Cement Engineering, Lusitanian Church Newspaper, Liberated Books, More: Wednesday Buzz, October 11, 2017

NEW RESOURCES Know your cement, get greener concrete. “An international team of scientists has created a new database of molecular dynamics models that simulate the properties of cement in all its varieties. It’s intended to help fine-tune this component of concrete and curtail emissions in its manufacturing process. Cement is used to bind concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Its manufacturing contributes as much as 8 percent of the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.”

Anglican Communion News Service: Pre-Anglican Lusitanian newspaper archive now online. “The earliest copies of the Jornal Igreja Lusitana – the Lusitanian Church Newspaper – have been digitised and made available online by the Portuguese public archive. The Evangelical Apostolic Catholic Lusitanian Church was founded in 1880 by a group of former Roman Catholic priests and laity; and 14 years later, in 1894, they began publishing the Jornal Igreja Lusitana, which is now an important record of the history of the growth of Protestantism in Portugal.”

Internet Archive: Books from 1923 to 1941 Now Liberated!. “The Internet Archive is now leveraging a little known, and perhaps never used, provision of US copyright law, Section 108h, which allows libraries to scan and make available materials published 1923 to 1941 if they are not being actively sold. Elizabeth Townsend Gard, a copyright scholar at Tulane University calls this “Library Public Domain.” She and her students helped bring the first scanned books of this era available online in a collection named for the author of the bill making this necessary: The Sonny Bono Memorial Collection. Thousands more books will be added in the near future as we automate. We hope this will encourage libraries that have been reticent to scan beyond 1923 to start mass scanning their books and other works, at least up to 1942.”

University of Iowa: Fanzines of science fiction, fantasy and horror available to read and transcribe. “What would you do with thousands of fragile leaflets, known as fanzines, that chronicle the history of science fiction? Such fanzines hold rich information too valuable to sit untouched, yet the materials cannot be handled without risking destruction. At the University of Iowa Libraries, a digitization project is underway to save a large, notable zine collection.”


TechCrunch: Deepgram opens up its machine transcription platform to everyone. “Deepgram, a startup applying machine learning to audio data, is releasing its machine transcription platform this morning for free. No more will you have to pay for other services like Trint to get the dirty work of automated transcription done. Hint: it has something to do with data.”

ALA: First open access issue of Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) now available. “Readers can now enjoy easy access to the journal without worrying about paywalls and authentication. This issue features an assortment of great columns that have something for anyone interested in reference work. RUSA president Chris LeBeau discusses coming changes in RUSA; Steven D. Milewski and Jeanine M. Williamson look at becoming reflective practitioners; Sonnet Ireland explores information literacy and public libraries; In Amplify Your Impact, Spenser Thompson reveals the secrets of using personas as a marketing tool; Beth Posner examines yoga in the library in the Alert Collector; and Dave Tyckoson and Nicolette Sosulski present the six words that get you stuff in A Reference for That.”


North Carolina will be holding a virtual “family history fair” on November 4th. From the home page: “Presented by the North Carolina Government and Heritage Library and the State Archives of North Carolina. This year the presentations will be focusing on local collections and resources for local and family history research. Local records, libraries and archives are a treasure trove of excellent information to Start @Home for research. Join us for free online live streaming presentations. View on your own on a laptop or desktop or at participating North Carolina Libraries.”


Defense One: A New Social-Media Simulator Is Helping US Troops Train for Hybrid War. “The U.S. military is using a new simulator to prepare intelligence analysts and public affairs officers for the social-media front of future wars. A computer program by Cubic is helping to train these troops to sort through tweets, other social media posts, and real and fake news; figure out which posts might be pouring fuel on a local fire; and react to them. The simulator, called the Social Media Replication Toolkit System, is being incorporated into training and wargames by military units all the way up to combatant commands, company reps said at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual convention in Washington.”

Bloomberg: Fake News Isn’t Just for U.S. as China Gets Billions of Claims. “It turns out the Chinese have a problem with fake news too. From Facebook’s Alex Stamos to Steve Ballmer, American tech executives have sought in recent days to dispel the notion there’s a swift solution to the proliferation of spurious or insidious information on the internet, a phenomenon critics say wields an outsized and unhealthy influence on public discourse and elections. In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Baidu Inc. President Zhang Yaqin says China faces similar challenges, despite operating one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated online surveillance machines.”

Mashable: Instagram is the new Tinder—whether you want it to be or not. “Forget about Tinder, Grindr, Her, Bumble, or whatever other apps you’re hitting up for all your dating needs. There’s another app that’s rapidly becoming a hotspot for digital flirting, whether you want it to be or not: Instagram.”


Krebs on Security: Equifax Breach Fallout: Your Salary History. “In May, KrebsOnSecurity broke a story about lax security at a payroll division of big-three credit bureau Equifax that let identity thieves access personal and financial data on an unknown number of Americans. Incredibly, this same division makes it simple to access detailed salary and employment history on a large portion of Americans using little more than someone’s Social Security number and date of birth — both data elements that were stolen in the recent breach at Equifax.”


The Next Web: Chatbots are here to stay, what the data is telling us about the people that use them. “By now it should be of no surprise that chatbots are starting to become way more mainstream than they were ten, even five, years ago. Chatbots are popping up for everything. Heck, there’s even a chatbot now from Imperson that lets you follow along with Steve Aoki on his new tour and chat it up with his bot. It seems there is a conversational UI for almost everything, and if there is a place without them, you can guarantee someone is out there trying to figure out a way to implement one.”

University of Georgia: Anticipated social media buzz can drive tourism. “How much positive feedback travelers think they’ll get on social media can predict whether they intend to visit a tourism destination, a new University of Georgia study has found.” Good morning, Internet…

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