Phone Book Images, Private Search Engines, WT:Social, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 18, 2019


Library of Congress: What can you find in 1.7 million phone book images?. “The Digital Content Management Section (DCM) is excited to announce the release of over 1.7 million images scanned from the Library of Congress U.S. Telephone Directory Collection…. The original microfilm collection consists of more than 8,000 reels for 14 states, the city of Chicago, and the District of Columbia (you can read about the history of the collection here). We have made available approximately half of the entire collection, which includes 1220 reels for California, 486 for Pennsylvania, 369 for Alabama, and a thousand more.”

Privacy News Online: Introducing A search engine that cryptographically protects your privacy. “ is a new private search engine that uses cryptography to ensure that your search history cannot be tracked by anyone – even us. comes from the same privacy committed makers of Private Internet Access in partnership with GigaBlast – one of the few companies to have their own index of the internet available for search.”


Interesting Engineering: Wikipedia Co-Founder Launches Ad-Free Social Media Network to Take On Facebook, Twitter. “While WT:Social is separate from Wikipedia it’s adopting its business model, relying on donations from a small section of users to enable the social network to operate without advertisers. Since its launch in October Wales said the site has received more than 200 individual donations, underscoring how a new generation of consumers will pay for content they deem valuable. He pointed to Netflix and Spotify as two other examples.”

ZDNet: Google Chrome experiment crashes browser tabs, impacts companies worldwide. “A Google Chrome experiment has gone horribly wrong this week and ended up crashing browsers on thousands, if not more, enterprise networks for nearly two days.”


Ditch That Textbook: 20 Google Sites tips and tricks. “Google Sites provide us and our students with the ability to create beautiful web pages. There are so many other ways to use this tool. Here are 20 tips and tricks you might be surprised to know!” Nice roundup from a Twitter chat.


Ars Technica: Google search results have more human help than you think, report finds. “Google’s decades-long dominance in the search market may not be quite as organic as the company has alluded, according to The Wall Street Journal, which published a lengthy report today delving into the way Google’s black-box search process actually works.”

CNET: Google CEO cuts back biweekly meetings after rise in worker activism. “In an internal email Friday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees the company won’t be having biweekly town hall meetings anymore. Pichai said the TGIF meetings will be cut down to once a month and will focus on ‘product and business strategy’ rather than internal politics.”


Slate: Silicon Valley’s Favorite Idea for Encouraging Competition. “… data portability might not be the regulatory golden goose the private and public sectors hope it is. It’s not even a new idea: Facebook has allowed users to export their data through a ‘Download Your Information’ tool since 2010. Google Takeout has been around since 2011. Most major tech companies introduced some form of data portability in 2018 to comply with GDPR. Yet no major competitors have been built from these offerings. We sought to find out why.”

TechCrunch: ‘Magic: The Gathering’ game maker exposed 452,000 players’ account data. “The maker of Magic: The Gathering has confirmed that a security lapse exposed the data on hundreds of thousands of game players. The game’s developer, the Washington-based Wizards of the Coast, left a database backup file in a public Amazon Web Services storage bucket. But there was no password on the storage bucket, allowing anyone to access the files inside.”


Phys .org: Social media can encourage tourists to make more sustainable choices. “In tourism, social media has traditionally been used as a tool for marketing, but it can also influence our consumer behavior and to nudge us in the direction of increasingly sustainable choices. Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Southern California have analyzed the role of social media in the reduction of food waste in tourism.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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