Civil War Veterans, Pre-1945 Art Catalogues, UK Newspaper Archives, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, November 1, 2019


State Archives of North Carolina: New Additions to Civil War Digital Collection. “A selection of 12 volumes from the Soldiers’ Home Association have been added to the Civil War digital collection. These volumes document the history of medical care for veterans and the elderly around the turn of the 19th century.”

The Art Newspaper: ‘An invaluable resource’ for provenance research: German pre-1945 auction catalogues are published online. “Around 9,000 catalogues from more than 390 auction houses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland dating from 1901 to 1945 are now available online, a new resource that art-market historians and provenance researchers seeking to trace and identify Nazi-looted art say is invaluable to their work.”

Maidenhead Advertiser: Look back over hundreds of years of Advertiser and Express history in new online archive. “A digital archive launched today (Thursday) will allow people to delve into the pages of local history, some going back more than 200 years. The Baylis Media Ltd ePaper and Archive is an online portal which holds printed editions of the Advertiser from 1870, the Windsor Express from 1812 and the Slough Express from 1950.”


National Drought Mitigation Center: Database includes more types of drought planning. “The updated state planning information on the NDMC website allows users to view a U.S. map that not only shows which states have drought plans — 47 and Puerto Rico — but also shows, via color-coding, how recently the plans were created or updated, and whether the plan identifies mitigation or response actions to be taken. Layers showing which states address drought in hazard, water and climate plans also show how recently the plans were created.”

Internet Archive Blog: Weaving Books into the Web—Starting with Wikipedia. “The Internet Archive has transformed 130,000 references to books in Wikipedia into live links to 50,000 digitized Internet Archive books in several Wikipedia language editions including English, Greek, and Arabic. And we are just getting started.”


How-To Geek: Free Download: Microsoft’s Batch Rename PowerToy. “Microsoft is on a roll with Windows 10’s open-source PowerToys. The latest free tool is PowerRename, a bulk renaming tool that will let you rename many files at once right from File Explorer.”


BBC: How Silicon Valley enables online slave markets. “Drive around the streets of Kuwait and you won’t see these women. They are behind closed doors, deprived of their basic rights, unable to leave and at risk of being sold to the highest bidder. But pick up a smartphone and you can scroll through thousands of their pictures, categorised by race, and available to buy for a few thousand dollars.”

CNET: Inside the dystopian nightmare of an internet shutdown. “On Oct. 1, the Iraqi government pulled the plug on the country’s internet. With no warning, out it went like a light. Ever since, the internet, messaging services and social networks have flickered on and off like faulty bulbs. This is far from the first internet shutdown Iraq has suffered. But according to Hayder Hamzoz, CEO and founder of the Iraqi Network for Social Media, not since 2003 and the regime of Saddam Hussein has internet censorship been so severe.”


Ars Technica: Researchers unearth malware that siphoned SMS texts out of telco’s network. “Dubbed ‘Messagetap’ by researchers from the Mandiant division of security firm FireEye, the recently discovered malware infects Linux servers that route SMS messages through a telecom’s network. Once in place, Messagetap monitors the network for messages containing either a preset list of phone or IMSI numbers or a preset list of keywords”

MSN News: Citing ‘unprecedented’ surveillance, ACLU sues federal agencies over facial-recognition scans . “The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday sued the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the FBI for records detailing their use of facial-recognition software, arguing the agencies have secretly implemented a nationwide surveillance technology that threatens Americans’ privacy and civil rights.”


Arizona State University: Social media text mining can predict a company’s ‘brand personality’. “‘Brand personality scales’ have been around for many years, using consumers’ feedback to attribute human characteristics to companies. These scales, which find that Cracker Barrel is ‘wholesome’ and Sephora is ‘contemporary,’ have proven to be reliable marketing tools. Now, a team including an Arizona State University professor and IBM researchers have harnessed machine learning to accurately predict brand personality ratings by analyzing hundreds of thousands of social media posts.”

TechCrunch: Facebook is failing to prevent another human rights tragedy playing out on its platform, report warns. “A report by campaign group Avaaz examining how Facebook’s platform is being used to spread hate speech in the Assam region of North East India suggests the company is once again failing to prevent its platform from being turned into a weapon to fuel ethnic violence.” Good morning, Internet…

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