Turnbull Library Record, African-American Schools, American Football Uniforms, More: Tuesday Buzz, September 4, 2018


National Library of New Zealand: The Turnbull Library Record: Past and Future. “Unscrupulous scholars, courtship and marriage in colonial New Zealand, women photographers, pirates, Joan of Arc, a 17th-century Persian manuscript, Earp’s bee library, the library and the cosmos – the intriguing and wide-ranging scope of articles in the Turnbull Library Record (TLR) reflects the richness of the Turnbull collections. I’ve been involved with the TLR for 10 years; eight of those as Managing Editor. It has been a real privilege to have helped bring each issue into the light of day, to work with contributors and designers to help shape its content and aesthetic impact – the stratospheric improvement of the latter having been a bar raised by its previous editor, Peter Ireland. It has also been a privilege to have been involved with the journal at this exciting time in the trajectory of its history – the moment of its digitisation.”

Digital Library of Georgia: Monthly teacher reports from African American rural and city schools operating during the 1930s in Laurens County, Georgia now available online. “The Teacher’s Monthly Reports collection includes monthly teacher reports from African American rural and city schools operating from 1930 to 1939 in Laurens County, Georgia. These monthly reports were created by individual teachers to be submitted to the Laurens County Superintendent. The reports list student names, age, grade and attendance for the month. Many of these records also show teacher salaries, addresses, and other information. The DLG has digitized 126 folders with reports for 58 schools.”

New-to-me, but apparently online for a long time: a database of uniforms from American football teams. That’s American football, as opposed to football almost everywhere else. From the About Page: “This website presents graphical representations of every uniform that has been worn in the NFL since 1920. This project is the culmination of a lot of hard work by two men to chronicle the numerous combinations of uniforms that have been worn by players in the league in thousands of games over the past eighty years. Tim Brulia and Bill Schaefer have painstakingly worked on this research over the past few years.”


VentureBeat: Baidu launches EZDL, an AI model training platform that requires no coding experience. “Without the technical know-how and the right tools, training machine learning algorithms can be an exercise in frustration. Luckily, for folks who don’t have the wherewithal to wade through the jargon, Baidu this week launched an online tool in beta — EZDL — that makes it easy for virtually anyone to build, design, and deploy artificial intelligence (AI) models without writing a single line of code.”

The Next Web: Google releases tools for probing Ethereum’s blockchain. “Google has provided users with a new avenue for directly interacting with Ethereum data. Services already exist that show information about wallet addresses and transactions, but until now, investigating the full breadth of data stored on the blockchain has been a cumbersome process. BigQuery can also connect directly with the Parity client.”

CNET: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey reportedly overruled decision to ban Alex Jones. “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey weighed in on the Alex Jones controversy, overruling a decision by his staff to ban the right-wing conspiracy theorist, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.” Twitter is denying this.


The Hindu: When you fight the good fight: tracking down stolen idols. “In his new book, Vijay Kumar explains how a network of history buffs tracks down stolen idols using WhatsApp and crowdsourced sleuthing In times when WhatsApp has been looked down upon as the purveyor of fake news, S Vijay Kumar, a Singapore-based shipping company manager and his friends at India Pride Project have been using it to fight crime.”

New York Times: Fringe Figures Find Refuge in Facebook’s Private Groups. [Alex] Jones built his Facebook audience on pages — the big public megaphones he used to blast links, memes and videos to millions of his followers. In recent months, though, he and other large-scale purveyors of inflammatory speech have found refuge in private groups, where they can speak more openly with less fear of being punished for incendiary posts.”

Engadget: Unpaid and abused: Moderators speak out against Reddit . “Somewhere out there, a man wants to rape Emily. She knows this because he was painfully clear in typing out his threat. In fact, he’s just one of a group of people who wish her harm. For the past four years, Emily has volunteered to moderate the content on several sizable subreddits — large online discussion forums — including r/news, with 16.3 million subscribers, and r/london, with 114,000 subscribers. But Reddit users don’t like to be moderated.”


British Library: Student project report: Scribal Handwriting: An automated manuscript analysis tool. “The team was challenged to create a tool for palaeographers (researchers who analyse handwriting) that can determine the date of a manuscript and sometimes even its scribe and place of production. To help with this task, we designed a tool to quickly find occurrences of similar handwritten characters across a collection of documents. This would be a lengthy and repetitive task if done manually by researchers. Typically, researchers compare characters’ features such as script, size and ink of different manuscripts to establish possible similarities between manuscripts and scribes. Our mission was to create a faster and reliable tool that could be used by palaeographers. Our aim was to speed up their research process by automating the comparisons between characters.”

Ars Technica: Being reminded of your political bubble can stop you from breaking out. “Using social media is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can connect us to many more people than we would otherwise interact with, which is great. But our choices regarding who we interact with (often amplified by a platform’s algorithms) limit many of our social networks in a way that keeps us tucked within an echo chamber of people who think like us. And in that mode, our social interaction may exacerbate tribal attitudes towards people outside our groups rather than breaking down barriers.” Good morning, Internet…

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