SS Thistlegorm, Words for Joy, Wayback Machine, More: Saturday Buzz, October 7, 2017


The Times: Looted wreck of the SS Thistlegorm preserved by digital model. “She has since been so badly damaged by looters and scuba-diving tourists that marine archaeologists have now preserved her remains in virtual reality. Researchers have assembled a digital model of the Thistlegorm from more than 24,000 high-resolution photographs of the wreck.”

New-to-me, from The Hindu: The unbearable lightness of joy. “The Danish word hygge, which encapsulates the above in pithy detail, is not just a word for sesquipedalians, the melancholic, or frenzied retail marketing (it became a mainstay of festive advertising campaigns in the U.S. and the U.K. last year), but is also indicative of how languages not only articulate culture, but arguably define them as well. That interconnection, and fascination with how different cultures and languages define and perceive happiness, is what motivated Tim Lomas to start The Positive Lexicography Project, an online database of words related to the concept of joy from all languages, in 2015.”


Internet Archive: Wayback Machine Playback… now with Timestamps!. “The Wayback Machine has an exciting new feature: it can list the dates and times, the Timestamps, of all page elements compared to the date and time of the base URL of a page. This means that users can see, for instance, that an image displayed on a page was captured X days before the URL of the page or Y hours after it. Timestamps are available via the ‘About this capture’ link on the right side of the Wayback Toolbar. ”

Danny Sullivan is joining Google. “When I retired from search journalism in June, I had no idea what I would be doing next. I just knew I was ready for a break and something different from what I had been doing for so long. That something different has arrived: I’m joining Google as of Monday.” I feel uneasy about this. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Danny; my unease does not come from him. My concern is the search problems Google has will not be resolved by having a liaison come out and soothe everybody. I hope Google will ask Danny to help explain the changes they are making to get their search working better, and not to try to downplay issues.

Reuters: Google to use balloons to provide Puerto Rico cell service. “The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said late on Friday it had approved Alphabet Inc’s application to provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico through balloons. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has struggled to regain communications services. The FCC said on Friday that 83 percent of cell sites remain out of service, while wireless communications company are deploying temporary sites.”


Poynter: How to use Tweetdeck and advanced search to make Twitter useful again. “Depending on whom you ask, Twitter is either a cavernous vault of useful information or a wretched hive of scum and villainy. The truth is, it’s both. But those who assume the latter could find Twitter to be a more useful tool by employing filters to surface the good stuff. By combining features from Twitter Advanced Search and Tweetdeck, journalists can quickly comb through hundreds of billions of tweets from people all over the globe to find the best tweets.” Some good thoughts on using TweetDeck.


Bloomberg: Five Facebook Ads Designed to Divide America at Russia’s Behest. “This week Facebook Inc. turned over to Congress 3,000 ads purchased by groups linked to Russia that were designed to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election and further divide an already polarized nation. Congress and Facebook haven’t yet released the ads to the public, but in recent days various published reports have described the ads and the fake Facebook groups said to be linked to Moscow’s sprawling disinformation operation. Here’s a roundup…”

Times Higher Education: Publishers seek removal of millions of papers from ResearchGate. “Leading publishers are stepping up their fight against ResearchGate by ordering the academic social network to take down papers that they say infringe copyright. The move could see millions of articles removed from the site, as the publishers say up to 40 per cent of papers on ResearchGate are copyrighted.”

Sydney Morning Herald: How Google got lost in the Blue Mountains. “Residents of an otherwise sleepy rural cul-de-sac have been experiencing a very peculiar issue, particularly on holidays and long weekends. Hundreds of confused sightseers, following Google Maps directions to what they thought was a picturesque tourist destination, have ended up in Valley View Road in Dargan, New South Wales.”

LovinMalta: Prime Minister Petitions Google To End Discrimination Of Maltese Youtubers. “Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has personally signed an online petition to Google, urging the internet giant to allow Maltese people to get paid for making YouTube videos. ‘I emailed him my online petition and he responded within 15 minutes to tell me had signed it,’ Fabian Borg, an ethical hacker, told LovinMalta. ‘Apart from my close circle of friends, the Prime Minister was the first person to sign it.'”


BetaNews: Disqus hacked!. “So, Disqus has been hacked. Yeah, it is what we at BetaNews — plus many other websites — use for commenting. Should you be worried? Probably not. You see, this hack happened all the way back in July of 2012. If you joined Disqus after that, you have nothing to worry about. Even if you are using the same login credentials from 5+ years ago, the hackers have only obtained hashed passwords. In other words, they probably haven’t decrypted your password.”


Harvard Business Review: Blockchain Could Help Us Reclaim Control of Our Personal Data. “It’s a strange world we live in when large companies such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are able to store huge quantities of our personal data and profit from it in a way that doesn’t always benefit us. And when those same companies lose our personal data and make us susceptible to identity theft, there’s virtually nothing we can do about it. Equifax lost the data of more than 140 million people, and recompense is not forthcoming. Meanwhile, the CEO may be stepping down with a pension worth $18 million. Clearly, the system is broken, and it’s time to stop and ask ourselves why we continue to rely on a system that doesn’t stand up to the challenges we face in a digital society.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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