Ireland Archaeology, Brooklyn Music, ProtonMail, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, June 21, 2017


Irish Times: New archaeology archive is a treasure trove of heritage data. “Details of more than 1,500 archaeological excavations across the country are now freely available online as part of a new initiative launched on Monday at the Royal Irish Academy. The Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) Digital Heritage Collections represent 80 per cent of all excavation reports commissioned by the National Roads Authority and the Railway Procurement Agency during Ireland’s extensive programmes of motorway and light rail building between 2001 and 2016.”

New York Times: Brooklyn Academy of Music Puts 70,000 Archive Materials Online. “More than 70,000 playbills, posters and ephemera from the history of the Brooklyn Academy of Music — from as far back as the Civil War era — are now available through the Leon Levy BAM Digital Archive, which opened to the public on Tuesday.”


Engadget: ProtonMail makes its free VPN service available to everyone. “ProtonMail, the encrypted email created by CERN and MIT scientists, has released a new product in response to the administration’s roll back of Obama-era internet privacy rules. Starting today, you can try out the company’s VPN service, which was in beta testing by 10,000 initial users for a year, by getting it from the official ProtonVPN website. The great thing about it is that it has a free tier that’s free forever. It might not be as robust as the paid ones, but it still routes your connection through multiple encrypted tunnels in three countries.”

TechCrunch: Tumblr rolls out new content filtering tools with launch of ‘Safe Mode’. “Tumblr this morning is rolling out a significant update to its content filtering system with the launch of a new ‘Safe Mode’ for browsing content on its site. While the company already offered the ability to filter explicit content from its search results, Safe Mode goes a step further to also hide sensitive content in your Tumblr Dashboard.”


Beth’s Blog: 5 Ways Nonprofit Facebook Messenger Bots Can Deliver Impact. “In my last post about nonprofit bots, I discussed the big picture of automation in the nonprofit space and what I learned from the ‘The Beth Bot’ experiment. For this post, I did a landscape scan to identify some of the best examples of nonprofit bots. (These examples use Facebook Messenger, but bots be deployed other platforms or apps.)”


Google Blog: How The New York Times used the Google Sheets API to report congressional votes in real time. “There’s a common phrase among reporters: ‘The news never sleeps.’ This is why many news outlets rely on cloud-based productivity tools like Google Docs and Sheets to share information, check facts and collaborate in real time. And The New York Times is no exception.”

Daily Dot: New social media degree lets students perfect the art of selfies. “Have you mastered the art of selfies, but still find yourself falling flat on followers? Don’t fear, there’s a college degree to help you succeed. Today influencers are the internet people many millennials look up to, and with their astounding revenue it’s easy to see why. However, a university in China is taking things to a new level. The Yiwu Industrial and Commercial College (YWICC) near Shanghai is now offering a social media degree, which it says will help students become social media celebs.”


New York Times: Germany Raids Homes of 36 People Accused of Hateful Postings Over Social Media. “In a coordinated campaign across 14 states, the German police on Tuesday raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings over social media, including threats, coercion and incitement to racism.”


The Next Web: Facebook’s AI accidentally created its own language. “Researchers from the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab (FAIR) recently made an unexpected discovery while trying to improve chatbots. The bots — known as ‘dialog agents’ — were creating their own language.”

MakeUseOf: Bye Bye Chrome! Why We Switched to Firefox. “There was a time when Chrome truly sat atop the throne as Browser King, but those days are long gone. The gap has closed, and depending on who you ask, Chrome has been overtaken. I once believed that Chrome was ‘the best,’ but nowadays you may be happier elsewhere.” When I’m on my Chromebox I have to use Chrome, of course, but when I’m using Windows? Firefox. Good afternoon, Internet…

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