afternoonbuzz

Don Swaim’s Book Beat, Mexican-American War, Texas Archives, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 20, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

Thanks to Esther S. for this one – I completely missed it. Ohio University: “Book Beat” airs again in Don Swaim Digital Collection. “The Ohio University Libraries’ Don Swaim Collection, featuring over 700 audio interviews of well-known authors from ‘Book Beat,’ the nationally produced CBS Radio News program, is now digitally available online—including digital transcripts of the syndicated news program. From 1982 through 1993 ‘Book Beat,’ hosted by OHIO alumnus Don Swaim (1959), ran daily snippets of the candid taped interviews of famous authors such as Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, John Irving, Ray Bradbury and many others.”

Federation of Genealogical Societies: FGS and National Park Service Announce Launch of US-Mexican War Soldier & Sailor Database. “The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Park Service’s Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park (NPS) announce the launch of the U.S.-Mexican War Soldier & Sailor database. This online, searchable database contains information for over 85,000 U.S. and Mexican veterans who served in this war. Many records include personal details, such as hair color and occupation.” Looks like the database will launch officially on January 27th.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Texas State Library and Archives Commission: New Online: Recent Updates to Finding Aids and Digital Images Available Online. “As our archives staff work on an ongoing basis to arrange, preserve, describe and make available to the public the materials under our care, we will spotlight new additions to the website in a regular feature from Out of the Stacks. The column will list new and revised finding aids recently made available online. We will close out the piece with a list of fresh uploads to the Texas Digital Archive, our repository of electronic items.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: Searching for the Right YouTube Channel Gets Easier With These 5 Sites. “YouTube has got a lot better but it’s still tough to search for the best channels. You can find a YouTube channel without knowing the name but it’s often thanks to serendipity or recommendations. YouTube’s own algorithm that suggests videos isn’t perfect either. So, how do you take control of your own YouTube search? Master YouTube’s advanced search to begin with. Or, take the lazy option of using the recommendation sites below.”

Flickr Blog: What’s ahead for 2020. ” We’re proud of the year’s successes, but we’re particularly excited for what lies ahead in 2020. Now that our system migration is truly behind us, we can focus even more of our efforts on making Flickr the best place for photographers to share and connect.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

ESPN: How the internet helped crack the Astros’ sign-stealing case. “During MLB’s three-month investigation, the public scrutiny was unprecedented, a baseball scandal — itself about technology — unfolding in real time, with more incriminating evidence seemingly uncovered on Twitter by the hour. Not just fans and journalists but players — and league officials — noticed. The internet’s social media sleuthing skills played a crucial role in shaping the investigation, dramatically reducing the time the league needed to comb through video for evidence, league sources tell ESPN. While the activity online shot a jolt of adrenaline into the baseball fan community, it was also helping to shape MLB’s first uniquely 21st century scandal.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Rolling Stone: Hackers Are Coming for the 2020 Election — And We’re Not Ready. “Four years ago, for an embarrassingly modest price, Russia pulled off one of the more audacious acts of election interference in modern history. The Internet Research Agency, the team of Kremlin-backed online propagandists, spent $15 million to $20 million and wreaked havoc on the psyche of the American voter, creating the impression that behind every Twitter avatar or Facebook profile was a Russian troll. Russian intelligence agents carried out the digital version of Watergate, infiltrating the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, stealing tens of thousands of emails, and weaponizing them in the days and weeks before the election.”

New York Times: The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It. “Until recently, Hoan Ton-That’s greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump’s distinctive yellow hair on their own photos. Then Mr. Ton-That — an Australian techie and onetime model — did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Next Web: Google’s new AI language model can comprehend entire books . “One of the prime challenges of a language-based AI model is to understand the context of the surrounding content. To solve this problem, Google has introduced a new model called Reformer, which understands the context of 1 million lines using just 16GB space. The company built this to solve problems of its old model Transformer — a neural network that compares words in a paragraph to each other to understand the relationship between them.”

New Yorker: The Erasure of Political History at the National Archives . “The chances of factual truth surviving the onslaught of power are very slim indeed; it is always in danger of being maneuvered out of the world not only for a time but, potentially, forever. Facts and events are infinitely more fragile things than axioms, discoveries, theories—even the most wildly speculative ones—produced by the human mind; they occur in the field of the ever-changing affairs of men, in whose flux there is nothing more permanent than the admittedly relative permanence of the human mind’s structure. Once they are lost, no rational effort will ever bring them back.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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