Billings Gazette, DNA Samples, Graduation Caps, More: Monday Buzz, May 14, 2018


Billings Gazette: 1.6 million pages of history later, Billings Gazette is digitized . “Quite possibly the single largest local history publication happened in the past month as more than 1.6 million pages of the Billings Gazette and its related publications were digitized through a partnership project with” This archive, as you may have guessed, is not free.

University of Guelph: U of G’s Genetic Archive Now Open to World. “One of the planet’s largest collections of DNA samples – a genetic Noah’s ark held at the University of Guelph representing Canadian creatures from mites to whales — will be made available starting today to researchers worldwide under an international biodiversity project. Throwing open the doors to a massive genetic archive at U of G’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics (CBG) will provide online access to sample information for universities, government agencies and industry that may help researchers pursue projects ranging from human health to biodiversity, said Jeremy deWaard, the centre’s associate director of collections.”

ABC Action News: Graduation caps decorated to celebrate accomplishment but also promote political messages. “In a sea of graduation caps, how do you stand out? Increasingly, students are decorating their caps to showcase some part of their life. UNLV professor and folklorist Sheila Bock began studying trends behind graduation caps after she first arrived in Las Vegas in 2011. She began formally researching in 2015, taking photos from around the country and interviewing students on their graduation cap design choices.”

The Dispatch: Baker civil rights collection now digitized at Columbus library. “The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library (CLPL) has digitized portions of the Ezra Baker Jr. Papers housed in the Local History Department. The collection pertains to the 1972 case where three teachers — Willie James Conard, Frank Allen Yates and Baker — were terminated from their teaching jobs at Stephen D. Lee High School for violating the school’s grooming code. The violations related specifically to the wearing of sideburns and mustaches/beards.”


TechCrunch: YouTube rolls out new tools to help you stop watching . “Google’s YouTube is the first streaming app that will actually tell users to stop watching. At its Google I/O conference this week, the company introduced a series of new controls for YouTube that will allow users to set limits on their viewing, and then receive reminders telling them to ‘take a break.’ The feature is rolling out now in the latest version of YouTube’s app, along with others that limit YouTube’s ability to send notifications, and soon, one that gives users an overview of their binge behavior so they can make better-informed decisions about their viewing habits.”


From Twitter: the recently-released Russian Facebook ads are now available as a CSV file. From the Tweet: “The recently released Russian Facebook ads dataset was all in PDF format. One of our volunteers, @scottcame, has extracted the content and made it available as a CSV on @datadotworld.”

Make Tech Easier: 5 of the Best Free Online Translators to Translate Foreign Language. “Google Translate is the first name that comes to mind when we think of online translators, but there are many more you can try. If you are looking to translate that foreign language to one that you are familiar with, these are some that you can use.” I haven’t tested any of these and hadn’t heard of most of them. Interesting list.


Tubefilter: Cisco Announces YouTube Ad Boycott, Citing Fear Of A “Brand-Tarnishing Experience”. “After 300 brands — including telecom giant Cisco — were discovered to have run YouTube ads last month on videos promoting Nazism, pedophilia, and conspiracy theories, the video giant is once again facing advertiser fallout. Cisco announced in a blog post Wednesday that it was pulling all ads from YouTube due to brand safety concerns — though it promptly removed and re-edited the post 24 hours later.”

The Verge: The unexpected catharsis of an Instagram location page. “My father was born on May 12th. Today he would have turned 56, had he not passed away in 1996. When I was in college, my family and I would visit our motherland in Bangkok over the summer break in May, and our tradition was to always visit the temple where my dad’s ashes resided…. So when my brother and mom went back to Thailand this year without me for the first time in three years, all I could do was journey with them from afar as my brother Instagrammed his way through the travel. But this year, he did something he hadn’t done in the past. He tagged every location he visited, leaving behind breadcrumbs that would lead me to the temple’s location page on Instagram and filling a void I didn’t know existed.”

Mashable: Remembering LiveJournal in all its drama-filled glory. “The internet of the mid-aughts seemed softer, somehow. Before Facebook was used by Russian trolls to incite race-based violence, before alt-right goobers created Gab in their own image, and before, well, Twitter became synonymous with Kanye and Trump, there was an entire online world of message boards, Myspace pages, and chat rooms that in retrospect seem impossibly quaint. And shiningly brightly atop it all as the North Star of our heartfelt earnestness was a little thing called LiveJournal.”


Engadget: Ring doorbell flaw lets others watch after password changes. “You’d expect a smart doorbell to instantly boot out everyone the moment you change your password, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The Information has learned that the app for Ring’s video doorbell wasn’t forcing users to sign-in after password changes, regardless of how much time had elapsed — in one case, an ex-partner had been watching the camera for months. Ring said it started kicking people out in January, after receiving word of the incident, but that window of opportunity still lasted several hours in an Information test.”

Los Angeles Times: Symantec stock dives 33% as mystery investigation has people imagining the worst. “For the last few years, Symantec Corp. seemed to have been doing everything right. The world’s top maker of cybersecurity software started selling more to corporations — chasing growth and balancing out its consumer-centric business. It made acquisitions and brought in a new chief executive. Its shares were rising. So Wall Street was blindsided when the Mountain View, Calif., company disclosed that it is conducting an internal investigation that will delay the filing of its annual report and could potentially lead to a restatement of earnings. The news was tucked into the quarterly results late Thursday, and when analysts started asking questions, they were shut down. The company cut short the post-earnings conference call and canceled its scheduled callbacks later in the evening. That left analysts to fill in the blanks. And they imagined the worst.” Ruh roh. Good morning, Internet…

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