Wildlife Photography, Folk Music, Facebook Groups, More: Sunday Buzz, May 14, 2017


Albany Democrat-Herald: Digital archive project reunites works of early wildlife photographers. “Valeria Davila takes a yellowed newspaper article out of a manila folder, carefully unfolds it and spreads it out face-down on a flatbed scanner in the archives department of Oregon State University’s Valley Library. It’s from the Feb. 16, 1930, edition of the Los Angeles Times, a full-page photo spread that shows close-up images of a mountain lion and her cubs in the wild.”

Northwestern: Northwestern Libraries receive NEH grant to digitize significant folk music archive. “Northwestern University Libraries have received a $297,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize, describe, and make available online their Berkeley Folk Music Festival Archive. The archive, meticulously collected by festival founder Barry Olivier, is a culturally significant trove of more than 36,000 items, including photographs, audio and film recordings, brochures, buttons, posters, tickets, and business records documenting the popular festival between 1957 to 1970.”


TechCrunch: Facebook Groups can now screen new members with a questionnaire . “Facebook is making good on Mark Zuckerberg’s promise to build community by improving admin tools for Facebook Groups. Now Group admins can establish up to three questions for people requesting to join their Group to answer.”

WordPress 4.8 Beta 1 is now available.


New York Times: Irreplaceable Plant Specimens an ‘Obscene’ Loss After Being Incinerated in Quarantine Flub. “Around the world, specimens of plants mounted on what are known as herbarium sheets are routinely lent among researchers and shipped with the care and protection of a jeweler sending an emerald necklace. So when a package of more than 100 specimens — some of them irreplaceable and rich in scientific value — survived a 10,200-mile trip only to be mistakenly incinerated because of communication and paperwork mistakes, the plant research community was aghast.”

New York Times: How Google Took Over the Classroom. “In the space of just five years, Google has helped upend the sales methods companies use to place their products in classrooms. It has enlisted teachers and administrators to promote Google’s products to other schools. It has directly reached out to educators to test its products — effectively bypassing senior district officials. And it has outmaneuvered Apple and Microsoft with a powerful combination of low-cost laptops, called Chromebooks, and free classroom apps.” This is a long read, but worth it.

Jamaica Gleaner: Government Considers Regulating Social Media. “Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid said the Government is having dialogue with the Broadcasting Commission with a view to putting on the table proposals to regulate a significant section of the local media landscape that is not now being regulated.”


Wired: The Ransomware Meltdown Experts Warned About Is Here . “A NEW STRAIN of ransomware has spread quickly all over the world, causing crises in National Health Service hospitals and facilities around England, and gaining particular traction in Spain, where it has hobbled the large telecom company Telefonica, the natural gas company Gas Natural, and the electrical company Iberdrola. You know how people always talk about the Big One? As far as ransomware attacks go, this looks a whole lot like it.”

Quartz: A federal court has ruled that an open-source license is an enforceable contract. “The enforceability of open source licenses like the GNU GPL has long been an open legal question. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held in a 2006 case, Jacobsen v. Katzer, that violations of open source licenses could be treated like copyright claims. But whether they could legally considered breaches of contract had yet to be determined, until the issue came up in Artifex v. Hancom.”

FTC: FTC and Federal, State and International Partners Announce Major Crackdown on Tech Support Scams. “The Federal Trade Commission, along with federal, state and international law enforcement partners, today announced ‘Operation Tech Trap,’ a nationwide and international crackdown on tech support scams that trick consumers into believing their computers are infected with viruses and malware, and then charge them hundreds of dollars for unnecessary repairs. As part of this coordinated effort, the FTC and its partners are announcing 16 new actions, including complaints, settlements, indictments, and guilty pleas, against deceptive tech support operations. This brings to 29 the number of law enforcement actions brought by Operation Tech Trap partners in the last year to stop tech support scams.”


University of Melbourne: Islands of Language Enter Virtual Reality. “There are almost 7,000 human languages spoken around the world, but by the end of the century almost half could be extinct, existing only as preserved specimens in obscure databases. The survival, and even revival, of these endangered languages could well depend on these same databases, but only if they become a lot less obscure and a lot more accessible. Enter virtual reality.”

Mashable: I learned more from YouTube than my professors in college. “As I get ready to walk at my college graduation next week, I have more gratitude for one thing above all: YouTube. YouTube was my go to while doing homework, prepping for exams or just when I needed to refresh what a term meant.” I have certainly learned more than I ever knew before about geography, languages, and WWI thanks to some great YouTube series. Good morning, Internet…

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