morningbuzz

Amazon Rainforest, FamilySearch, UK Web Comics, More: Thursday Buzz, July 13, 2017

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Blog: I Am Amazon: Discover your connection to the rainforest with Google Earth. “For many people around the world, the Amazon is a mysterious faraway land of impenetrable jungles, majestic rivers and indigenous peoples. But what many of us may not realize is that we all have a connection to the Amazon—through the air we breathe, the water that irrigates the food we eat, the natural ingredients in the medicines we use, or the shifting weather patterns that we experience around the globe. Today we invite you to venture into the heart of the Amazon and discover your connection to the world’s largest rainforest through Voyager, Google Earth’s storytelling platform.”

Genealogy’s Star: Web Indexing from FamilySearch. “FamilySearch.org has been digitizing millions of microfilm records for the past few years. In order to make these digitized microfilm records more available to researchers, the records need to be indexed. As a result, FamilySearch has provided a way for hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world to participate in this indexing program. Until recently, indexing could only be done on a desktop computer. For the past few years, FamilySearch has been trying to provide a web-based indexing solution. Web-based indexing is now a reality.”

Pipedream Comics: Help the British Library to preserve and catalogue UK digital comics. “A new project at the British Library is focusing on digital comics publishing in the UK, and the challenges of preservation and access in the long term. Since April 2013, the British Library has been able to collect material published in the UK in digital form under Legal Deposit regulations. This change was intended to ensure that “born digital” publications, which can be at risk of loss, are preserved in the national collections of Legal Deposit Libraries (for more on Legal Deposit, please see http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit). However, digital comics can present challenges for collection and preservation over the long term – as they may be dependent on third-party platforms or plug-ins and otherwise may not be suitably gathered by web harvesting.” There was a BL contact mentioned in this article, and I have contacted her for more details.

USEFUL STUFF

Noupe: Fake News Alert: Botson Exposes Bots in Your Twitter Stream . “It has the potential to win the ugliest word of the year award. Bots have played a part in a lot of politically important processes of the recent past, like the US-American presidential election, or the Brexit. A new tool helps you expose these fake users.” I did install this and briefly tried it, but it wasn’t flagging anything. I really do want this to work so I’ll try it again at some point.

PC World: How to download YouTube videos: 4 things you need to know. “Sure, it’s easy to download videos from YouTube, but doing it legally is another proposition. While there’s no law that specifically says you can’t download videos from YouTube for free, YouTube’s rules are very clear. Before you start downloading YouTube videos, read on for four things you need to know, starting with…”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Next Web: Astroturfing Reddit is the future of political campaigning. “Earlier this year, Hack PR had a problem. The unorthodox public relations firm had snapped up a new client, a deep-pocketed entrepreneur with political ambitions. Unfortunately, nobody really knew who he was, and the campaign it launched for him failed to convert into any real coverage save for a couple of pieces in the Huffington Post and The Washington Times. They needed another idea. So, in their words, they hustled.”

CNET: Google launches AI investment arm. “The new company, which formally launched on Tuesday, underscores Silicon Valley’s growing interest in AI, a field that has been dominated by big tech companies. Google, Facebook and other companies have been busy developing machines, computers or other types of systems that can exhibit humanlike intelligence. The goal is to create machines that can perceive their environment and complete a wide array of everyday tasks previously performed by humans.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Krebs on Security: Adobe, Microsoft Push Critical Security Fixes. “It’s Patch Tuesday, again. That is, if you run Microsoft Windows or Adobe products. Microsoft issued a dozen patch bundles to fix at least 54 security flaws in Windows and associated software. Separately, Adobe’s got a new version of its Flash Player available that addresses at least three vulnerabilities.”

ZDNet: Hard Rock, Loews hotels admit data breach. “Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos alongside Loews Hotels have warned customers that a security failure may have resulted in the theft of their information. Both incidents appear to have been linked to a third-party reservation platform, SynXis, which only begun informing client hotels of the security breach in June, months after the attacks took place.”

Salt Lake Tribune: Union sues to block online access to Utah teacher discipline cases. “Utah’s largest teachers union is suing the state school board over a new website that allows the public to search a database of disciplinary actions taken against educators. The lawsuit was filed Friday in 3rd District Court by the Utah Education Association, but has not yet been formally served to the Utah Board of Education.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Nieman Lab: Using social media appears to diversify your news diet, not narrow it. ” Contrary to conventional wisdom, our analysis shows that social media use is clearly associated with incidental exposure to additional sources of news that people otherwise wouldn’t use — and with more politically diverse news diets. This matters because distributed discovery — where people find and access news via third parties, like social media, search engines, and increasingly messaging apps — is becoming a more and more important part of how people use media.”

Engadget: Online harassment keeps getting worse, study shows. “Harassment is sadly an increasing inevitability on the internet with a new study showing that 41 percent of adults saying they’ve it experienced personally and 73 percent saying they’ve seen it happen to someone else.” Good morning, Internet…

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