South Dakota Newspapers, German POWs, One Million Crabs, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, December 8, 2017


DRGNews: Four more state historic newspapers available online. “In 2016 the South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives received a two-year $240,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize historical newspapers. The project is part of Chronicling America, a Library of Congress initiative to develop an online database of select historical newspapers from around the United States. Several Sioux Falls German titles have recently been added to Chronicling America: The Sud (Soot) Dakota Nachrichten (Knock-rick-ten), 1896-1900; the Sud-Dakota Nachrichten und Herold, 1900-1901; the Nachrichten-Herold, 1901-1907; and the Deutscher (Doit-shur) Herold, 1907-1913. Further issues of these titles will be added to the website in later batches, as well as other titles from around the state.”

State Library of North Carolina: New Camp Butner German POW Collections Available. “The Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina is excited to announce the availability of two new collections documenting German prisoners of war (POWs) and one Italian POW at Camp Butner, N. C., during World War II. By the end of 1943, nearly 50,000 Italian POWs were held in 27 camps in 23 states, including at Camp Butner in North Carolina. German POWs would come to Camp Butner by the fall of 1943 after Rommel’s defeat in North Africa created a large number of German war prisoners. The POWs at Camp Butner built various structures, including a church, and had their own camp newsletter in German entitled Lager Fackel. Many of the POWs worked in small satellite camps throughout central North Carolina, being contracted out to farmers and other businesses for home front work.” These are small collections but I don’t often learn about Axis POWs being held in the US and collections for same.


CNET: Google capturing spectacular million-crab march for Street View. “Christmas Island, an Australian territory tucked just underneath Indonesia, is home to around 2,000 people. And crabs. Tens of millions of crabs. Each year, the females among these land crabs migrate to the sea, where they lay their eggs. It happens only once a year, but thanks to Google, you’ll soon be able to see it whenever you like.”

Google Blog: Pivot to the cloud: intelligent features in Google Sheets help businesses uncover insights. “We launched ‘Explore’ in Sheets to help you decipher your data easily using the power of machine intelligence, and since then we’ve added even more ways for you to intelligently visualize and share your company data. Today, we’re announcing additional features to Google Sheets to help businesses make better use of their data, from pivot tables and formula suggestions powered by machine intelligence, to even more flexible ways to help you analyze your data.”

TechCrunch: Pinterest integrates deeper with Facebook with a new bot and messenger extension. “As Pinterest looks to further expand beyond just the audience you’d expect to use it, it’s going to have to start chasing down users and meet them on different territories — and that includes messaging apps. So today Pinterest is launching a pair of updates that is going to help it tap into that audience of people that are sharing content on Facebook Messenger. People might already be copying links to Pinterest and pasting them in Messenger, but the company is looking to make that a little more seamless to get to the point where you can go into Messenger and be able to regularly interact with Pinterest.”


Thanks to Cogdog for pointing me to this blog post at Hapgood, because it is wild: Digital Polarization on Pinterest Is Scary Aggressive. “The speed with which Pinterest radicalizes your feed with conspiracy-based disinfo is shocking. I speed up this video by 400% but the entire process takes less than 13 minutes I think. Here’s the final frame.” The meat of the article is a video that lasts less than 3 minutes.

Wired: The Fake Space Agency Searching For Life On Mars’ Nonexistent Third Moon. “…even though Mars only has two moons, the casual visitor to Ferox, The Forgotten Files: A Journey to the Hidden Moon of Mars 1976–2010 could easily be fooled into believing there is a third. The fabricated, online archive contains hundreds of convincing, black-and-white photographs depicting scientific research, space missions, and even the nonexistent, alien surface of Ferox itself.”

ProPublica: Facebook Allowed Political Ads That Were Actually Scams and Malware. “Russian disinformation isn’t the only deceptive political advertising on Facebook. The pitch designed to lure President Donald Trump’s critics is one of more than a dozen politically themed advertisements masking consumer rip-offs that ProPublica has identified since launching an effort in September to monitor paid political messages on the world’s largest social network. As the American public becomes ever more polarized along partisan lines, swindlers who used to capitalize on curiosity about celebrities or sports are now exploiting political passions.” And it’s been going on for a while – I mentioned this a year ago in a fake ad mentioning Michelle Obama.

Bloomberg: Google and Facebook Too Can Be Disrupted
. “I have long considered today’s internet advertising model a scam: it’s a system in which giant, monopolistic companies — Google and Facebook — are selling inflated user numbers and overhyped targeting opportunities to advertisers while collecting way too much information about users and cheating content creators out of their fair share of revenue. It may not be too late to fix it, though. Just ask Brendan Eich, founder and chief executive officer of Brave Software, a San Francisco-based start-up whose attempt to change the standards could be considered quixotic if not for Eich’s track record.”


Reuters: Google beats class action sex bias claims, for now. “A California state judge has dismissed class action claims accusing Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google of paying female employees less than men and giving them fewer opportunities for promotions.”

Lohud: NY to require online database for childcare. “A new law will require the state to keep an online database to help parents and caregivers find after-school childcare. The law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo comes after he vetoed similar legislation last year, but ordered the Council on Children and Families to create a database on child-care centers in New York.”

Wired: How To Protect Yourself After The Next Big Corporate Hack. “AT THIS POINT, it’s safe to assume that everyone’s been affected by one megabreach or another. But when the next Equifax debacle happens, know that there’s plenty you can do to help dampen the fallout.” Good to share with beginners. Good afternoon, Internet…

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