afternoonbuzz

Civil War Deserters, Georgetown Slaves, British Library Collections, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, June 21, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

Penn State News: Partnership allows for the launch of the PA Civil War Deserters Database. “After years of development, Penn State University Libraries, in partnership with the Richards Civil War Era Center, has launched the Pennsylvania Civil War Deserters Database. Containing more than 24,000 individual records of soldiers, the interactive database allows users to search the compiled records for individual solders by name, but also identify groups of soldiers by specific criteria such as blacksmiths who deserted or number of desertions following the Battle of Gettysburg.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Website documents histories of Georgetown-owned slaves. “A Boston-based genealogical organization and a Georgetown University graduate who launched a project to trace the family histories of hundreds of black slaves sold by the Jesuits who ran the college in 1838 have teamed up to digitize the information and make it available to people researching family histories.”

British Library: New collections online – June 2019. “Over the past few months we have made six new projects available to view online through our website. These new collections demonstrate the diverse variety of archives the EAP digitises, and includes eighteenth-century Brazilian royal orders, artwork and photography by Lalit Mohan Sen, colonial archives, Coptic manuscripts and prayer scrolls, war photography, and historic newspapers.”

Ultimate Classic Rock: Introducing UltimatePrince. Com . “We’re launching the site today with more than 450 stories already published, each taking in-depth looks at various Prince songs, albums and important events. To make your exploring a little easier we’ve created two helpful index pages: one alphabetically listing and linking to our stories on nearly 400 of his songs, the other breaking down our features and lists on a chronological album-by-album basis.”

Carnegie Mellon University: Online Atlas of Aquatic Insects Aids Water-Quality Monitoring. “Carnegie Mellon University, working with Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH), the Stroud Water Research Center, the University of Pittsburgh, Clemson University and a set of volunteer biomonitoring organizations, led development of the new visual atlas and digital field guide. It features highly detailed images of 150 common aquatic bugs, such as mayflies, dragonflies and beetles, along with a few mussels, clams and snails of interest.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: 5 Xmarks Alternatives to Sync Bookmarks Across Devices and Browsers. “This article introduces you to some of the best alternatives to the Xmarks bookmarking tool that will help you safely sync and access your bookmarks across browsers, devices, and platforms.”

Gizmodo: How to Schedule Your Messages, Emails, and Tweets to Go at Any Time. “Thanks to the internet and all the apps and services that run on top of it, we can now ping someone on the other side of the world instantly—but that person doesn’t necessarily want to hear from you in the middle of the night. The same goes for social media sharing, because the time when inspiration strikes may not be the best time for sharing. Enter the magic of scheduling: Scheduling emails, instant messages, texts, and social media posts.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Verge: Bodies in Seats . “In May, I traveled to Florida to meet with these Facebook contractors. This article is based on interviews with 12 current and former moderators and managers at the Tampa site. In most cases, I agreed to use pseudonyms to protect the employees from potential retaliation from Facebook and Cognizant. But for the first time, three former moderators for Facebook in North America agreed to break their nondisclosure agreements and discuss working conditions at the site on the record.” I want you to read this article. At the same time I don’t want you to read this article because just reading it made me nauseated.

Devdiscourse: World Bank’s EGPS to create global platform for artisanal, small-scale mining data. “Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is a vital livelihood for over 40 million people in developing countries, particularly for those living in remote, rural areas, according to the recent 2019 State of the ASM Sector report. Although it is the most important rural non-farm activity in the developing world, the sector remains under-researched.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

The Register: Youtube Queue Chrome extension booted out of store for search engine hijacking, revealing Google’s lax dev checks . “Google has removed a Chrome extension called Youtube Queue from its official online store for violating its program policies following complaints it was hijacking users’ web searches. However, another extension called Croowila Videos Player that shares similar suspect code remains available.”

Motherboard: The CIA Spied on People Through Their Smart TVs, Leaked Documents Reveal. “Hackers at the Central Intelligence Agency, with the help of colleagues from the British spy agency MI5, developed malware to secretly spy on targets through their Samsung Smart TVs, according to new documents published by WikiLeaks.” I do not consider Wikileaks 100% credible. However, as the article notes, Samsung TVs have established security vulnerabilities and on the heels of that weird-ass malware scanning tweet yesterday, I’ve decided to include this in RB.

RESEARCH & OPINION

Futurism: New AI Generates Infinite Horrible Marketing Sites. “A new website illustrates just how good artificial intelligence has gotten at churning out almost-coherent passages of text. ‘This Marketing Blog Doesn’t Exist’ recreates that particular species of bland PR website, complete with 900-word articles about things like ‘ROI scales’ and ‘synchronicity’ crapped out by AI tools that have learned to mimic online content.” Good evening, Internet…

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