University of Virginia: Law Library Uncovers Hidden Legal Histories with Scottish Court of Session Digital Archive. “Thirty years after the University of Virginia School of Law acquired a trove of legal documents from Scotland’s Court of Session, the supreme legal court there, the Law School’s Arthur J. Morris Law Library is building a digital archive and reaching out to partners ‘across the pond’ to open these legal history materials to scholars and the public. When complete, the archive will provide users with access to the previously hidden histories of people living through an era of profound change.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania adds an online resource for aged, disabled. “The Wolf administration has created a new state website designed as a resource for older Pennsylvanians and younger ones with disabilities to learn about available home and community services that could assist them. The Pennsylvania Link to Community Care website… provides information on a range of potential help, with users able to home in on what’s available in their particular county.”
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
TechCrunch: Imgur’s favorite folders turn 250M meme lords into curators. “Either you’re one of 250 million monthly Imgurians, or you probably have no idea what Imgur is. The site for posting and upvoting jokes, inspiration, trivia and sob stories has long flown under the radar despite its massive size and $40 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz. But those who are part of the addictive image-sharing community know there’s been one feature at the top of the request lists forever: favorite folders.”
The Verge: Facebook will begin live-streaming college basketball games. “Facebook is steadily building out content to get viewers to watch things on its site. Back in May, the company streamed several MLB games, and now it’s following up on that with live streams of college basketball, via Engadget. To do that, Facebook is partnering with Stadium, a sports live-streaming site, in order to stream 47 college basketball games through Facebook Watch.”
After I linked to the article in Motherboard about protecting yourself from hacking, Bill K dropped me a note and recommended this article from the BBC: The eight-day guide to a better digital life. “I was dubious at first when I read about the Data Detox. It sounds like a guide to logging off, but as somebody whose job requires me to be online almost all of the time, that could be professional suicide. But that is not the aim of this eight-day programme; it’s more about exploring and tidying up your digital life.” Interesting and probably eye opening; let’s see if I can find some time to try it. Thanks Bill!
Gizmodo: 12 Useful Web Tools You Didn’t Know About. “Google isn’t the only company creating useful apps for the web. There are plenty of great online resources not made in Mountain view, provided you know where to look. Here are 12 of our favorite online apps and websites that are worth collecting in your browser’s bookmarks, ready to go at a moment’s notice, to convert files, enhance photos, make GIFs, pick colors, transfer documents and more besides.” Nifty list!
PC World: Best web browsers of 2017: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera go head-to-head. “Let’s take a look at the four major (and modern) browsers to see how they stack up in the latter half of 2017. A few things have changed since we looked at the top browsers just a few short months ago. Microsoft released the Fall Creators Update in October, and in our tests it seemed to have a significant impact on browser results.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
Quartz: The tiny, passionate group battling Google, Facebook, and Amazon’s grip on US minds and wallets. “Google, Facebook, and Amazon are controlling Americans’ minds and wallets, and they need to be stopped before they destroy the US economy and democracy itself. That was the message from a dimly-lit, packed conference room in a nondescript Washington DC hotel near the train station last week. Nearly 200 tech executives, journalists, public relations people, and academics attended the event, organized by the Open Markets Institute, a tiny nonprofit that’s becoming a lightening rod for the growing anger and frustration with Big Tech in America.”
Peoria Public Radio: Federal Agency Drafts New Rules For Transparency In Political Social Media Ads. “The Federal Election Commission is moving to improve disclosure of the money behind Internet and digital ads, as the shadow of Russian-funded social media ads in last year’s presidential race hangs over the agency. ‘We can’t, obviously, take over the role of the Justice Department or of Congress,’ Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub told other commissioners Thursday, ‘but I do think that we could do this little piece.'”
The Hindu: Google Glass returns as aid to autistic kids. “Those who declared Google Glass a failure perhaps spoke too soon as it is now resurfacing as a tool to help children with autism improve their social skills. A Massachusetts-based company has developed a system for autism that runs on Google Glass, including the newly released Glass Enterprise Edition. Brain Power, the developer, launched the ‘Empower Me’ system earlier this month. It is a digital coach that runs on smartglasses, to empower children and adults with autism to teach themselves social and cognitive skills.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
Miami Herald: That DNA you send in the mail can help trace your ancestry. It can also get you arrested.. “Trying to unravel the mystery of your genetics through programs like 23andMe.com or Ancestry.com can also help police unravel a criminal investigation. That saliva sample sent to those genetic testing companies with the purpose of learning more about your ancestral history doesn’t just belong to you. With a warrant, it can also belong to law enforcement, company officials say.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
Dartmouth: Using Social Media Big Data to Combat Prescription Drug Crisis. “Researchers at Dartmouth, Stanford University, and IBM Research, conducted a critical review of existing literature to determine whether social media big data can be used to understand communication and behavioral patterns related to prescription drug abuse. Their study found that with proper research methods and attention to privacy and ethical issues, social media big data can reveal important information concerning drug abuse, such as user-reported side effects, drug cravings, emotional states, and risky behaviors.” Good morning, Internet…
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The Miami Herald article states that it takes a valid search warrant to get the companies to release data. That’s a pretty high barrier. Saying getting a DNA test can get you arrested is overstating the case by a good bit.