Jewish Digital Collections, Pacific Northwest Weather, Google, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, November 28, 2018


Diane Romm sent me a heads-up about a new site of hers: Jewish Digital Collections at . She described it in her email as “an annotated list of more than 350 sites that house digitized collections of Jewish material divided into 22 subject areas.” There’s a Google custom search engine for the site and I suggest you use it; searching the CSE for Torah found five results, while searching the full Google search engine for Torah found only three.

University of Washington: UW, Tableau create interactive tool to explore more than a century of Pacific Northwest weather observations. “The University of Washington’s College of the Environment has teamed up with Seattle visual analytics company Tableau Software to create a new, interactive visualization for historical observations of temperature and precipitation in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana, and for Washington snowpack. The free online tool lets anybody interact with the records going back as far as 1881 and look for significant trends.”


Search Engine Roundtable: Google Really Launches Zero Search Results For Time, Conversions & Math. “This is not a joke, Google has officially launched showing zero search results – yes, showing no actual search results – for a some very specific types of queries. When someone searches for time/date, conversion or math related answers – Google may just show the answer with a button to click to see the search results. Yes, Google actually decided to show absolutely no search result snippets in the search results.”

The Guardian: ‘Misinformation’ picked as word of the year by Dictionary. com. “‘Misinformation’, as opposed to disinformation, is’s word of the year. It followed ‘toxic’, picked for the same honor by Oxford Dictionaries, and ‘single-use”, picked by Collins.'”

CNN: The crazy tale of how the UK parliament ended up with secret Facebook documents. “An American app developer who gave confidential documents about Facebook to UK lawmakers during a visit to London says he did so because he panicked and feared he wouldn’t be let out of the country unless he complied.”


Politiko: KWF to create digital archive for Philippine languages. “The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) is set to develop a digital archive of Philippine languages. ‘Archiving is among our efforts to help preserve languages nationwide,’ KWF Sangay ng Literatura at Araling Kultural Officer-in-Charge Lourdes Hinampas said on Monday. The agency, tasked to promote Philippine languages, held a seminar-workshop on language archiving in Quezon City.”

Bloomberg: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Is Tainted by Crisis After Crisis. “Facebook Inc. crises this year have put immense pressure on Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, undermining her authority and tainting an image that was burnished by the social-media company’s meteoric rise. Some of her staff, who saw the executive as larger than life, now blame her for Facebook’s woes.”

Cornell Daily Sun: Athletics Department Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Digital Library . “Over 125 years of Cornell athletics history sits on the shelves of Associate Director of Athletics for Communications Jeremy Hartigan’s office in Schoellkopf House. These shelves house a catalogue of every varsity athlete who has lettered at Cornell, football scrapbooks dating back to 1887 that include game tickets and newspaper clippings and meeting minutes from the earliest University Athletic Council. In order to preserve these records that have been stored away for decades, the Athletics Communications team has begun a crowdfunding campaign to create a digital library.”


Krebs on Security: Half of all Phishing Sites Now Have the Padlock. “Maybe you were once advised to ‘look for the padlock’ as a means of telling legitimate e-commerce sites from phishing or malware traps. Unfortunately, this has never been more useless advice. New research indicates that half of all phishing scams are now hosted on Web sites whose Internet address includes the padlock and begins with “https://”.”

The Verge: Online porn filters will never work. “The Digital Economy Act was intended to be a more effective method of blocking adult sites that puts the onus on pornographers, who must comply with the policy or risk getting banned by major payment processors. Yet as simple and appealing as that proposal may have once sounded, it’s proven significantly more thorny than the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the agency responsible for enforcing the policy, originally anticipated.”

BBC: Google challenged over location tracking . “Google has been accused of flouting European data protection laws when it tracks users’ locations. A coalition of seven consumer organisations is filing complaints with local data protection regulators over Google’s tracking system. The complaints draw on research by one coalition member, which alleges people are forced to use the location system.”

TechCrunch: Urban Massage exposed a huge customer database, including sensitive comments on its creepy clients. “Urban Massage, a popular massage startup that bills itself as providing ‘wellness that comes to you,’ has leaked its entire customer database. The London, U.K.-based startup — now known as just Urban — left its Google-hosted ElasticSearch database online without a password, allowing anyone to read hundreds of thousands of customer and staff records. Anyone who knew where to look could access, edit or delete the database.” The headline makes it sound like all massage clients might be creepy, but in fact there were clients who were problematic and those were the ones commented on. Good morning, Internet…

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