afternoonbuzz

George III Military Maps, Florida Muster Rolls, Abkhazia Archives, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 31, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

The Guardian: George III’s vast collection of military maps goes online. “George III may never have left the south of England or fought on a battlefield, but he explored the world through a vast collection of military maps that are now being made available online, offering extraordinary insight into the art of warfare and mapping.”

State Archives of Florida: Florida Militia Muster Rolls, 1826-1900. This link goes to a Facebook Page post. “Muster rolls are rosters of officers and men in military units and can be useful for tracing relatives who do not appear in other traditional genealogical sources, such as federal or state census records. Florida Memory recently digitized about 600 documents from Florida militia companies dating from 1826 to 1900.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

JAMnews: How Abkhazia is trying to restore its historic archive which burned down 27 years ago during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. “The process of restoring files of the national archive of Abkhazia, which burned to the ground on the night of October 22, 1992 during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, has picked up speed. On both sides of the conflict, many believe that the building was then deliberately set on fire by the Georgian military. Although on the Georgian side, there are many who refute this. One way or another, this tragedy affected the whole of Abkhaz society, and to this day, many there speak of a keen sense of loss.”

BetaNews: LibreOffice 6.4 offers better performance, improved help and a QR code generator. “LibreOffice 6.4 is a major point release — the last in the 6.x product line — and comes with the promise of improved performance along with several new universal features and the usual mix of minor changes and improvements to individual applications within the suite.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

KATC: Tulane University acquires archives of renowned New Orleans author Anne Rice. “Tulane University’s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library has acquired the complete archives of famed best-selling New Orleans author Anne Rice thanks to a gift from Stuart Rose and the Stuart Rose Family Foundation.”

AVL Today: The Asheville Art Museum takes Black Mountain College online. “The Asheville Art Museum (2 S. Pack Square) just received a major grant of $163,694 to create the Digital BMC Collection and Interconnective Timeline, which will allow them to digitize their collection of Black Mountain College materials to make it public + accessible.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

EFF: Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers. “An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information (PII). Four main analytics and marketing companies were discovered to be receiving information such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers.”

CNET: Justice Department targets robocalls with two major court cases. “The Justice Department’s first enforcement of a civil complaint against carriers for facilitating robocalls on their networks saw ‘two major actions’ filed in courts Tuesday morning. The calls, originating from India, have spoofed caller IDs from numbers like 911, Social Security and the IRS, and are causing ‘devastating financial harm,’ Assistant Attorney General Jody H. Hunt of the Civil Division said in a press call Tuesday afternoon.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Chronicle Review: Is Email Making Professors Stupid?. “Donald Knuth is one of the world’s most famous living computer scientists. He’s known for his pioneering efforts to bring rigorous mathematical analysis to the design of computer algorithms. An emeritus professor at Stanford University, he’s currently writing the fourth volume of his classic book series, The Art of Computer Programming, which he’s been working on since the early 1960s. Given Knuth’s renown, many people seek him out. If you’re one of those people, however, you’ll end up disappointed.”

The Verge: FTC says the tech behind audio deepfakes is getting better. “Rapid progress in voice cloning technology is making it harder to tell real voices from synthetic ones. But while audio deepfakes — which can trick people into giving up sensitive information — are a growing problem, there are some good and legitimate uses for the technology as well, a group of experts told an FTC workshop this week.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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