Television Commercials, Finnish National Bibliography, National Parks, More: Monday Buzz, December 25, 2017

Special shout to all of you who are having a December 25 by yourself or a working December 25. This is the first December 25 in years that I’m not working (well, I’m doing ResearchBuzz, but that doesn’t count.) Have a good day. And yes, there will be another RB this afternoon. Neither sleet nor snow nor national holidays, not as long as there are things to talk about.


Indy Star: IU is putting 1970s beer and ice cream commercials online, and they’re hilarious . “IU recently acquired the hoard of ads, which competed for Clio awards between 1959 and 1991, from the London International Advertising Awards. They estimate it contains at least 80,000 commercials from 85 countries. The university has digitized about 100 of the ads so far and offers some for streaming. ”

National Library of Finland: Finnish National Bibliography Released As Open Data. “The Finnish National Bibliography Fennica has been published as open data. The National Library of Finland hopes to find new users and uses for its open data repositories. The Fennica National Bibliography is a database of Finnish publications maintained by the National Library of Finland. Fennica has been published as open data using the CC0 license, which allows free use for any purpose, for example in applications and data visualizations.”


EcoWatch: Nearly 100 Climate Action Plans for National Parks Removed From Website. “Climate change is a major challenge to America’s beloved National Parks—from hotter, drier conditions that can spark intense wildfires that can permanently alter Yosemite’s landscapes, to sea level rise triggered by warming temperatures that threaten the Everglades. In fact, nearly 100 parks have been preparing for and adapting to the damaging effects of climate change for years under the National Park Service’s ‘Climate Friendly Parks Program’ (CFP). However, you’ll no longer be able to easily find these well-documented efforts to reduce emissions and move to more sustainable operations—that’s because their work has been completely scrubbed from the Climate Friendly Parks Program website, a watchdog group has found.”


TechBuzzOnline: How to Edit PSD Files Online with Free Photoshop Alternative: Photopea. “If you are looking for ways to open, view and edit PSD files online without the need of buying Photoshop, then we have good news for you. With Photopea, a free Photoshop alternative, you cannot only open and view PSD files but can also edit them using an interface similar to that offered by Adobe Photoshop. In this article, we will take a look at this free online photo editing app and show you how you can edit PSD files with it.”

Make Tech Easier: 12 of the Best Web Extensions for Firefox. “If you are not aware, Firefox 57 has brought some changes that not everyone might be happy about. For example, any add-ons that have not been deactivated will no longer work in version 57. These types of add-ons are called Legacy, and they won’t work because they are made with an older framework. The web extensions used in Firefox 57 and up are built with a new framework and are safer, more reliable, and will continue to work even if Mozilla releases a new version of Firefox. This was something that was not possible with Legacy add-ons. With that said, plenty of those legacy addons have been ported over to web extensions. Which modernized web extensions should you check out?”

MakeUseOf: 7 Tips on How to Use a VPN Like a Boss. “Basically, you NEED a VPN as a basic privacy precaution for any online activity on wireless networks. MakeUseOf provides a list of top VPN providers that you should check out if you’re considering signing up to a VPN service. Once you’ve subscribed, and you’re set up with your virtual private network, you probably think ‘that’s it, all sorted.’ But you’d be wrong. You’ve only just made your first baby steps into the world of VPNs. Here are seven ways you can enhance your use of a VPN, and use it like a boss.”


Japan Times: South Korean research institute to build comprehensive database for documents about ‘comfort women’. “According to the report, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Affairs in 2012, during the administration of then-President Lee Myung-bak, commissioned the Korean History Research Institute of Korea University to set up the database covering domestic and foreign official documents, news articles and records of the victims, among various other items. Work on the project has entered the final stage, with the completed database slated to be made available on a website in 2019. It marks the first time for records related to women forced to work in Japan’s military brothels before and during World War II to be integrated into a database and disclosed to the public.”

TechCrunch: That time I got locked out of my Google account for a month. “How much of your digital life would you lose if you lost a single password? Without it, you are locked out and the cold reality of using free cloud services like Google is that you don’t have a human arbiter to help you. If you think back to earlier times where, say you lost your bank book, your local banker probably knew who you were and could help you navigate the process of getting it replaced. When you lose your password, it’s not that simple — as I found out.”

BuzzFeed: Older Indians Drive Millennials Crazy On WhatsApp. This Is Why They’re Obsessed.. “My mother became addicted to WhatsApp when her mother passed away in the winter of 2013. She used it, she said, to ‘fill up a vacuum,’ numbing her grief with the mindless banter of a handful of WhatsApp groups. In that endless stream of forwards  she sent and received —  the memes, the banal humor, the viral videos, the “Good Morning!” GIFs, and the hoaxes  —  my mother found solace.”


New York Times: A Cute Toy Just Brought a Hacker Into Your Home. “My Friend Cayla, a doll with nearly waist-length golden hair that talks and responds to children’s questions, was designed to bring delight to households. But there’s something else that Cayla might bring into homes as well: hackers and identity thieves.”

Associated Press: Russian hackers hunted journalists in years-long campaign. “Russian television anchor Pavel Lobkov was in the studio getting ready for his show when jarring news flashed across his phone: Some of his most intimate messages had just been published to the web. Days earlier, the veteran journalist had come out live on air as HIV-positive, a taboo-breaking revelation that drew responses from hundreds of Russians fighting their own lonely struggles with the virus. Now he’d been hacked.”


Medium: Merry Last Christmas, Jack Dorsey.. “Among the changes, swastikas are now banned from Twitter. That’s a good move. I applaud it, and it’s beyond time. However, the Confederate flag, a hate symbol that defines one race’s desire to own another race, is still acceptable. Twitter’s reason is that the Confederate flag is historical. But so is the swastika. This decision seems less based on principles, but more on a desire to not piss off a certain group. Despite their sanctimonious appeal to ‘principles’, Twitter appears to be making decisions based on who they’re afraid to (or can’t afford to) piss off and then backwards engineering the rationale to make it palatable. That’s not principled. That’s cynical.” Good morning, Internet…

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