WWII Prisoners, Historic Spanish Missions, Chrome Extensions, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, January 29, 2020


New to me, from the UK National Archives: War behind the wire: The story of allied civilians in occupied Europe during the Second World War. “On 16 January 2018 I wrote an introductory blog on the project to catalogue the series of records WO 416 consisting of an estimated 200,000 records of individuals captured in German occupied territory during the Second World War. These individuals were primarily Allied service men (including Canadians, South Africans, Australians and New Zealanders) but there were also several hundred British and Allied civilians and a few female nurses. Two years on, with the huge support of our on site volunteers, we have so far catalogued more than 110,000 records relating to individuals. This blog, the fourth in the series, focuses on the records of those held in Ilags.”

Another December one I missed, from Florida Museum: Mission accessible: Florida’s historic Spanish missions go digital. “Researchers, educators, students and the curious can explore the history of Florida’s Spanish missions via a new online database….the Comparative Mission Archaeology Portal includes digitized artifacts, image galleries, personal narratives and details of excavation sites.”


The Register: Google halts paid-for Chrome extension updates amid fraud surge: Web Store in lockdown ‘due to the scale of abuse’ . “On Saturday, Google temporarily disabled the ability to publish paid Chrome apps, extensions, and themes in the Chrome Web Store due to a surge in fraud.”

TechCrunch: All users can now access Facebook’s tool for controlling which apps and sites can share data for ad-targeting. “When the tool was initially announced in 2018, it had a much more user-friendly name — ‘Clear History.’ But Facebook believed that could confuse users who may think that the tool had something to do with wiping out their Facebook data published to the social network itself. The new name is meant to better clarify what kind of data is getting deleted — ‘Off-Facebook Activity.'”

Engadget: Google launches #AndroidHelp hashtag for tech support on Twitter. “Google will now answer your Android-related problems on Twitter, and you don’t even have to slide into its DMs. The company has announced that it’s now assisting users who tweet their issues with the hashtag #AndroidHelp.”


BetaNews: Official how to switch from Windows 7 to Ubuntu Linux tutorial now available. “Understandably, many people are scared of Windows 10 — Microsoft’s data collection through extreme telemetry can make it feel like your own computer is spying on you. In that case, a Linux-based operating system should be considered. Today, Canonical releases an official guide for those thinking of switching to Ubuntu from Windows 7. Not only does the guide address potential hardware incompatibilities, but it provides a handy list of popular Windows software and its comparable Linux alternatives.”


The Bottom Line: Dusting Off The UCSB Cylinder Audio Archives. “Tucked away on the third floor mountain side of the library is the Cylinder Audio Archive, a carefully curated collection of over 19,000 historic phonograph cylinders. Invented by Thomas Edison in the late 1800s — long before CDs, cassette tapes, and vinyl records — phonograph cylinders are the earliest commercial recording medium. These hollow cylindrical objects are roughly the size of a soda can and function similarly to vinyl records, with audio engraved as grooves that can be played by a needle.”

Tubefilter: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter Try To Crack Down On Coronavirus Conspiracies. “According to a new report from the Washington Post, people on Facebook have spread claims that the U.S. government created the virus or bought a patent for it, and have suggested the virus is a form of population control (again, created/deployed by the government). Twitter users are sharing racist claims that Chinese dietary habits sparked the virus. YouTube videos making similar claims are popping up, with one reportedly reaching at least 430K views.”


CNET: Facebook’s rivals reportedly contacted by DOJ as part of antitrust probe. “The US Department of Justice has reportedly been setting up interviews with Facebook’s rivals as part of an antitrust investigation into the world’s largest social network, a sign that the agency is moving forward with its probe.”

The Next Web: Report: Tinder’s new panic button is sharing your data with Facebook and YouTube. “As first reported by Gizmodo, the dating company is reportedly sharing users’ data through Noonlight with ad-tech companies. This safety feature — which is similar to that used by Uber — was made possible through a collaboration with Noonlight, a free personal safety app that Tinder users will have to download in order to activate the panic button. Reporters at Gizmodo downloaded Noonlight, monitored its network traffic and found various major names from the ad-tech industry including Facebook and YouTube, among some ‘unnamed’ third parties.”


Phys .org: Study points to ‘unintended consequences’ of heavy data surveillance in rugby. “A ‘Big Brother’ data culture in rugby driven by performance management threatens to create heightened distrust, anxiety and insecurity among players, according to a new study. The qualitative research, based on interviews with 10 players, coaches and analysts at an English Premiership club, suggests that data culture in the professional game can have unintended negative consequences on team morale.”

Times of India: UGC adds 1,000 ‘quality academic journals’ to its list. “The University Grants Commission (UGC)’s ‘Consortium of Academic and Research Ethics (Care)’ has so far added around 1,000 Indian academic journals to its list since it was formed last November, and the list is growing, said Bhushan Patwardhan, vice-chairman of UGC. He said the UGC was seeking to add more ‘credible Indian journals’ to its list under Care. Patwardhan, who was in the city recently, said Care has stakeholders from across fields such as statutory bodies, academies and councils to review the journals every quarter.” Good morning, Internet…

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