Air Transport Auxiliary, California Land Grant Maps, Google, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, October 8, 2019


Maidenhead Advertiser: New website on White Waltham’s Air Transport Auxiliary launched. “Maidenhead Heritage Centre’s free online resource showcases more than 130 logbooks, hundreds of photos and other documents about the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), which was based in White Waltham. It would ferry military aircraft between airfields and was notable for letting women pilot planes when they were barred from doing so in the RAF.”

California Secretary of State: California State Archives Digitizes its Complete, “Diseños Collection” of Hand-Drawn Spanish and Mexican Land Grant Maps. “This collection contains images of 493 hand-drawn sketch maps that were originally created from 1827-1846. The hand-drawn sketch maps, or diseños, were used by the Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. governments to demonstrate land grant boundaries for individuals…. The diseños in the State Archives’ collection are complete and accurate copies of the original hand-drawn maps and were created in the 1860s as directed by the California Legislature. This is the first time that the State Archives’ collection has been digitized and available online in full color.”


Search Engine Journal: Google is Testing Search Results Without URLs . “Google has slowly been moving away from showing full URLs since the introduction of breadcrumbs a few months ago. Now it seems Google is testing the impact of removing URLs altogether, to the point of not even showing the domain name.” If Google decides to do this I hope it’s done an outstanding job of removing sketchy/misleading sites from its search results…

IFRC Climate Centre: IFRC joins forces with social media giant TikTok to recruit climate volunteers. “The [International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies] last month joined forces with TikTok, regarded as the world’s leading social-media platform for short-form video, to engage a new generation of humanitarians to help end the climate crisis.”

Variety: Twitch’s Latest Music Channel Wants to Put Gamers to Sleep. “Twitch has teamed up with Berlin-based generative music startup Endel for a new channel that aims to lull gamers and other Twitch viewers to sleep. Endel’s new ‘Insomnia’ Twitch channel plays 24 hours of music specifically designed to improve the sleep of its listeners.”


Search Engine Land: A eulogy for Mapquest. “Earlier this week Mapquest was sold by corporate parent Verizon to System1, an ad-tech company you’ve probably never heard of for an undisclosed amount, which was ‘not material enough for Verizon to file paperwork.’ That’s a metaphor for how far Mapquest has fallen since its heyday as the dominant online mapping site roughly a decade or so ago.”

Western Michigan University: WMU grant to digitally preserve Gilmore Car Museum, Richland library historic collections; set regional pilot program. “Western Michigan University received one of five state grants to digitize materials from the Gilmore Car Museum and the Richland Community Library, providing broader access to these special and historic collections and guiding future regional partnerships to make digital collections available across the country.”

Slate: What We Lose When We Lose Instagram’s Activity Feed. “For those previously unaware of the tab’s existence (which is, admittedly, most users, and is part of the reason Instagram seems to be getting rid of it in the first place), clicking the heart icon at the bottom of the app would bring you to an activity feed, where you could then click the word Following to see a stream of activity from everyone you follow. It might show you what comments people were leaving, who had begun following which accounts, and upon which photos people had bestowed an ever-coveted heart.”


Ubergizmo: Hackers Modify Chrome And Firefox To Track Secure Web Traffic. “There is a reason why companies like Google are trying to push for more websites to use HTTPS is because it helps to secure your web traffic. It helps to prevent attackers from interfering with the data transferred between the website and your browser. Unfortunately, a report from Kaspersky has revealed that Russian hackers might have found a way to track secure web traffic.”


The MIT Press Reader: Algorithms Are Redrawing the Space for Cultural Imagination. “…the promised salvation of algorithmic theology stubbornly remains in the distant future: the clunky, disjointed implementation of the computational layer on cultural life leaves much yet to be desired. Algorithms still get it wrong far too often to make a believable case for transcendent truth.”

CBC: Stoney Nakoda word collection helps preserve language for future generations. “Stoney Nakoda elder Terry Rider leans forward and carefully pronounces a Stoney word into a microphone. It’s a big responsibility for him and the four others gathered in one of several booths in a back room at the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino west of Calgary. The recordings and spellings they provide will be used by future generations on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, keeping the language alive in that community.”

Boing Boing: Neural net-generated prompts for Inktober. “It’s Inkotober, when ‘artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month.’ In a fun experiment, Janelle Shane trained a neural net with prior Inktober prompts and picked out some promising concepts like ‘ornery beach sheep’ and ‘BUG IN HUMAN SHAPE.'” Good morning, Internet…

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