UK Convicts, Patent History, Facebook Advertising, More: Monday Buzz, September 18, 2017


The Echo: Revealed: how YOUR ancestors could have been convicts transported to Australia. “A new website will allow genealogists and family historians to discover the fate of ancestors convicted of crimes and transported overseas. The free-to-use website draws on over 4m court records and uncovers how punishment affected the lives of tens of thousands of people convicted of crimes at the Old Bailey between 1780 and 1925. The project to create the website was led by academics at The University of Liverpool. The records reveal a vast amount of information, such as the names, year and place of birth, previous offences, height, eye colour and whether the convict could read or write.”

New Jersey Institute of Technology: NJIT Launches Annotated Patent History Archive. “The Federated History Department at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University-Newark has launched the Annotated Patent History Digital Archive. Funded by a faculty seed grant from NJIT, this project makes use of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research to explore the history of patents in the United States. While both the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Google maintain databases of every patent filed in the United States, there is no resource online that puts these technical documents into context. The Annotated Patent History Digital Archive changes this.”


Wall Street Journal: Facebook Bars Advertisers from Altering News Headlines. “Facebook on Thursday said it will stop allowing advertisers who promote news articles on the site to modify the headlines and descriptions that appear with them, a practice that some publishers say misrepresents their work. The social network’s change came after The Wall Street Journal contacted the company, pointing to examples of such ads.”


Digital Trends: Google Drive Vs. Dropbox: Original Cloud Storage Titans Duke It Out. “Two of the most popular cloud storage solutions are Google Drive and Dropbox, and with good reason. Their feature sets, pricing, and free trial options make them some of the best cloud backup offerings out there. But how can you choose one over the other? In this guide, we’ll pit Google Drive vs. Dropbox to find out which is the best for you.”


The Daily Beast: Exclusive: Facebook Won’t Reveal if Russia Targeted You During the Election. “The social media giant … declined to commit to releasing information about Russian government-backed Facebook posts, groups, and paid advertisements to the users who encountered them. That means Facebook users may never know if they were targeted by foreign propaganda campaigns during the 2016 election, or if those campaigns are still filling up their newsfeeds today.”

Reuters: Google disables offensive ad keywords found by BuzzFeed. “Alphabet Inc’s Google said it had disabled a ‘majority’ of the offensive keywords that BuzzFeed found could be used by advertisers to target people searching for racist and anti-Semitic topics.”

Business Insider: Texas secession movement: Russia-linked Facebook group asked us to participate in anti-Clinton rallies. “A Russia-linked Facebook group asked a Texas secessionist movement if it would participate in a series of anti-immigrant, anti-Hillary Clinton rallies it was planning to hold across the state last November, the group’s president told Business Insider on Thursday.”

Times of India: Govt asks Twitter to block 248 accounts, posts after J&K police complains. “The union ministry of electronics and information technology has asked Twitter to block a list of accounts, tweets and hashtags numbering 248 after Jammu and Kashmir Police complained that they were threatening law and order in Kashmir.”


CNET: Facebook gives investigators new details on Russian ads. “Facebook has sent government investigators new records about Russian-linked ads placed on its service during the 2016, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.”

Ars Technica: Twitter rival Gab sues Google over app store rejection. “Gab, a Twitter rival popular with the Breitbart crowd, is suing Google. The lawsuit, filed in Pennsylvania federal court on Thursday, argues that Google violated antitrust laws when it rejected Gab’s app from its Android app store.”


The Atlantic: Huge DNA Databases Reveal the Recent Evolution of Humans
. “When we talk about human evolution, we usually talk about how we evolved into humans: how we lost body hair, gained brain mass, started to walk on two feet—in short, things that happened millions of years ago. But evolution did not stop when the first modern humans emerged. A new study of two massive genetic databases—one in the United Kingdom and one in California—suggests genetic mutations that shorten lifespans have been weeded out since, and are possibly still in the process of being weeded out today.”

Science Blog: Internet May Be Secular, But Religious Americans Aren’t Worried. “Despite the pervasive use of the Internet in everyday life, most Americans report they never use it to find religious or spiritual content, and most never use it to share religious views, according to the Baylor Religion Survey. That holds true regardless of religious tradition, said Baylor University sociologists, who recently presented the latest survey findings at the Religion Newswriters Association’s annual conference.” Good morning, Internet…

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