FindMyPast, Ambient Sounds, Wales in WWI, More: Saturday Buzz, November 11, 2017

FindMyPast: 5 Days of FREE Military Records: What’s Included?. “All of Findmypast’s military records are FREE to access from 8-12 November 2017. To mark Remembrance Weekend, we’re making all of our military record collections FREE to everyone from Wednesday 8 – Sunday 12 November 2017.” Unfortunately I didn’t see this until now…


New-to-Me: a database of free-to-use ambient sounds. “Free To Use Sounds is a massive online archive of high-quality sounds that are avaliable to the public to use how they wish at no cost. The library is extensive, featuring everything from animal and nature noises, to urban soundscapes, obscure musical instruments (church bells, parades, etc) and binaural (3D) recordings.”

Wales for Peace: Welsh Book of Remembrance now searchable online from Remembrance Day 2017, after two years’ effort by volunteers . “The beautiful, leather bound Book of Remembrance contains on velum parchment – illuminated in gold leaf, fine ink and calligraphy – the names of over 40,000 ‘men and women of Welsh birth and parentage, and of all those belonging to the regiments of Wales, who gave their lives in the war 1914-1918.’ Researched and compiled by hand through the 1920s by a women working with renowned calligrapher Graily Hewitt of Lincoln’s Inn and the Gregynog Press, the book is the Roll of Honour to accompany the WW1 War Memorial in Cathays Park, opened by King Edward VII in 1928. Opposite Wales’ War Memorial, the Temple of Peace – opened in 1938 – was built to house the book, and in memory of those who had lost their lives, to ‘become a symbol of Wales’ determination to strive for justice and peace for future generations’.”

WCPO: New website ‘Cincinnati Black History’ shares stories from Queen City’s African-American community. “We celebrate Black History Month in February, but the previously untold history and rich heritage of Cincinnati’s African-American community will now be available year-round on a new online project. The Black Agenda Cincinnati and The Cincinnati Herald have launched Cincinnati Black History, a digital hub for user-submitted stories about the unique experiences and lives of black Cincinnatians.”


CNET: Facebook takes on Craigslist with housing listings. “Looking for a new place to rent can be a terrible experience. Facebook says it wants to help. The social network on Thursday announced an update of the Marketplace section of Facebook, where people can go to buy or sell new and used stuff locally. Now, users in the US will have more options when they are sorting through house and apartment listings in that section.”

The Register: Firefox 57: Good news? It’s nippy. Bad news? It’ll also trash your add-ons. “First the good news. Firefox 57 is faster, quite noticeably so, thanks to improvements to what Mozilla calls Project Quantum. Quantum encompasses several smaller projects in order to bring more parallelisation and GPU offloading to Firefox. That’s developer speak for using more of that really fast GPU you’ve got. And again, the results are noticeable (some of them have already rolled out). Firefox 57, however, marks a major change on another front – extensions.”

TechCrunch: Amazon expands its Influencer Program to include Twitter and Instagram, in addition to YouTube. “Amazon is expanding its Influencer Program beyond YouTube to also include Twitter and Instagram, the company announced on Thursday. First launched into beta earlier this spring, the program initially targeted YouTube stars by offering them a way to make money from the products they promoted in their videos through an affiliate-like relationship with Amazon.”

Small Business Trends: Twitter Promote Mode Automatically Boosts Small Business Tweets for $99 a Month. “If you’re struggling with setting up a social media ad campaign, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has just introduced a solution right up your alley. The new Twitter Promote Mode is an ‘always-on, amplification engine’ which automatically boosts tweets and profiles. By repeatedly promoting tweets, Promote Mode consistently attracts more followers and creates additional reach. The Promote Mode feature costs a flat fee of $99 a month.”


Splinter: DNAinfo, Gothamist, and What We Lose in the Disappearing Digital Archive. “On Monday afternoon, as a few hundred people gathered at New York’s City Hall to protest the shuttering of local news sites DNAinfo and Gothamist, a carousel of speakers took turns proclaiming their love for journalism—including frequent targets of the press. Tragedies make strange bedfellows…. Yet a week after the publications were shut down, what happens to that journalism—the first drafts of local history DNAinfo, Gothamist, and its companion sites in other cities had given the world—remains an open question.”

Albuquerque Journal: ‘A gold mine’ of Native documents. “As it slowly rolls out its Indigenous Digital Archive, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is now searching for fellows to conduct research using the stored data. The archive, which started to come together last year with the help of national grants, is taking in records from around the country, with a focus on New Mexico’s Indian boarding schools, and water and land claims from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries.”

Mashable: Snap’s unsold Spectacles go on sale in east London . “They were supposed to change the snapping game forever, and maybe they did, but Snap’s Spectacles caused a staggering $40 million loss on unsold devices to the company. To try to get rid of some of those Spectacles — which, according to reports, are sitting in a warehouse in China by the hundreds of thousands — Snap has announced it will sell them in a pop-up shop in east London.” But still pricing them at $129? Yeah, that makes sense. Sure it does.


I have been seeing more and more mentions in my Google Alerts of SESTA, and I didn’t have a good grip on what it was so I went looking for an explanation. I feel a little more educated after reading this article from The Verge. “Since the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate in August, tech companies and advocacy groups have been mobilizing in a battle to control its message. Digital rights organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation have called it ‘disastrous for free speech online,’ asking its members to call their representatives in Congress. Meanwhile, supporters of the bill have emerged from unlikely quarters — including tech giant Oracle and Hollywood studio 21st Century Fox — and are using the legislation as an opportunity to take shots at Google.”

The Hacker News: Russian ‘Fancy Bear’ Hackers Using (Unpatched) Microsoft Office DDE Exploit. “Cybercriminals, including state-sponsored hackers, have started actively exploiting a newly discovered Microsoft Office vulnerability that Microsoft does not consider as a security issue and has already denied to patch it. Last month, we reported how hackers could leverage a built-in feature of Microsoft Office feature, called Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), to perform code execution on the targeted device without requiring Macros enabled or memory corruption.”


Boston Globe: Why we need Snap and Twitter to learn how to make some money. “The numbers are in and they’re more lopsided than the Boston mayoral race. In the social media sweepstakes, it’s Facebook by a mile. Last week, the massive social network reported third-quarter revenue of $10.3 billion and net income of $4.7 billion, both well above Wall Street’s expectations. However, the social messaging service Twitter and Snap, creator of the Snapchat photo-sharing app, were both in the red, with Snap posting a $443 million loss.”

The Next Web: Google’s AI guru predicts humans and machines will merge within 20 years. “Ray Kurzweil, Google’s guru of AI and futurism, spoke last week at the Council for Foreign Relations, in an intimate Q&A session. His views on the future of humanity might seem radical to a public that’s been cutting its teeth on doomsayer headlines featuring Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warning about World War III.” Good morning, Internet…

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