet music from the collections of the Music Division at the Library of Congress. Most of these works are original copyright deposits and represent only a small fraction of the more than 400 published songs about baseball in the Music Division’s custody. They illustrate the remarkable congruence between the evolution of the sport from before the Civil War to the present, and the musical counterparts that have chronicled in song baseball’s greatest moments.”

Motherboard: New Tool Takes Mere Minutes to Create Dark Web Version of Any Site. “…a security researcher is trying to attract even more organizations to Tor hidden services, with a relatively easy-to-use tool that streamlines the site creation process. And as an aside, technically anyone can make a dark web version of whatever site they fancy. ‘The goal is to do the heavy lifting of “onionification” of websites, so that if an organization wants to run its own onion site, 90 plus percent of the work is done for them,’ Alec Muffett, an independent security researcher who designed the tool, told Motherboard in a Twitter message. ”

In development: a digital archive for the mementos left after the 2016 attacks in Nice, France. “Authorities and volunteers in Nice have removed thousands of mementoes laid out for victims of last summer’s truck rampage as the city readies for its annual carnival, its biggest public event since the Islamist attack that killed 86 people. Authorities plan to preserve some of the poems, photos and other objects draped over the bandstand at the city’s seafront Promenade des Anglais and move others online as a permanent memorial.”


TechCrunch: Q&A site Quora clamps down on anonymity – will review content before publishing, restricts actions. “Quora, a crowdsourced Q&A site that’s generally smarter than Yahoo Answers, is making a big change to how anonymity works on its service. Most notably, it will begin cracking down on spam and harassment by reviewing all anonymous content before it’s distributed on its network, the company says. Anonymous users will also no longer be able to unduly influence other aspects of the Q&A process, as anonymity will now only be supported for asking questions or sharing answers, not things like voting or commenting.” Quora is one of the few digest e-mails that I look forward to. Can’t blame them for proactively taking this step.

Genealogy timeline tool Twile is now free for everybody. “Twile is a UK-based interactive timeline of everything that’s ever happened in your family. The timeline consists of photos and milestones—such as births, marriages, and deaths—that tell the story of your family from your earliest known ancestor right through to today. Family historians can import their family tree from any online genealogy service and then add more recent events from their own life before inviting family members to explore and contribute.”


Digiday: News publisher Attn is crowdsourcing Facebook Live coverage. “On January 18, Attn aired a two-hour Facebook Live covering a political protest/dance party in front of vice president Mike Pence’s house in Indiana. Then, two days later, Attn aired an hour-long live stream from Washington D.C., where several marijuana advocacy groups were handing out joints and protest signs during Donald Trump’s inauguration. In both instances, Attn did not send any members from its three-person Facebook Live to the protests. Instead, the content was recorded by pre-selected protesters already planning to attend both events, with a producer from Attn’s Facebook Live team managing the camera feeds for each live stream remotely.”

Mashable: A Twitter bug has birthed a fiery Trump conspiracy theory. Here’s what’s real about it. “…as exciting as a conspiracy to censor feedback about Twitter’s most notorious user could be, the likely reality is something far less sinister. Twitter’s technical infrastructure is breaking under the power of Trump’s tweets—causing an old product bug to rear its ugly head.”

Wired: Forget New Users. Twitter Needs to Find New Ads. “Thursday, Twitter said it pulled in $638 million in total ad revenue in the quarter—down one percent compared to the same time last year. The root of the decline? Direct-response ads and promoted tweets, the ad formats most at home in Twitter’s fast-scrolling, constantly refreshing stream, are fading. As Facebook and Snapchat can tell you, the present and future of advertising is video. To fully be a part of it, Twitter’s going to have to either fundamentally rethink its platform, or find a new kind of ad future.”


Law360: Google Hit With $20M Jury Verdict Over Malware Patents. “A Texas federal jury awarded an inventor and the family of his late partner $20 million in damages Friday, after finding Google had infringed on three of their patents for malware protection software.”


T.H.E. Journal: Social Media Impacts College Admissions Officers’ View of Students. “Most people are aware by now that some college admissions officers check students’ social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) when vetting through applications. A new study from Kaplan of 365 college admissions officers at top national, regional and liberal arts colleges and universities around the country found that while the number of admissions officers who check social media has slightly decreased, more admit that what they find online impacts their view of students.”

University of Illinois: Illinois researcher generates random ‘reactions’ to consider how Facebook uses our information. “University of Illinois researcher Ben Grosser has created a web browser extension he calls Go Rando that randomly chooses one of Facebook’s six reactions whenever you click ‘like.’ His intention is not to help you confuse or alienate your friends, but to obfuscate your recorded feelings to Facebook.” Good morning, Internet…

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