StartPage, Korean Translation, Google Docs, More: Thursday Buzz, March 30, 2017


StartPage has upgraded its image search. “The enhanced StartPage image search allows filtering by predominant color, file type and size. Looking for a medium size png picture of an orange cat? Now you’re covered.” The search engine has also launched its own version of Instant Answers, which hopefully will not turn into an Instant Trainwreck by inadvertently providing incorrect information.

CNET: Google can now translate Korean while you watch. “The Translate app has just been updated with Korean language support for its Word Lens tool. Just point your phone’s camera at Korean text and watch it translate into the language of your choice in real time.”

Google Apps — oh, sorry, G Suite update: Convert text to all CAPS and more in Google Docs. “Capitalizing a large portion of text or an especially long title can be a pain. Doing the opposite—converting capital letters to lowercase—is equally a waste of time. With this launch, we’re making those tasks quick and easy in Google Docs on the web.”


PCWorld: Microsoft OneNote for beginners: Everything you need to know. “If you’re fed up with Evernote, or you want something more capable than just a lightweight note-taking app like Google Keep, OneNote’s worth a look. Read on to discover everything you need to know to start creating a paperless life with OneNote.”

NN/LM Training Office: 2 Backchannel Discussion Tools for Librarians. “Backchannels have been around for awhile. A 2010 Educause 7 Things You Should Know About Backchannel Communication called them ‘a secondary electronic conversation that takes place at the same time as a conference session, lecture, or instructor-led learning activity.’ Backchannels provide a space for real time conversation, alongside the primary activity. Twitter is an example of a backchannel. Here’s two more backchannel tools you might find useful.” Short article, but a neglected resource.


Straits Times: How can you play a part in tracing the roots of the early Chinese community in Singapore?. “Do your part for historical scholarship by helping to enrich the annotated version of Song Ong Siang’s classic historical text, ‘One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore’. First published in 1923, the book is a 20th century history classic and key primary source on colonial Singapore. It is often referred to by researchers as well as individuals who want to trace their family history.”

Free Government Information: Activists Use FOIA to Ensure Availability of Thousands of Federal Datasets. “The Center for Biological Diversity has announced an effort to prevent hundreds of environmental datasets on government websites from being removed by the Trump administration.”


Naked Security: Another hole opens up in LastPass that could take weeks to fix. “The flaw affects users of version 4.x across all browsers and platforms and would allow a phishing attacker to steal passwords from the LastPass vault when a user is drawn to a malicious website. Attackers could also execute code on computers that running LastPass’s binary component.” I don’t think anybody should ditch LastPass but this is certainly a bad run at the moment.

ZDNet: ​Microsoft pulls then revives search after complaints of exposed sensitive files. “Among the files reviewed by ZDNet, and seen by others who tweeted about them, included password lists, job acceptance letters, investment portfolios, divorce settlement agreements, and credit card statements — some of which contained Social Security and driving license numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers, and email and postal addresses.”


From Forbes, and Kalev Leetaru (this guy! Wow): What Research Libraries And Web Archives Could Learn From The Commercial Cloud. “In 2014 I optimistically wrote for the Knight Foundation blog that libraries could reinvent themselves in the digital era, tracing my own collaborations with the Internet Archive over the prior year and drawing from my opening keynote address to the 2012 IIPC General Assembly at the Library of Congress. Yet, reflecting back three years later, looking at just how adrift and leaderless so many research libraries have become in the digital era, unsure of how to reinvent themselves and often too arrogant and insular to reach out beyond the communities they have worked with for centuries, I am no longer so certain that research libraries and the academic communities that work most closely with them can genuinely reimagine themselves on their own. Community libraries have found great success reinventing themselves to better fit into modern lifestyles, from collaborative spaces to free wifi to ebooks to and even 3D printers and virtual reality systems, but research libraries as a whole seem to be struggling to find their footing in the digital era.”

Bloomberg: How to Manage Our Algorithmic Overlords. “…people are being kept in the dark about how widely artificial intelligence is used, the extent to which it actually affects them and the ways in which it may be flawed. That’s unacceptable. At the very least, some basic information should be made publicly available for any algorithm deemed sufficiently powerful.”

Nieman Lab: People who think about this stuff don’t think bad online behavior will get better any time soon. “The quality of public discourse online is not going to get better and may actually get worse over the next decade, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center that invited 8,000 technology experts, scholars, corporate practitioners and government leaders[”] to respond.” Good morning, Internet…

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