William Lovell Finley, Social Media, Python, More: Monday Buzz, July 16, 2018


Audubon Magazine: These Century-Old Photos Inspired Some of the West’s First Bird Refuges. “The Oregon Historical Society and Oregon State University recently collaborated on a project to collect and digitize much of the work of [William Lovell] Finley and his colleagues. During 2016 and 2017 they digitized more than 6,800 images and more than 8,000 pages of manuscript materials. The small sampling featured here offers a fascinating inside look at the beginnings of the conservation movement.”


Reuters: Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet to testify at U.S. House hearing. “The U.S. House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday to take testimony from Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s YouTube unit and Twitter Inc on whether social media companies are filtering content for political reasons, the committee chairman said.”


PC World: The best online courses for learning Python. “If you’re looking to learn coding or want to pick up another programming language, Python is a good choice. One of the terrific things about Python is how closely it resembles the English language, so you’ll often see words like ‘not,’ ‘in,’ and ‘or’ in its scripts. Because of its readability, Python is commonly the first programming language schools teach. It’s a great launchpad for an aspiring coder.”

Search Engine Journal: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO in a Machine Learning World. “When thinking about the rise of machine learning as it relates to SEO, we can be faced with a frightening scenario, depending on the type of SEO professional you are.” I am not, obviously, an SEO professional. However, I do think it’s important to know about SEO, because SEO is part of why you find the content you do when you search online!

Lifehacker: Why You Need an Anonymous Social Media Account. “Being online has never been more embarrassing. People are renting 10 minutes of time on private jets for the ‘gram. The most innocuous and best-meaning of posts can spark outrage. You can’t talk to someone on a plane without it becoming a viral story that leads to harassment. The president tweets. But there’s a lot of good stuff too, of course, which makes it hard to log off completely. That’s why I humbly suggest creating anonymous accounts—Instagram and Tumblr are my preferred platforms—to escape it all.” As the article notes, this is not anonymity for the sake of being a jerk. This is anonymity so you can enjoy and reblog what you want without being joy or culture shamed.


Times of India: Google mapping to keep tabs on plantation drive. “The forest department’s Pune office will ensure Google mapping of the tree plantation drive undertaken by the state government since July 1.”

Washington Post: Russia is building a new Napster — but for academic research. “What will future historians see as the major Russian contribution to early 21st-century Internet culture? It might not be troll farms and other strategies for poisoning public conversation — but rather, the democratization of access to scientific and scholarly knowledge. Over the last decade, Russian academics and activists have built free, remarkably comprehensive online archives of scholarly works. What Napster was to music, the Russian shadow libraries are to knowledge.”

Genealogy’s Star: Where are we with social networking?. “What is happing in the world of blogs? What is happening on Facebook? What about Google+? And what about Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram? Not to mention, what is going on in the hundreds of other social networking websites. Last, of all, what does this have to do with genealogy.”


The Next Web: Experts warn DeepFakes could influence 2020 US election. “Fake AI-generated videos featuring political figures could be all the rage during the next election cycle, and that’s bad news for democracy. A recently released study indicates that DeepFakes, a neural network that creates fake videos of real people, represents one of the largest threats posed by artificial intelligence.”


New York Times: Women Making Science Videos on YouTube Face Hostile Comments. “After studying 23,005 comments left on videos about science and related topics, a researcher says, ‘I could see why people would not want to be on YouTube.'”

TechCrunch: Researchers find that filters don’t prevent porn . “In a paper entitled Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material, Oxford Internet Institute researchers Victoria Nash and Andrew Przybylski found that Internet filters rarely work to keep adolescents away from online porn.”

CNET: Seven questions Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg needs to answer about InfoWars. “Hey Zuck, can we talk? There’s a massive debate going on in this country about fake news, what it is, who gets to say it and how it should be challenged. And Facebook — and you, Mark Zuckerberg — are smack in the middle of it.” Good morning, Internet…

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