British Library Resources, Hill Air Force Base, Old Search Engines, More: Wednesday Buzz, July 4, 2018


British Library: Explore the British Library’s collections for Black British and Asian British Studies. “With the launch of the Black Britain and Asian Britain subject hub, we are offering a resource to help researchers find and engage with our collections and activities in these areas. The hub page presents a mine of information on the British Library’s collections about the experience of people of African, Asian and Caribbean heritage in Britain. From it, you can access our collection guide pages, which cover our books and other printed material, manuscripts and archives, and sound and audio-visual collections. The guides explain what we hold, how to research it further, what you can see or listen to online, and what you can access if you come into our Reading Rooms.”

Deseret News: Marriott Library creates digital access to historic Hill Air Force Base newspapers. “More than 61,000 pages of the Hill Air Force Base newspapers, covering the period 1943 to 2006, have been digitized and are now available to the public. The first issue of the official base newspaper was published on Jan. 1, 1943.”


The Boston Diaries: There was a time when search engines were a thing. And it seems they still are. “I was poking around in the deeper parts of my harddrive when I came across the source code for Geofind, a metasearch engine I wrote back in the late 90s. A ‘metasearch engine’ is a website that searches not the Internet, but instead passes the search query to other search engines. Back in the 90s, search engines weren’t quite as good as they are now (although some might contend that they aren’t as good as they were a decade ago), but there were a fair number of them, and the thought at the time was, ‘hey, if we query a bunch of search engines at the same time, maybe one of them will have useful results.’ In fact, quite a number of them. Unlike the … um … two? (Google and Bing). maybe, three? (if you count DuckDuckGo, which I only know about because of the circles I travel in on the Intarwebs) which exist today.” Wow, he doesn’t even look for Ask Jeeves, Northern Light, WWWWorm, Electric Monk, etc. but check out his list and get ready for the nostalgia.

Facebook is buying UK’s Bloomsbury AI to ramp up natural language tech in London
. “Perhaps rightly, there has long been a perception that Google-owned Deepmind has been the most aggressive in hoovering up a lot of the U.K.’s best talent in artificial intelligence, but now Facebook appears to be turning its eye to the country.”

Engadget: Facebook shuts down tbh and other apps over ‘low usage’. “Some of Facebook’s mobile app efforts fare better than others, and that’s clearer than ever right now. The social network has announced that it’s shutting down teen polling app tbh, caller ID tool Hello and fitness tracker Moves based on ‘low usage.’ It’s scrubbing user data for all three within 90 days, but the apps will likely stop working before that. Facebook will deprecate Moves and its programming kit on July 31st, while Hello is facing a similar fate in ‘a few weeks.'”


MakeUseOf: 7 WhatsApp Web Tips and Tricks All Users Should Know. “WhatsApp Web is the easy way to use WhatsApp on any computer in the world, as long as you have your phone to sign in. Once you set WhatsApp Web up on your PC, these tips and tricks will make it better. We have already covered the basics of using WhatsApp Web, what it can and can’t do, and everything you need to know about WhatsApp Web. Now it’s time to enhance WhatsApp Web with some simple tips and tricks.”

The Register: Dr Symantec offers quick and painless checkup for VPNFilter menace on routers. “Clean-up efforts to respond to the VPNFilter malware have accelerated with the release of a free check-up tool. Even though the utility from Symantec only looks to see if traffic has been manipulated, rather than confirming an infection, third-party experts have nonetheless welcomed its release.”


CNET: Federal agencies reportedly broaden probe of Facebook. “Several federal agencies have joined the Department of Justice in its inquiries of Facebook over its Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to a report Monday by the Washington Post. The Securities Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigation have joined in the probe, according to the Post. In March, Facebook disclosed that Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy which had ties to the Trump presidential campaign, improperly accessed personal information on up to 87 million Facebook users.”

Fresno State News: Madden Library Receives Grant To Digitize 20,000 Maps. “The Henry Madden Library at Fresno State was awarded an $84,700 grant to digitize 20,000 maps of the California State Lands Commission and make them available to the public. The grant comes from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, which is affiliated with the National Archives.”


India Today: 16 lynchings in 2 months. Is social media the new serial killer?. “Social media kills. It kills not only time but also men, women and even transgenders. More than 20 crore Indians use WhatsApp and a larger number have their accounts on Facebook. But the same social media may turn anti-social at the hands of rumour mongers leading to lynching. At least 16 cases of lynching have been reported from Tripura to Maharashtra since May 10, the latest being the lynching of five men in Dhule district. These incidents caused deaths of 22 people including a transgender.”

The Verge: Samsung phones are spontaneously texting users’ photos to random contacts without their permission. “Bad news for Samsung phone owners: some devices are randomly sending your camera roll photos to your contacts without permission. As first spotted by Gizmodo, users are complaining about the issue on Reddit and the company’s official forums. One user says his phone sent all his photos to his girlfriend. The messages are being sent through Samsung’s default texting app Samsung Messages. According to reports, the Messages app does not even show users that files have been sent; many just find out after they get a response from the recipient of the random photos sent to them.” The heck?

Forbes: Google Has Been Letting App Developers Gain Access To Users’ Gmails, Unsurprisingly. “Google has reportedly allowed third-party developers of Android apps to review millions of Gmail messages, which seems about right. On Monday, a report by The Wall Street Journal drew attention to the fact that access settings for Gmail, Google’s popular email platform, allow users to opt-in to sharing data with developers, which can include users’ personal content and details.” Good morning, Internet…

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