Iraq War, Canada History, Ted Nelson’s Junk Mail, More: Saturday Buzz, June 24, 2017

FindMyPast is having a free access weekend for British and Irish records.


Unredacted: New Digital National Security Archive Set Publishes Thousands of Declassified Iraq War Docs. “The National Security Archive, working with our partners at ProQuest, is publishing a new compilation of documents on the Iraq war, one of the most consequential events in recent history—for the United States, Iraq, the Middle East, and the international community. The 2,141-page collection of primary source documents, Targeting Iraq, Part I: Planning, Invasion, and Occupation, 1997-2004, will illuminate the path to war and its many unanticipated consequences. Information in the collection will also be useful in examining an issue of continuing concern: the politicization of intelligence to serve political ends.”

Canada Newswire: Canada’s History Archive launched in celebration of Canada Day 2017 (PRESS RELEASE). “For decades, The Beaver magazine offered a window on a world rarely seen by most Canadians — the Far North. Sharing stories of the fur-trade era to modern times, The Beaver was a rich national resource for researchers and history lovers alike. Now — in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary — The Beaver’s entire catalogue of back issues is being made available online — for free — via a new mobile-responsive Archive launching today.”

My friend Kevin Savetz dropped me a note to tell me about a new Internet Archive initiative: Ted Nelson’s Junk Mail. From the about page: “Throughout his long and varied career, pioneer and visionary Ted Nelson investigated technical possibilities of all kinds. He checked reader service cards from magazines in a wide variety of industries, unleashing torrents of further information on products, services and academic research…. After looking, Dr. Nelson threw these in cartons, which have survived by accident. These items are now being scanned in and presented for browsing at the Internet Archive. Whether for nostalgia, reference or research, this collection gives deep insight into the self-image and language of many companies, as well as the visual style of many long-lost aspects of the 20th century’s industries.”

DigitalNC: Issues of Wake Forest University’s The Student from 1906-1935 added. “Additional issues of Wake Forest University’s The Student are now online. The additional issues cover 1906 through 1935. The Student was typically published quarterly and featured articles, opinion columns, and stories written by the students of what was then Wake Forest College, located in Wake Forest, North Carolina.”

Oil and Gas Vision: New Website to Keep Track on Energy Projects. “An Aberdeen company has created a new website offering news and project tracking for the oil and gas industry. Oil and Gas Vision provides detailed information on full lifecycle intelligence on over 5000 projects in the energy sector. Two subscription options are available – a free e-bulletin and a full membership which provides detailed information on projects around the world.”

Economic Times: India builds game-changing database to track human trafficking. “A charity in New Delhi is building India’s first online database of human trafficking cases in a bid to plug a massive information gap and help law enforcers clean up the epicentre of the modern slave trade. India is home to more slaves than any other in the world, yet a lack of crime data is hindering efforts to understand the organised networks that are buying, selling and exploiting women and children for personal profit.”


Radio Free Asia: Vietnam’s State Media Now Look to Social Media For Timely, Accurate News. “State-controlled media in Vietnam are looking more and more to private citizens’ postings on social media as sources of objective information and for leads to news stories, according to Central Propaganda Department chief Vo Van Thuong, speaking on June 20 at a press conference in Hanoi.”

The Verge: Verizon Is Killing Tumblr’s Fight For Net Neutrality. “In 2014, Tumblr was on the front lines of the battle for net neutrality. The company stood alongside Amazon, Kickstarter, Etsy, Vimeo, Reddit, and Netflix during Battle for the Net’s day of action. Tumblr CEO David Karp was also part of a group of New York tech CEOs that met with then-FCC chairman Tom Wheeler in Brooklyn that summer, while the FCC was fielding public comment on new Title II rules. President Obama invited Karp to the White House to discuss various issues around public education, and in February 2015 The Wall Street Journal reported that it was the influence of Karp and a small group of liberal tech CEOs that swayed Obama toward a philosophy of internet as public utility. But three years later, as the battle for net neutrality heats up once again, Tumblr has been uncharacteristically silent.”

Also, The Outline: Yahoo Didn’t Kill Tumblr but Verizon Surely Will. “When Yahoo acquired Tumblr in May 2013 for $1.1 billion, there were concerns that the company would run Tumblr into the ground in the way that Yahoo did with other acquisitions like Flickr and Delicious. It didn’t, but its successor sure might.”


Moscow Times: Russia Blocks Google Temporarily in Tax Dispute. “Russia’s media watchdog blocked internet giant Google for several hours on Thursday in a bid to enforce a tax ruling made in 2016. appeared on Russia’s register of banned sites for approximately three hours on Thursday afternoon, with a number of internet providers restricting users’ access.”


Nicotine and Tobacco Research: Google Searches for ‘Cheap Cigarettes’ Spike at Tax Increases: Evidence from an Algorithm to Detect Spikes in Time Series Data. “Online cigarette dealers have lower prices than brick-and-mortar retailers and advertise tax-free status 1-8. Previous studies show smokers search out these online alternatives at the time of a cigarette tax increase 9-10. However, these studies rely upon researchers’ decision to consider a specific date and preclude the possibility that researchers focus on the wrong date. The purpose of this study is to introduce an unbiased methodology to the field of observing search patterns and to use this methodology to determine whether smokers search Google for ‘cheap cigarettes’ at cigarette tax increases and, if so, whether the increased level of searches persists.” Good morning, Internet…

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