US Presidents, Texas Home Movies, DoNotPay, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 26, 2020


Library of Congress: Library of Congress Completes Digitization of 23 Early Presidential Collections. “The Library of Congress has completed a more than two decade-long initiative to digitize the papers of nearly two dozen early presidents. The Library holds the papers of 23 presidents from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge, all of which have been digitized and are now available online.”

State of Texas: Texas Film Commission, Texas Archive of the Moving Image Launch Texas Film Round-Up Online Exhibit. “The Texas Film Commission and the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) today announced the launch of Wave to the Camera, the newest online exhibit from TAMI. Wave to the Camera features edited compilations of more than 100 home movies digitized via the Texas Film Round-Up, an award-winning program that discovers, preserves, and shares the stories of Texans by digitizing and providing access to their obsolete media. Wave to the Camera is TAMI’s first exhibit for Google Arts & Culture, an immersive educational platform, and can be accessed online.”


ReviewGeek: DoNotPay’s Robot Lawyer Can Create Your Legal Contracts. “The new legal document service can create Business Contracts like Non-Disclosure Agreements, Independent Contractor Agreements, Bill of Sale, and General Business Contracts. It can always work up real estate documents like Residential Lease Agreement, Intent to Purchase Real Estate documents, and Estoppel Certificates. It can even whip up a General Affidavit, Promissory Note, or Prenuptial Agreement.” Obviously a robot lawyer is not good for everything, but it’s useful for basic stuff.

Tom’s Guide: Google Chrome is about to fix its biggest flaw — what you need to know. “On its Chromium site, Google detailed how it has been using a function called TerminateProcess to make exiting processes in the Chrome browser a lot ‘cleaner.’ That basically translates to a smoother experience and a browser that’s less prone to causing crashes in Windows 10. ”


Google Alerts does has a video option, but this might get more specific. Digital Inspiration: YouTube Email Alerts – Monitor Videos around your favorite Topics. “The YouTube Email Alerts service is similar to Google Alerts but instead of scanning the whole worldwide web, it limits the searches to videos uploaded on the YouTube website. It then sends automatic email notifications when new videos are uploaded on YouTube around your topics of interest.”


Olympic Council of Asia: Nepal NOC starts digital archive of sport. “The Nepal Olympic Committee in collaboration with the Nepal Olympic Museum have started the ‘Nepali Sports Digital Archive Project 2020-2021’ so as to document for posterity the history of sport in the country. The ambitious project is being carried out under the Olympic Solidarity Legacy Project of the International Olympic Committee which has provided a financial grant at the request of the Nepal Olympic Committee.”

Getty Blog: Rethinking Descriptions of Black Africans in Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art. “Museums have much work to do. The Black Lives Matter movement’s call for social reform extends to arts institutions, bringing focus to the need for inclusivity and equity. The ways in which we present and describe artworks in our care are central to these efforts. In the Getty Museum’s Antiquities department, we have turned our attention to artifacts that depict—or have been thought to depict—Black Africans. Recognizing that many of our descriptions and titles for these objects were inadequate, we are undertaking a review of our online collection and the terms that we use. We recently completed a first batch of updates, and offer here some insights into issues that we faced.”


Techdirt: A Major Wireless Network Flaw Is Still Being Exploited To Track User Locations. “In 2017, hackers and security researchers highlighted long-standing vulnerabilities in Signaling System 7 (SS7, or Common Channel Signalling System 7 in the US), a series of protocols first built in 1975 to help connect phone carriers around the world. While the problem isn’t new, a 2016 60 Minutes report brought wider attention to the fact that the flaw can allow a hacker to track user location, dodge encryption, and even record private conversations.”

New York Times: Why on Earth Is Someone Stealing Unpublished Book Manuscripts?. “It isn’t clear who the thief or thieves are, or even how they might profit from the scheme. High-profile authors like Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan have been targeted, along with celebrities like Ethan Hawke. But short story collections and works by little-known debut writers have been attacked as well, even though they would have no obvious value on the black market. In fact, the manuscripts do not appear to wind up on the black market at all, or anywhere on the dark web, and no ransoms have been demanded. When copies of the manuscripts get out, they just seem to vanish. So why is this happening?”


Washington Post: How Google is hurting local news. “As an example, we examined the proportion of local and national search results for ‘early voting’ that Google News returned Oct. 26, before the 2020 election. Certainly at least some people searching for that term hoped to get information about local or state early voting information. However, only 20 percent of the top 10 returned searches were from local outlets. If readers kept scrolling past the 20th result, they would eventually find local outlets. But national outlets were the most common sources returned in the top results — and therefore more likely to be clicked. In the top two results, national outlets’ stories appeared 56 percent of the time. Google News’s top pick was a national outlet almost 74 percent of the time.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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