Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Art Auction Data, Facebook, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, October 12, 2021


Hill Museum and Manuscript Library: Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) Creates New Database to Assist Scholars of Understudied Manuscript Traditions. “The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John’s University has developed a new database to support and enhance the study of understudied manuscript traditions. Created as part a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), HMML Authority File is an open-access database which establishes accurate and consistent data (‘authorities’) for the names of persons, places, works, organizations, and families related to the manuscripts and artwork in HMML Reading Room and HMML Museum, which provide free access to the collections of more than 800 libraries worldwide.”

BNN Bloomberg: A New Database Could Make It Easier to Successfully Invest in Art. “On the face of it, the database is inside baseball for an already inside crowd. How many people could possibly care who the underbidder was for Balthus’s 1939 Etude pour Portrait de Thérèse in 2005? (That would be the Geneva dealer Marc Blondeau, for anyone counting.) But in digitizing a quarter-century of records, [Josh] Baer has built a powerful tool for sifting data that was once the exclusive purview of dealers, advisers, and auction houses.” As you might imagine, access to this database is not free.


Associated Press: Facebook unveils new social media controls to protect young users. “Facing heavy criticism that its platforms harm young users, Facebook has announced plans to launch features that ‘nudge’ teens away from harmful content and encourage them to take breaks on its popular app Instagram. The Menlo Park, California-based Facebook is also planning to introduce new controls for adults of teens on an optional basis so that parents or guardians can supervise what their teens are doing online.”

TechCrunch: Google pulls ‘stalkerware’ ads that promoted phone spying apps. “Google has pulled several ‘stalkerware’ ads that violated its policies by promoting apps that encouraged prospective users to spy on their spouses’ phone. These consumer-grade spyware apps are often marketed to parents wishing to monitor their child’s calls, messages, apps, photos and location, often under the guise of protecting against predators. But these apps, which are often designed to be installed surreptitiously and without the device owner’s consent, have been repurposed by abusers to spy on the phones of their spouses.”

Business Insider: Facebook says it will ban sales of the Amazon rainforest after an investigation found plots of land were illegally sold on the platform. “In February, the BBC investigation “Our World: Selling the Amazon” uncovered that people were illegally selling plots of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest on Facebook Marketplace. Now, Facebook is ‘announcing measures to curb attempts to sell land in ecological conservation areas within the Amazon rainforest on Facebook Marketplace,’ the company said in a blog post on Friday.”


CNET: Delete yourself from the internet: 6 ways to get off the grid. “If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely your personal information is available to the public. And by ‘public’ I mean everyone everywhere. So, how can deleting yourself from the internet stop companies from getting ahold of your info? Short answer: It can’t. Unfortunately, you can never completely remove yourself from the internet, but there are ways to minimize your digital footprint, which would lower the chances of your personal data getting out there. Here are some ways to do that. We’ll update these tips periodically.”

Make Tech Easier: 12 Chrome Flags to Boost Your Browsing. “Some Chrome flags are semi-functional, others are obscure things designed for the highly tech-savvy, while there are some that don’t really do much at all. So we’ve sifted through the crowd and picked out the Chrome flags that will actually have a big and positive impact on your browsing experience.”


Daily Nous: The Philosopher’s Archive in the Digital Age: David Lewis and His Correspondence (guest post) . “‘There are both intellectual and practical questions here. On the intellectual side, a major question is how the medium of email affects the communication and discussion of philosophical ideas… On the practical side… how do we approach the job of preserving a philosopher’s emails after her death, assuming there is sufficient scholarly interest in her correspondence?’ These questions are among those raised by Helen Beebee (University of Manchester) and Anthony Fisher (University of Washington) in the following guest post*, in which they describe some of their work organizing and publishing the correspondence of David Lewis….” The asterisk appears to link to the “About” page for the Daily Nous, so it’s not a specific disclaimer.

Engadget: 15 years of Google Docs, and where the next 15 might take us. “15 years ago, if you were writing a document, chances are you were doing it in Microsoft Word. Part of the company’s wildly successful Office suite, Word was the de-facto option for drafting text, whether you were an author, an office worker, a student, a teacher… you get the point. But on October 11th, 2006, Google officially launched Google Docs and Spreadsheets in beta.”


Washington Post: Hacktivists are back. “Hacktivists are back in the public spotlight, nearly a decade after groups like Anonymous and LulzSec tore through the Internet and wreaked havoc on everyone from Sony to the U.S. Senate. In places including the United States, Iran and Belarus, hackers aiming to further political goals have gone after companies and organizations perceived as right-wing, the surveillance industry and even authoritarian governments.”

New York Times: Missing Apostrophe in Facebook Post Lands a Man in Defamation Court. “A missing apostrophe in a Facebook post could cost a real estate agent in Australia tens of thousands of dollars after a court ruled a defamation case against him could proceed.”


The Guardian: How to blow the whistle on Facebook – from someone who already did. “This April, Sophie Zhang told the world about her employer’s failure to combat deception and abuse. Her advice? No screenshots, lawyer up – and trust yourself.” Good morning, Internet…

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