WWII Special Forces, Cassette Tapes, Digital Impermanence, More: Monday Evening ResearchBuzz, August 16, 2021


The News, Portsmouth: New website built in memory of the COPP commandos who trained at Hayling Island from 1942-45. “SERVICEMEN who fought in Burma often claimed they felt they were the ‘Forgotten Army’ with all the attention on liberating Europe. But many special forces units like COPP – Combined Operations Pilotage Parties who trained on Hayling Island – were not even widely known about in the first place.”

Boing Boing: Photos of vintage cassette tapes. “[Tapedeck] collects high-resolution images of analog tape cassettes and presents them neatly for your enjoyment. (As blogged here at least once before, there’s also Vintage Cassettes, which has high-resolution images of analog tape cassetes in their original packaging). Now do VHS tapes!” I remember around 1981 carrying my cheap boom box around everywhere because I was trying to record an elusive Kool & The Gang song.


ABC Future Tense (Australia): Link rot, pay walls and the perils of preservation. “The cliché is that once something goes online, it’s up there forever. But the truth is that the Internet has a memory problem and some of what we’re losing – or could potentially lose – has significance and value. While archivists struggle with the challenge of preserving our digital record, the rise of pay walls present a particular problem.” This show will include participants from Internet Archive, Harvard Law School, and International Archives of Australia. I looked at a couple of previous shows and unfortunately did not see any evidence of captions.


Poynter: PolitiFact partners with Arizona State University, expands footprint in the heart of the nation’s capital. “The Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact will move its offices to Arizona State University’s campus in the heart of Washington, D.C., in a unique collaboration that will expand training in fact-checking journalism, create a new website to fact-check Arizona politicians, and grow Poynter’s teaching footprint in the nation’s capital.”


New York Times: Culture Change and Conflict at Twitter. “Mr. [Dantley] Davis, 43, has played a key role in a behind-the-scenes effort over the past two years to remake Twitter’s culture. The company had long been slow to build products, and under pressure from investors and users, executives landed on a diagnosis: Twitter’s collaborative environment had calcified, making workers reluctant to criticize one another. Mr. Davis, the company believed, was one of the answers to that problem. The turmoil that followed revealed the trade-offs and conflicts that arise when companies attempt dramatic cultural shifts and put the onus on hard-nosed managers to make that change happen.”

PR Newswire: Getty Images Partners with UNCF to Create a HBCU Scholarship (PRESS RELEASE). “Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, and UNCF (United Negro College Fund), have announced the creation of the UNCF-Getty Images Scholarship for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program will provide scholarships to students attending HBCUs across the United States and will be funded by revenue created by the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs, that aims to support the digitization of the invaluable visual history of HBCUs.”


The Markup: How Private Is My VPN?. “To get a sense of exactly what sorts of information VPNs are grabbing, The Markup examined the privacy policies of 14 popular VPN companies. We also ran their websites through Blacklight, our tool for detecting third-party trackers. And we searched through our Citizen Browser data for VPN Facebook advertisements to see not only how VPNs are marketing themselves on Facebook but also how they’re making use of that platform’s personal-data-driven advertising machine.”

JD Supra: Supreme Court Finds Google’s Copying of Oracle’s APIs a Fair Use. “A recent Supreme Court decision has finally put an end to the longstanding fight between Oracle and Google concerning Google’s use of Oracle’s copyrighted Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The Supreme Court’s decision held that, contrary to the decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals which was discussed in our previous alert, Google’s use of Oracle’s APIs was protected by the copyright defense of Fair Use. This decision is likely to create greater opportunities for developers to use copyrighted API code.” The Google/Oracle conflict has been going on for a long time and if you weren’t paying attention back in 2008, you might find yourself a bit in the weeds. This is a good overview/explainer.


Wired: Apple and Google still have an LGBTQ problem . “Apple’s ‘clarification’ of its policies around hookup apps, its missteps regarding queer teenagers, and Google’s new rules are just another example of why Silicon Valley should get out of the business of regulating sexually explicit materials. The vague guidance and inconsistent standards used against apps harm LGBTQ people, especially those who are using dating apps to find community, love, or plain ol’ hook-ups in countries with explicitly anti-LGBTQ laws.”

Yale News: ‘Likes’ and ‘shares’ teach people to express more outrage online. “Social media platforms like Twitter amplify expressions of moral outrage over time because users learn such language gets rewarded with an increased number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares,’ a new Yale University study shows. And these rewards had the greatest influence on users connected with politically moderate networks.” Good evening, Internet…

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