GeneaPress: Findmypast Creates Brand New Collection for Tracing Immigrants From the British Isles. “Leading family history website, Findmypast, has announced the creation of a brand new resource that has been specifically designed to help U.S. researchers trace their family’s British and Irish heritage. The British and Irish Roots Collection is a unique database consisting of more than 98 million assorted records that have been hand-picked from existing collections by Findmypast’s in-house experts.”
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
TechCrunch: Facebook adds a Snooze button for muting people, groups and Pages for 30 days. “Facebook today is launching a new feature designed to give users more control over what content they see in their News Feed: a ‘Snooze’ button. The option, which will become available via the top-right dropdown menu on a post, will mute content from a person, Page or group for 30 days.”
Daily Dot: Oxford names ‘youthquake’ word of the year, forces everyone to use Oxford . “Oxford Dictionaries just announced its Word of the Year for 2017: ‘Youthquake.’ You’re not alone if you’re wondering what the heck a ‘youthquake’ is. For what it’s worth, Oxford defines the word as ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.'” Pretty sure I’ve never heard that term before. They should have chosen milkshake duck.
Wikimedia: The world’s most popular audio file format arrives at Wikimedia . “Until this month, no Wikimedia site supported the world’s most popular audio file format, MP3, because the technology for encoding and decoding these files was encumbered by restrictive patents.
With the expiry of these patents, however, we are now supporting MP3 uploads for trusted users on Wikimedia Commons—a free media repository that hosts the majority of the images, videos, and audio recordings for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
The Telegraph: Facebook admits that spending time on social media can make you feel worse. “Scrolling through Facebook can leave people feeling worse afterward, the social network has admitted. David Ginsberg, Facebook’s director of research, and Moira Burke, research scientist, made the surprising admission on Friday in a blogpost that highlighted the downsides of using the website. ”
The Conversation: How virtual reality is opening up some of the world’s most inaccessible archaeological sites. “We often associate virtual reality (VR) with thrilling experiences we may never be able to have in real life – such as flying a jet fighter, exploring the oceans or going on a spacewalk. But researchers are also starting to use this technology to study and open up access to archaeological sites that are difficult to get to.”
Washington Post: In war, the battle today is less on the ground than on social media. “The revolutionary digital landscape then in gestation, and now in full swing, is the subject of an important and accessible new book by journalist David Patrikarakos, a contributor at the Daily Beast and Politico and the author of an earlier book on Iran’s nuclear program. The idea for ‘War in 140 Characters,’ Patrikarakos writes, came a few years ago ‘while lying on my bed in a bleak room of the Ramada hotel in Donetsk, listening to the sound of shelling on the city’s outskirts.'”
SECURITY & LEGAL
The Verge: LinkedIn ignored security flaw from researcher who hacked Zuckerberg’s Facebook wall. “Khalil Shreateh, a self-professed IT expert from Palestine, hit the headlines four years ago when he hacked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s wall. Shreateh was frustrated that Facebook was ignoring a big security flaw, so demonstrating it on Zuckerberg’s own Facebook wall was an easy way to get the company to act. Shreateh discovered a security flaw in LinkedIn last month, and he reached out to The Verge after becoming frustrated that the company was ignoring his report — just like four years ago.”
Digital Trends: Like a bullet to a gun, scientists can match a photo to the phone that took it. “You know that cop movie trope where a single bullet is traced back to the specific gun that fired it? Well, researchers at the University at Buffalo in New York have developed similar technology — only this time it’s for tracking a photo back to the phone that took it. It could potentially lead to a new way to enhance security and fight cybercrime.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
Phys.org: Tracking planned experiments online could spot ways to improve animal testing . “An online database of study summaries could be systematically evaluated to uncover new information about animal testing, including potential targets for efforts to minimize harm to lab animals. A demonstration of this approach is publishing 14 December in the open access journal PLOS Biology.”
Pursuit: How to Find the Truth on Twitter. “Social media is becoming many people’s main source of information, so finding a way to assess what is genuine and what is fake is increasingly important. We have developed a framework, published in PLOS One, that assesses whether an event reported in a tweet is likely to be a witness account or not, by assessing the evidence of whether the tweeter is on-the-ground at the event.”
OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL
The News-Gazette: In its 58th year, UI’s Dial-a-Carol embracing social media. “It takes focus to sing ‘Feliz Navidad'” when people 3 feet away are belting out ‘Santa Baby,’ ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ and the ‘Dreidel Song’ — all at once. Just another day’s work for the volunteers at Dial-a-Carol, the 57-year-old tradition at the University of Illinois.” This is really charming. You do not have to be at UI or even in Illinois to call them. Good morning, Internet…
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