Israel Music, Illinois History, Singapore History, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, February 13, 2019


Israel21c: Israel National Library launches free Israeli music app. “Sing out! In the same spirit that only a few weeks ago launched a thousand images documenting Israel’s history for free use, the National Library of Israel, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Digital Finjan project, have announced the release of Shiri, a mobile phone app for Israeli music.”

Effingham Daily News: Illinois cultural journalism collection now available for free in Digital Public Library. “The complete contents of a south-central Illinois cultural journalism project, ‘Tales from the General Store,’ is now available at no cost in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). In the tradition of Foxfire, the Tales project was created by author and now-retired educator Ray Elliott to provide the opportunity for high school and college students to learn about journalism through hands-on experience in interviewing and writing about people from rural Illinois who lived and worked during the early part of the 20th century when general stores were at the heart of small, tight-knit communities. In addition to the educational student benefit, these stories have helped to preserve some of the history and culture of this era in Illinois for the public.”

The Straits Times: Database to remember Chinese pioneers. “Church sacristan Robert Lim grew up hearing stories about his grandfather, stories that can now be shared with millions of other Singaporeans, thanks to modern technology. These pioneering tales from Singapore’s past have been collected in a new database to coincide with the nation’s bicentenary.” Unfortunately the article did not have the URL of the database in it, but the kind people at the National Library of Singapore helped me out: it’s . It is still in progress and new content is being added.


Engadget: New Google Docs toolkit can automate tasks . “Are you tired of having to wade through Google Docs files, or make countless changes to templates every time you want to use them? Google might soon bring relief. It’s officially launching a Google Docs programming interface that lets developers automate many common tasks, whether it’s inserting text, changing the formatting or managing lists. If you’re producing invoices, for example, an app could automatically fill out product info and numbers.”


MyHeritage Blog: Free Marriage Records for Valentine’s Day!. “Do you know the love stories of your ancestors? How did your great-grandparents meet and get to know each other? In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re providing free access to love-related records in our massive historical records collection during February 10-17, 2019. No Data subscription is required so you may search all U.S. states, European and worldwide collections, totaling 414,486,197 records, for your ancestors’ marriage records!”


The Guardian: Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups. “Facebook is under pressure to stem the rise of anti-vaccination groups spreading false information about the dangers of life-saving vaccines while peddling unfounded alternative treatments such as high doses of vitamin C. So-called ‘anti-vaxxers’ are operating on Facebook in closed groups, where members have to be approved in advance. By barring access to others, they are able to serve undiluted misinformation without challenge.” Interestingly I just found this notice in my RSS feed about fake anti-vaccine flyers purportedly coming from the CDC.

UKAuthority: UK may lose access to verified medicines database. “Patients will be at risk from fake medicines if the UK leaves the EU without a deal because access to a new EU-wide database could be lost, pharmaceutical leaders have warned.”

The Next Web: After the US, Twitter faces wrath from India’s right wing over alleged bias. “This week, a parliamentary committee in the country – where Twitter is believed to have some 30 million users has summoned company executives to discuss social media rights for users – allegedly over concerns of bias against right-wingers. According to a report by PTI, the panel has asked Dorsey to appear before it on February 25, after a meeting with the company’s India representatives on Monday. We’ve asked Twitter to confirm whether the CEO will travel to India, and we’ll update the story accordingly.”

Bloomberg Quint: Google May Employ More People Than the Entire U.S. Newspaper Industry . “Alphabet Inc., which is almost entirely Google, had 98,771 employees as of December. That news, contained in the annual 10-K report the company released last week, got me thinking. Google, you may remember, passed the entire U.S. newspaper industry in advertising revenue in 2010. The numbers are now not even remotely close.”


Reuters: Exclusive: India watchdog probes accusations that Google abused Android – sources. ” India’s antitrust commission is looking into accusations that Alphabet Inc’s unit Google abuses its popular Android mobile operating system to block its rivals, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.”

The Verge: YouTube’s copyright strikes have become a tool for extortion. “An anonymous blackmailer has caught at least two YouTube creators in a scheme involving cash ransoms and esoteric copyright laws. Last week, both creators shared stories of how their channels were being threatened with a third copyright strike — and the possible termination of their channels — from an anonymous extortionist. The scammer offered to reverse the strikes in return for payment to a bitcoin wallet (which, as of this writing, remains empty) or to an adjoining Paypal account (that has since been deleted).”


Charged: Google News is broken. “There’s been a lot of discussion about the future of publishing over the last few years, particularly as Facebook traffic began cratering, leaving publishers scrambling to find new sources of traffic. What’s never really discussed, however, is how those platforms work, and how news sources end up getting mountains of traffic from them, let alone approved for them in the first place.”

Offshore Wind Journal: Alphabet’s X kite to take to the air off Norway. “Makani, which is now an independent business within Goolge parent company Alphabet, is to demonstrate its energy kite from a floating foundation. In a posting on the Medium website, Makani chief executive Fort Felker said that, after five years of development at X, Makani is now an independent company and is partnering with Shell to bring energy kites to the offshore environment.” Be sure to check the picture that comes with the article, because it’ll completely change what you think of when you think of the word kite. Good morning, Internet…

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