Massachusetts Yearbooks, NC Newspapers, Google, More: Saturday Buzz, July 7, 2018


CBS Local Boston: Mass. High School Yearbooks Now Available Online. “The high school yearbook is a rite of passage, a remembrance of days gone by, for better or for worse. Now, thanks to the Boston Public Library, thousands of yearbooks from Massachusetts high schools are available, online.”

DigitalNC: Charlotte Post is now available . “Issues of the Charlotte Post, an African American newspaper out of Charlotte, are now online, thanks to partner Johnson C. Smith University. The Charlotte Post was founded in 1878 and is a weekly publication.”


AltGov2: Google’s FTC-Mandated 2016 Privacy Assessment. “When Google got into trouble with the Federal Trade Commission over its privacy practices in 2010-2011, it was ordered to implement a new privacy program. The settlement order requires Google to hire an outside firm to assess its privacy practices every two years. The FTC posted the first such report (from 2014) but no others. Under FOIA, I requested all such assessments since then and received the 2016 report, posted above. (The 2018 report hasn’t yet been completed.)”

Engadget: WhatsApp enlists outside help for its fake news problem. “Over the last two months, misinformation spread through WhatsApp in India has riled up lynch mobs that killed twelve people. After the country’s government sternly criticized the messaging service for its role in the violence, WhatsApp is offering researchers up to $50,000 in grants to study fake news on the platform.”

The Map Room: History of Cartography Project’s Sixth Volume Now Available Online. “The History of Cartography Project’s sixth volume, covering the twentieth century, came out three years ago. Edited by Mark Monmonier, it comprised two physical books and nearly two thousand pages and had a list price of $500. That physical edition is still available (e.g. on Amazon), but as of this month it’s available online for free in PDF form…”


ALA: New intellectual freedom resources for libraries on social media and controversial programs. “In response to program cancellations and rising concerns about social media access and privacy, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee published new guidelines and a Q&A for library workers. ‘Social Media Guidelines for Public and Academic Libraries’ provides a policy framework for public and academic libraries that use social media. Topics range from staff responsibilities and acceptable behavior, to privacy and reconsideration forms.”


Phys .org: Zambia planning social media clampdown . “Zambia said on Thursday it will introduce tough new laws to regulate social media use to fight cyber-crime and combat the consumption of pornography in the conservative African country. Communication Minister Brian Mushimba told parliament that some Zambians were using social media to commit identity theft, send pornographic images and spread hate speech.”

The Daily Beast: Inside the Online Campaign to Whitewash the History of Donald Trump’s Russian Business Associates. “The Daily Beast previously reported that a Pakistani blogger had been paid to write an article for the Huffington Post’s now-defunct contributor platform hailing the dismissal of the tax fraud case. That blogger, who went by the handle Waqas KH, said his client, whom he declined to name, had provided the text of the piece in full. HuffPost is a prominent U.S. news source, but on more obscure platforms, used explicitly for search-engine optimization, over 50 other stories have popped up hyping the lawsuit’s dismissal and attempting to insulate Trump from controversy involving Sater and Bayrock. The articles were published over an eight-month period, from September 2017 through June 2018.”


Gizmodo: Europe Decides Not to Ruin the Internet . “On Thursday, members of European Parliament held a vote on the misguided new copyright reforms that posed a threat to memes, online encyclopedias, news organizations, and pretty much everything that’s good online. Incredibly, lawmakers decided not to do the dumb thing and voted down the bill. It’s not over yet, but there’s plenty of reason to celebrate.”

Deccan Chronicle: Russian search engine alerts Google to possible data problem. “The Russian Internet company Yandex said Thursday that its public search engine has been turning up dozens of Google documents that appear meant for private use, suggesting there may have been a data breach. Yandex spokesman Ilya Grabovsky said that some Internet users contacted the company Wednesday to say that its public search engine was yielding what looked like personal Google files.” Google is refuting that this is a security issue.


Techdirt: The Death Of Google Reader And The Rise Of Silos. “I’ve been talking a lot lately about the unfortunate shift of the web from being more decentralized to being about a few giant silos and I expect to have plenty more to say on the topic in the near future. But I’m thinking about this again after Andy Baio reminded me that this past weekend was five years since Google turned off Google Reader. Though, as he notes, Google’s own awful decision making created the diminished use that allowed Google to justify shutting it down. Here’s Andy’s tweeted thread, and then I’ll tie it back to my thinking on the silo’d state of the web today.”

Yahoo Finance: 5 ways Apple maps can improve to compete with Google. “By gathering information from mapping vehicles and anonymized snippets of route data from individual iPhones, Apple aims to provide users with a more comprehensive, current guide to the world—beginning this fall for iOS 12 users across northern California. That would be a decent start to redeeming Apple Maps from a legacy of errant routing. But if Apple wants to overcome the enormous lead of Google (GOOG, GOOGL), more accurate lines and dots can only be the start.” Good morning, Internet…

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