Public Domain Serials, Hurricane Harvey Relief, Census Data, More: Friday Buzz, September 15, 2017


Everybody’s Libraries: New IMLS-funded project: Opening access to 20th century public domain serials . “I’m happy to report that over the next year, I and others at Penn will be working on a project that the Institute of Museum and Library Services has just funded to help open access to the vast public domain of 20th century serials. We’ll be developing and demonstrating data sets and procedures to make it much easier to verify public domain status for content in scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and special interest periodicals published in the United States.”

ArkLaTex: Abbott Vows to Help Harvey-Impacted Communities with New Website. “With the creation of a commission to rebuild the Lone Star State following Harvey, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a website for communities to access information and resources. According to the governor’s office, ‘RebuildTexas.Today’ was designed to be ‘a real-time information resource for local officials in the communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey.’ The site will have information on state and federal resources available for cities and counties to rebuild infrastructure as well as school and government buildings.”

Census Bureau: New American Community Survey Statistics for Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Available for States and Local Areas. “The U.S. Census Bureau today released its most detailed look at America’s people, places and economy with new statistics on income, poverty, health insurance and more than 40 other topics from the American Community Survey.”


New Zealand Herald: Google Street View comes to White Island. “People can now explore the awe inspiring landscape of Whakaari (White Island) online using Google Street View. Whakaari is one of the world’s most accessible, continuously active marine volcanoes and now a project between the Whakatane District Council and Google aimed to take that accessibility to a whole new level, by bringing the raw power of the island online.”

TechCrunch: Facebook ‘Snooze’ button temporarily hides people in your feed. “Sick of a friend’s non-stop vacation photos? Bored of hearing about some business Page’s big launch? One of your groups won’t shut up about their upcoming get-together? Now Facebook has a Snooze button that lets you temporarily unfollow friends, Pages or Groups for 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days.”

CBS News: Facebook bans earning cash from smut and hate. “Facebook just officially put the kibosh on shady ways to use its network for profit. The social media giant updated its standards and guidelines, effectively banning profit from a wide variety of potentially controversial and unsavory content.” Facebook can say anything it likes. We’ll see what continues to show up on my feed or in the ads.


Fossbytes: 6 Best Free And Open Source Reddit Alternatives You Must Visit . “Just recently, Reddit announced its plans to stop sharing its main website’s open source code base. The website gave a number of reasons, which weren’t welcomed by the open source community. So, we’ve decided to prepare a list of some free and open source Reddit alternatives that you can give a try. Some of these aren’t much popular, but we thought it’s a good time to spread the world and tell you about these options.”


Times & Star: Offering Google users depression self-assessment tool ‘may do harm’. “…Simon Gilbody, professor of psychological medicine at the University of York, said the PHQ-9 tool was developed with funding from drugs firm Pfizer and questioned whether it could lead to over-treatment, especially of people whose depression may resolve on its own. Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), he said the chance of receiving a ‘false positive’ from the test was high and some people may actually be suffering from problems other than depression, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Motherboard: When an AI Invents Diseases, You End Up With ‘Penis Arthritis’. “Scary-sounding, futuristic diseases are a time-honored trope of science fiction. But if you’re short on ideas, a friendly neural network can help you invent a condition that’s adequately unnerving—as long as you give it enough time to learn what sounds disease-y.” “Tossy Blanter”!


CNET: Equifax blames months-old web server flaw for allowing hack. “Equifax said Wednesday a months-old but apparently unpatched web server vulnerability allowed the massive data breach that exposed the personal financial information for roughly half the US population.”

Bleeping Computer: Backdoor Found in WordPress Plugin With More Than 200,000 Installations. “For the past two and a half months, a WordPress plugin named Display Widgets has been used to install a backdoor on WordPress sites across the Internet. The backdoor code was found between Display Widgets version 2.6.1 (released June 30) and version 2.6.3 (released September 2).”


Arizona State University, which I must say is doing some interesting research: Research team discovers that cooperation, competition are different motivators. “China’s largest recipe-sharing platform needed a carrot to motivate more content from users, and research from a team of Arizona State University professors was able to pinpoint what works. A new study by faculty in the W. P. Carey School of Business found that specific kinds of notifications could elicit more content from the app users — and that there are differences between men and women. Feedback that promoted a message of helping others prompted women to contribute more content, while men were more likely to respond to competitive messages.” Oh boy, the headline and the excerpt make this sound boring. It isn’t. Go read. Good morning, Internet…

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