Historical Wildlife Illustrations, British Intelligence, Slack, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 24, 2021


Wildlife Conservation Society: WCS Releases Archive of Stunning, Forgotten Historical Wildlife Illustrations. “The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) released to the public a digital collection of some 2,200 forgotten, historical scientific wildlife illustrations from its Department of Tropical Research (DTR), which it ran from 1916 to 1965. The stunning illustrations include montages of otherworldly deepwater fish, stately portraits of sloths, strange insects, brightly colored birds, snakes, frogs, and other wildlife. Many of the illustrations seem almost whimsical, yet are scientifically accurate.”

PR Newswire: Gale Debuts New Digital Archive Series on British Intelligence (PRESS RELEASE). “Twentieth-Century British Intelligence, An Intelligence Empire brings together previously classified documents from The U.K. National Archives that offer new viewpoints on the machinery of British intelligence, decolonization and global policy and strategy, including important insight into international politics and diplomacy in the 20th century. Available on the Gale Primary Sources platform, this never-before-digitized collection gives scholars and researchers access to thousands of top secret files that provide historical context on the history of British intelligence.” Gale, so not free, obviously…


Protocol: WhatsApp for Work: Slack is turning into a full-on messaging app. “Starting on Wednesday, any Slack user will be able to direct message any other Slack user. The new system is called Connect DMs, and works a bit like the messaging apps and buddy lists of old: Users send an invite to anyone via their work email address, and once the recipient accepts their new contact is added to their Slack sidebar. The conversations are tied to the users’ organizations, but exist in a separate section of the Slack app itself.”

Google Workspace Updates: Find files shared with you using updated search operators in Google Drive. “We’re updating how some search operators work in Google Drive to make finding shared files easier. This includes adding new search operators and changing the behavior of some existing search operators. You’ll still be able to perform all the same searches, just the operators you’ll use for them may change.”


Bustle: How To Add Closed Captions To TikTok Videos. “Because TikTok does not yet have an automated closed captioning function, creators have to input the text themselves. While it might sound grueling, there are a few easy ways to add closed captioning to your videos and help make them accessible.”


Boing Boing: Take a strange trip through r/QuarterLand, if you dare. “Exploring r/QuarterLand feels like drifting off into a fever dream, one that veers into a full-on nightmare at times. The subreddit’s demented community of 4,000 people (which I admit, I am a part of) seems to have an unspoken understanding of the specific flavor of the content’s strangeness. Beware: the further one ventures through the QuarterLand page, the more they will stray from their sense of reality.”


InfoSecurity Magazine: Forex Broker Leaks Billions of Customer Records Online. “Over 20TB of sensitive customer data has been accidentally leaked online by a popular online trading broker, after it misconfigured a cloud database. Researchers at reviews site WizCase spotted the Elasticsearch server left wide open without any encryption or password protection.”

Vice: Hobby Lobby Exposed 138GB of Data. “Hobby Lobby, the American arts and crafts giant that also happened to purchase thousands of ancient artifacts looted from modern-day Iraq, exposed a large amount of data online, including customer names, phone numbers, physical and email addresses, and the last four digits of their payment card, as well as source code for the company’s app, according to a security researcher.”


The Register: Vietnam pursues ten-year AI plan, aspires to crack world’s top 50 for R&D by 2030. “Vietnam has set off in pursuit of a ten-year plan to become a middle power in the field of artificial intelligence. The plan is extensive, but modest. By 2025 the nation hopes AI is ‘an important technology of Viet Nam’ and ‘among the top four countries in the ASEAN and in the group of 60 world’s leading countries in research, development and application of AI’.”

ABA Journal: High tech can heighten discrimination; here are some policy recommendations for its ethical use. “From federal surveillance of social justice protests to facial recognition technology that results in inordinately high false positives for certain demographic groups, recent surveillance trends have deep historical roots and troubling future implications for traditionally marginalized groups. These trends threaten our core constitutional values, democratic principles and the rule of law.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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