WWI Texas, Historical Weather Data, Elsevier, More: Sunday Buzz, August 6, 2017


Texas State Library: World War 1 Records Available Through Texas Digital Archive. “In observance of the 100 Anniversary of the United States’ entrance into World War 1, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has digitized a series of collections featuring archival holdings from the First World War through the Texas Digital Archive.” Collections from two individuals and what I believe is a veterans’ group.

NOAA: Historical Radar Data in Google Cloud . “A new partnership between NCEI and Google represents another big step toward greater public access to environmental data. Our historical archive and near real-time data of Level-II Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) are now available as a public dataset on Google Cloud Storage.”


Scholarly Kitchen: Elsevier Acquires bepress. Today, Elsevier announces its acquisition of bepress. In a move entirely consistent with its strategy to pivot beyond content licensing to preprints, analytics, workflow, and decision-support, Elsevier is now a major if not the foremost single player in the institutional repository landscape. If successful, and there are some risks, this acquisition will position Elsevier as an increasingly dominant player in preprints, continuing its march to adopt and coopt open access.”

FamilySearch: Creates an Interactive Family Tree with Living Relatives. “I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I’m grateful to see what’s going on with family and friends, but I could do without public posts, personal rants, and self-serving selfies. This is why I am excited that, a new app that has partnered with FamilySearch, has created a private social network specifically for families. While it is not a messaging center, you can connect with your family’s photos and get to know living relatives and your ancestors at the same time.”

Digital Trends: Youtube Music Gains Ability To Download Songs, Albums, And Playlists. “Now, this isn’t the first time users have been able to download music on YouTube Music, but it is a serious improvement for ease of use and convenience. Previously, you could download music through the offline mixtape feature, which was automatically created based on your listening history — that meant you had little control over the specific songs that were downloaded.”

Google Scholar: Query Suggestions for Detailed Queries. “Last year we added query suggestions to help students explore topics they may not be familiar with. These suggestions go from a broad search to deeper and more specific areas. But many of you are already well familiar with your research area, and your searches are already specific and detailed. Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back and go into a different, but related, space. Today, we’re adding query suggestions for detailed queries.”

TechCrunch: Now it’s Snapchat copying Facebook’s ads Power Editor. “Snap Inc desperately needs ad revenue to redirect its sinking share price. So after a year of getting mercilessly copied by Facebook, Snapchat is returning the favor by launching its take on the Facebook ads Power Editor. This new ‘Advanced Mode’ for its Snapchat Ads Manager lets big advertisers rapidly deploy complex ad campaigns with tons of creative variants.” After all the ways Facebook has copied Snapchat, this seems fair!


Motherboard: Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes ‘Internally Viral’. “At least eight Google employees tweeted Friday about a document that was circulated within the company calling for replacing Google’s diversity initiatives with policies that encourage ‘ideological diversity’ instead. The document, which is the personal opinion of one senior software engineer, was shared on a company mailing list but has since gone ‘internally viral,’ according to a Google employee who spoke with Motherboard.”

Techdirt: Twitter Suspends Popehat For Writing About Violent Threats He Received From Another Twitter User . “Ken White’s Popehat account has been temporarily suspended from Twitter. Why? Because he posted a threat he had received from someone else on Twitter to Twitter. Update: after this story started getting some attention, Twitter reversed the suspension and publicly apologized, saying that it was an error.” An error like when Twitter confirmed the Miss Piggy account but wouldn’t confirm Ellen Pao’s? How much credibility does Twitter have left?

University of Nottingham: Digitally Preserving the Hennessey Collection. “The Centre for Research on Cuba is home to the Hennessy Collection, which is a unique archive of Cuban periodicals from the 1960s through to the 1990s…. A major part of the newspaper collection was folded and stored in boxes for over 50 years, meaning the materials have become extremely delicate and prone to damage if handled. This renders the materials inaccessible by researchers for fear of permanent damage. The Digital Research Team approached Professor Antoni Kapcia to explore how this collection could be digitally preserved and made accessible to all.” Early days yet for this project.


Mental Floss: 7 Internet Scams Even the Smartest People Fall For. “Not so long ago, you were considered a savvy internet user if you ignored unsolicited emails from princes in faraway lands. Now the distinction between what’s a scam and what’s a legitimate online business is not so cut and dry. From phishing schemes disguised to lure you into a fraudulent website with innocent-looking bait to malware hidden in Wi-Fi hotspots, here are seven internet scams that even the smartest people fall for.” Good overview.


Forbes: How Web Archives Teach Us That Data Doesn’t Exist In A Vacuum. “One of the most basic tenants of all data science is that data doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it is the result of a massive pipeline of explicit and implicit decisions, yet so much of the output of the data science world proceeds as if data can be cleanly separated from the contexts in which it is created. Nowhere is this more apparent than the world of web archiving.” Wow. I’m going to have to read this a few times. Good morning, Internet…

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