FamilySearch, Twitter, WordPress Security, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, February 27, 2020


FamilySearch: Where Are Your Ancestors From?. “Find out where your ancestors are from—and ultimately where you are from—using FamilySearch’s new Where Am I From? activity. See your family’s movement on a map, discover the countries your ancestors lived in, and explore the heritage and traditions of those countries.”

TechCrunch: Twitter opens its ‘Hide Replies’ feature to developers. “Last November, Twitter rolled out its Hide Replies feature to all users worldwide. The feature, largely designed to lessen the power of online trolls to disrupt conversations, lets users decide which replies to their tweets are placed behind an extra click. Today, Twitter is making Hide Replies available to its developer community, allowing for the creation of tools that help people hide the replies to their tweets faster and more efficiently, says Twitter.”


MakeUseOf: 6 WordPress Plugins to Secure Your Website From Hackers. “Plugins are basic add-ons to your WordPress website, giving you extra functionality. Some customize the look of your posts. Some boast search engine optimization features. And there are some great plugins to make sure your website is safe from hackers, bots, and malware. Here are some of the best WordPress plugins you should need to protect your site from cyberattacks.”

ODSC: Top MOOCs for Data Science in 2020. “Last year I wrote an article on this topic and I wanted to update it for the new year—2020. As I teach introductory data science courses at UCLA, I embrace new learning resources with eyes wide open. I’m always looking for quality education options to recommend to my students after they run through my process. All the previous reported resources are still very good choices. In this article, I wanted to throw a number of additional MOOC (massive open online courses) resources on the table, and also provide a short-list of top-shelf online data science master degree options.” Not much annotation, but a good jumping-off point.


Vulture: Garbage Language: Why do corporations speak the way they do?. “Garbage language isn’t unique to start-ups; it’s endemic to business itself, and the form it takes tends to reflect the operating economic metaphors of its day. A 1911 book by Frederick Winslow Taylor called The Principles of Scientific Management borrows its language from manufacturing; men, like machines, are useful for their output and productive capacity. The conglomeration of companies in the 1950s and ’60s required organizations to address alienated employees who felt faceless amid a sea of identical gray-suited toilers, and managers were encouraged to create a climate conducive to human growth and to focus on the self-actualization needs of their employees. In the 1980s, garbage language smelled strongly of Wall Street: leverage, stakeholder, value-add. The rise of big tech brought us computing and gaming metaphors: bandwidth, hack, the concept of double-clicking on something, the concept of talking off-line, the concept of leveling up.” Long but interesting.

Alaska Native News: Museum Leads Effort to Preserve Alutiiq Family Photos. “To assist Alutiiq families with the preservation of their paper photographs the Alutiiq Museum is leading a Community Photo Archive project. In the coming months, museum staff members will work with tribal councils and community members to identify Alutiiq family photos, scan the images, and create digital copies to their owners. Staff members will invite families to deposit digital copies with the museum, but sharing is not a requirement for participation. This one-year effort is funded by the US Bureau of Indian Affairs with assistance from the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak.”


Mashable: Fake copyright claim takes down Twitch’s biggest political streamers during Democratic debate. “A fake copyright infringement claim resulted in the removal of some of Twitch’s biggest political channels. On Tuesday night, a number of popular left-leaning Twitch streamers found their channels shut down during their livestream coverage of the South Carolina Democratic Primary Debate.”


MIT News: MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts yields new open-access model. “The MIT Libraries has negotiated an innovative open-access agreement with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) that allows MIT authors to make ACM articles freely available at no cost to them. It is the libraries’ first publisher contract completed under the principles for open scholarship in the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts, released in October 2019, and the agreement aligns with all elements in the framework.”

Chicago Tribune: Commentary: Fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral can be ‘saved’ another way: Digitally . “New reporting about last spring’s devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris — and, specifically, how the world-renowned structure is still at risk of collapse — offers yet another reminder of the fragility of humankind’s greatest creations and the stark reality that centuries of culture and history can be wiped out in minutes.”


This is for all you genealogists, from BoingBoing: Play 17th-century London Death Roulette. “Matt Round’s Death Roulette is a game that randomly selects for you one of the many deaths recorded in 17th-century London.” Good evening, Internet…

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