Fish and Frogs, Willa Cather, India Art, More: Monday Buzz, January 15, 2018


The Hindu: Database on fish, frogs soon. “In two months, an interactive database on fish, frogs, and some other species will be available for the public, Sathyabhama Das Biju, Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Delhi, has said.”

WIA Report: University of Nebraska to Debut New Digital Archive of Willa Cather Letters. “The University of Nebraska has announced that an archive of more than 400 letters authored by Willa Cather will soon be available in digital form. The letters will be added to the existing Willa Cather Archive that contains a wide range of information on the journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.”

DNA India: Marg — India’s oldest art journal launches its digital archive. ” In a bid to welcome new tech-savvy audiences and old patrons of scholars, students, artists, designers, and connoisseurs of art, who’d often find it difficult to locate rare issues of Marg owing to its limited print-run, The Marg Foundation, has finally digitised all its magazine issues from Volume I to the current, Volume 69, which are now available on One can also digitally subscribe future issues. ” The archives are not free, but priced $5 per issue and $2 per article.

Mongabay: Efforts to save island wildlife from extinction get a boost from new database. “In order to aid in the planning of the types of conservation efforts that can help prevent further island-based extinctions, a team of researchers led by Dena Spatz, a conservation biologist at Santa Cruz, California-based NGO Island Conservation, identified which islands around the world harbor both threatened terrestrial vertebrates and invasive species like rodents or cats (Spatz began the project while a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz). The researchers have compiled their findings in an interactive distribution map called the Threatened Island Biodiversity Database.”


Ars Technica: Microsoft opens the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update floodgates. “After being out for a little under three months, Microsoft has moved the Fall Creators Update to full availability, signaling that the company believes it to be ready for corporate deployments. Microsoft rolls out the big Windows semi-annual updates on a staggered basis, making the update available to an ever larger range of users as the company builds a clearer picture of any hardware and software incompatibilities.”

Business Insider: It could be easier for Facebook and Google to get into UK banking thanks to new rules starting Saturday. “New rules come into force in Britain today that force banks to open up their data to outsiders. ‘Open Banking’ begins on January 13. The new rules force Britain’s nine biggest banks to share customer data with third parties if a customer agrees. The changes are meant to improve price comparison and boost account switching.”


Lifehacker: How to Look for a Job on Twitter and Facebook. “Job searches are already a complicated stress-maze of multiple sites, searches, and alerts, so you might think it’s bad news that you also need to expand your search to social media. But actually, Twitter and Facebook can be a relatively (relatively) pleasant part of the job search process.”


BuzzFeed: Exclusive Networks Of Teens Are Making Thousands Of Dollars By Selling Retweets. “Teens and twentysomethings with large Twitter followings are making thousands each month by selling retweets, multiple users who engage in the practice told BuzzFeed News. The practice is known as ‘tweetdecking,’ so named because those involved form secret Tweetdeck groups, which they call ‘decks.’ Scoring an invite to join a deck usually requires a follower count in the tens of thousands.”

An event at the New Museum, one I am very sorry I will not be able to attend: Art for the Offline Internet. “El Paquete Semanal [the Weekly Package] is a one-terabyte media collection that is aggregated weekly in Cuba and circulated across the country via in-person file sharing. The package usually contains between 15,000 and 18,000 files, including software, sports, soap operas, music, magazines, and more. Though it is often described as a workaround to the widespread lack of internet in Cuba, El Paquete is perhaps better understood as an extension of traditions of physical media circulation that came before it.”


Genealogy’s Star: New FOI Lawsuit filed by Reclaim the Records for New York Marriage Records. “I am always very interested in the actions of Reclaim the Records. So far, they have reclaimed for the public more than twenty million records. As a former attorney, I am amazed that any government agency would resist an FOI request to the point where a lawsuit would be necessary. The government officials must either not be listening to their legal counsel or they have incompetent legal counsel. Here is an explanation of Reclaim the Records’ most recent action from their current newsletter.”


Nieman Lab: If Facebook stops putting news in front of readers, will readers bother to go looking for it?. “The idea that the value of a piece of news is defined by likes and comments — that taking in information without getting into a back-and-forth with your uncle about it is somehow unworthy — is actually a profoundly ideological statement.”

Gizmodo: Microsoft Wants To Diagnose Disease By Building Massive Database Of The Human Immune System. “Imagine making a spreadsheet of every meal you’ve ever eaten, every hand you’ve ever shook, every bit of dust that’s ever gotten in your eye – and multiply it by about a million times. Then you begin to get a sense of the size of the data problem that is your body’s immune system. Through a new AI project, Microsoft hopes to solve this data problem and make diagnosing nearly any disease as simple as a single blood test.” Good morning, Internet…

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