National Library of Australia: Australian Libraries Join Forces to Build National Digital Collection. “Australia’s national, state and territory libraries have come together in a world-first collaboration to build a national digital collection, with the new national edeposit service (NED) launching this week. For more than 100 years, publishers have been legally required to deposit published works in Australian libraries. With the creation of NED, Australian libraries now have the digital infrastructure to preserve Australia’s documentary heritage for future generations, in the same way they always have for print.”
Launched last month: the Archive of Political Emails. From the about page: “The Archive of Political Emails was established in July 2019. It contains 14,348 emails from political candidates, elected officials, PACs, non-profits, NGOs and other entities that shape the political debate.”
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
TechCrunch: Verizon is selling Tumblr to WordPress parent, Automattic. “Six years after Yahoo purchased Tumblr for north of $1 billion, its parent corporation is selling the once dominant blogging platform. WordPress owner Automattic Inc. has agreed to take the service off of Verizon’s hands. Terms of the deal are undisclosed, but the number is ‘nominal,’ compared to its original asking price, per an article in The Wall Street Journal.” Axios is reporting that it was less than $20 million. From $1 billion purchase by Yahoo to reportedly less than $20 million. And just to make this as fun as possible, I’ll note that the sale price of Tumblr was apparently less than Marissa Mayer’s severance pay of $23 million.
Tubefilter: Students Can Now Snag Three Free Months Of YouTube Premium And YouTube Music. “Current students at higher education instutitions can now get three months of YouTube Premium or YouTube Music Premium for free. Those who want to snag the deal must pick the service of their choice and sign up for YouTube’s already-discounted student plan ($4.99 per month for Music, $6.99 per month for Premium). Once they’ve signed on, their first three months are free.”
Route Fifty: Census Bureau Begins to Ramp Up Field Operations for 2020 Count. “The first sizable field operation of the 2020 census is getting underway, with the U.S. Census Bureau planning to dispatch about 40,000 workers to help verify and update a master list of addresses the agency will use when it begins to actually conduct the population count.”
ReviewGeek: Everything You Need to Convert Your Cassette Tapes to Digital. “Like all analog formats, cassette tapes decay over time. In fact, it’s likely yours have already lost some fidelity. If you want to save those old mixtapes and home recordings, it’s best to digitize them right away. Thankfully, this is an easy process. You don’t have to be a computer whiz or an audiophile to follow this simple guide. And you shouldn’t have to spend any more than $25 on this project (it’ll probably cost even less).”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
EGM: The Uncertain Future of Video Game History. “In April 2015, P.T. became the most high-profile casualty of digital distribution in recent memory. Released in August 2014 as a PlayStation 4 exclusive ‘playable teaser’ for Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro’s Silent Hills, P.T. became a phenomenon in its own right. Critics showered the brief horror experience with accolades, and YouTubers churned out hundreds of reaction videos. Then, in the wake of a highly public falling out between Kojima and Konami, the publisher cancelled Silent Hills and eventually removed P.T. from the PlayStation Store. Players who didn’t already have a copy downloaded to their consoles lost access to the title forever.” Fascinating deep dive.
New York Times: How Facebook Is Changing to Deal With Scrutiny of Its Power. ” Senator Elizabeth Warren has called for the breakup of big tech companies like Facebook. Regulators have opened investigations into Facebook’s power in social networking. Even one of Facebook’s own founders has laid out a case for why the company needs to be split up. Now the world’s biggest social network has started to modify its behavior — in both pre-emptive and defensive ways — to deal with those threats.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
Mashable: Hackers can ransomware your fancy digital camera. “Not even your precious memories are safe from hackers. That much was made clear at the annual DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas, where a security researcher demonstrated just how easy it is to remotely encrypt a digital camera with ransomware. And once that happens, you can say goodbye to all your photos — unless you pay up.”
Motherboard: Google Hackers Found 10 Ways to Hack an iPhone Without Touching It. “While the iPhone is one of the most secure consumer devices on the market, it’s certainly not infallible. Security researcher Ian Beer drove that point home just about a year ago when he found 30 different iOS vulnerabilities while working for Project Zero, Google’s team of elite hackers tasked with finding vulnerabilities in competitors’ (and Google) products. Project Zero has returned with a new report by researcher Natalie Silvanovich highlighting 10 new ways that the iPhone can be covertly compromised by hackers.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
Tech Xplore: An algorithm to detect outside influences on the media. “Researchers at EPFL’s Distributed Information Systems Laboratory (LSIR) have come up with a way to make the news industry more transparent. Their initiative, Media Observatory, maps out the Swiss and international media landscape through the topics that local media outlets choose to cover. It then uses those choices to identify possible outside influences on the outlets.”
Ars Technica: YouTube should stop recommending garbage videos to users. “Ostensibly, YouTube’s recommendation algorithms are politically neutral. However, they’re optimized to boost ‘engagement,’ and in practice that means promoting videos with extremist and conspiratorial points of view. In Brazil, that has meant bringing a cadre of far-right social media stars to prominence, ultimately helping them gain power in national politics.” Good morning, Internet…
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