Probate Records, UK Folk Music, Young Men’s Health, More: Thursday Buzz, April 20, 2017

From GeneaPress: Access to Thirty-Two Probate-Related Databases on Is Free from April 18 to April 25 (PRESS RELEASE). “New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering free access to thirty-two probate-related databases for one week—from Tuesday, April 18, through midnight (EDST) Tuesday, April 25—with registration as a free Guest Member on These databases contain some of the earliest probate records of colonial Massachusetts and other New England colonies and states, as well as New York, and New Brunswick, Canada.”


M Magazine: New Project Brings Major Folk Song Collection to UK. “The digitised collection of James Madison Carpenter (pictured above), which has previously only been accessible by visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, will become free to access online for the first time. Carpenter’s work includes a wealth of traditional songs, ballads and folk plays collected from performers in Scotland, England and Wales by the Harvard-trained scholar, mostly in the period from 1929 to 1935.”

PRNewswire: Access to Rich Online Database on Young Male Health Opened to Public (PRESS RELEASE). “Today the Partnership for Male Youth (PMY), a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization, announced that it is providing full access to its rich online database of literature on the health and wellbeing of males ages 10 through 26… The fully searchable database contains over 2,500 summaries of peer reviewed, scholarly, popular media and opinion literature, published since January 2013, which relate to the unique and unmet health-related needs of young males. Each summary includes an embedded link to the original source material.”

Now available: a database of African films. From the About page: “The African Film Database is a new platform, developed by the Africa in Motion Film Festival, providing anyone with an interest in African cinema with the ability to search through a catalogue of over 1,500 films. Since the inception of the festival in 2006 Africa in Motion has collated submissions and information on films, now presented in this database which we believe is one of the most extensive collections of African films.”


Many thanks to Jonathan B for bringing this to my attention: Classified Directives Listings Disappear from DOD and JCS Websites. “FOIA requesters who relied on lists of classified directives published by both the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to know what documents to file FOIA requests for may now be out of luck. In a transparency backslide, both the DOD and JCS websites no longer publish lists of classified directives and instructions, making it impossible to know what to FOIA.”


Hey! From MacRumors: Apple Makes iMovie, GarageBand, and iWork Apps for Mac and iOS Free for All Users. “Apple today updated several of its Mac and iOS apps, making them available for all Mac and iOS users for free. iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free.”

Nieman Lab: This handy little tool draws from Bloomberg data to add financial context on top of any news article. “A new tool built for Bloomberg by the New York-based mobile and web development agency Postlight cuts the fact-finding process for those interested in the financial context around companies and people that appear in the news to a single step. Called Bloomberg Lens, the tool will find companies and people names in any news article — not just Bloomberg’s — and overlay key facts like such as stock prices or a person’s previous company affiliations.” Currently available for Chrome and iOS, with Android coming soon.

How-To Geek: How to Find Third-Party Services to Use With Google Home. “Google Home brings a lot of the awesome features of Google Assistant to your living room. Developers can also add new features, making Google Home’s potential virtually limitless. You don’t even have to install a thing. Here’s how to find and use third-party services.”


Medium: Facebook’s algorithm isn’t surfacing one-third of our posts. And it’s getting worse. “Starting in January of this year, we at the Chicago Tribune started to anecdotally see a fairly significant change in our post reach. … We had around a half million fans at the end of March and have seen slow but steady growth in the last year. Most Facebook posts fell into the 25,000 to 50,000 reach range — with a few big successes and few spectacular failures each day, usually based on the quality of the content or the quality and creativity of the share. But starting earlier this year, we started to see far more misses. And not reaches in the low 20,000’s but 4,000 reach or 6,000 reach.” Lots of number crunching in this article, not just “it’s getting worse”.

New York Times: Donated Slides From the Met Get a Second Life, and Showing. “It is definitely a digital-age question: What to do with old-fashioned color slides of all-but-forgotten visits to see Grandma or department store Santas? Year after year, they lie in their boxes on a shelf, no longer looked at. The Metropolitan Museum of Art faced the same question on a much larger scale — but without Grandma or Santa.”


TechSpot: Passengers leaving the US will have to pass facial recognition scanners at all international airports in the future. “Visa holders looking to board international flights out of the US will soon be required to pass a facial recognition test at all US international airports, The Verge reports. Facial recognition systems at airports have been around since 2015 in a handful of airports around the globe. As part of his first 100-day agenda, Donald Trump has expedited a system that will track every outgoing passenger from the US. The system is currently being tested on a flight from Atlanta to Tokyo with wider adoption to come in the summer.”


This is marvelous! From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Pfister artist Margaret Muza processes love of history through tintype photographs. “Muza, the artist in residence at Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel, practices a style of photography popular during the American Civil War, capturing images onto sheets of metal. It’s called tintype photography, characterized by its use of metal to create a direct positive. The style — also known as melainotype or ferrotype — became popular in the mid-1850s. It was more durable and cheaper than daguerreotypes or ambrotype photographs at the time. The tintype method went out of common use at the beginning of the 20th century.” Good morning, Internet…

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