Volga Germans Genealogy, Climate and Art Experiments, Camp Fire Oral History Collection, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 4, 2021


Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family: New database created to document Volga Germans deported to Siberia. “Russian organization Memorial is busy with another database. This time it is documenting the Volga Germans who were deported from the Krasnoyarsk Territory to Siberia in 1941. More than 31,000 Volga Germans are documented in the database here and the database is an ongoing project. The database details the victims’ full name, birth year, birthplace, nationality, profession and place of work before deportation.” Includes helpful hints for navigating translated Russian content.

Google Blog: New climate and art experiments with Google Arts & Culture. “Our main program, called Heartbeat of the Earth, was built in collaboration with the UNFCCC and features online experiences by eight artists that interpret scientific climate data—from microplastics in the air to rising sea levels, to the CO2 footprint for individual diets. Today, as COP26 unfolds and global leaders have gathered in Glasgow to decide on the future of the planet, we are thrilled to announce two new collaborations, Voices for Change with Project Everyone and Pollinator Pathmaker with Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, that we hope will inspire people around the world to learn more about the climate crisis and to take action.”

California State University Chico: Camp Fire Oral History Collection: Remembering the Ridge is now Accessible. “The Camp Fire, named for its point of origin, spread at an unbelievable rate consuming 18,000 acres within eight hours, devastating the town of Paradise and the communities of Concow and Magalia. The fire burned for seventeen days, causing 85 deaths, covering an area of 153,336 acres, and destroying over 19,000 structures. It is the deadliest wildfire in California history and was the deadliest fire of the past 100 years in the United States. This collection is made up of interviews with Camp Fire evacuees and first responders, who have graciously shared their stories.”


The Bookseller: Booker Prize shortlist released in braille and audio through RNIB partnership. “This year’s Booker Prize shortlisted titles are being formatted in braille and audio through a partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the Booker Prize Foundation. All six books in contention for the prize will now be made available in free accessible formats, and will also be available to download from RNIB’s online library.”


MakeUseOf: 5 Life-Saving Spreadsheet Apps for Excel and Google Sheets Power Users. “Microsoft Excel remains the king of spreadsheet apps, while Google Sheets is the clear winner for free users. But whether you use either of these or one of the fantastic Excel alternatives for spreadsheets, these apps could do with a bit of help. Whether it’s sharing your files online safely and securely or opening a CSV with millions of rows of data, a few free web apps make spreadsheets better than before.”


New York Times: Google Wants to Work With the Pentagon Again, Despite Employee Concerns. “Three years after an employee revolt forced Google to abandon work on a Pentagon program that used artificial intelligence, the company is aggressively pursuing a major contract to provide its technology to the military. The company’s plan to land the potentially lucrative contract, known as the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, could raise a furor among its outspoken work force and test the resolve of management to resist employee demands.”


BBC: Twitch streamer loses work because of her Squid Game name.”A gamer who shares her online name with Netflix smash hit Squid Game says she is losing work because of it. Lydia Ellery, 32, said companies are now hesitant to employ her because of her handle and her perceived association with the show, despite the fact she has been known as Squid Game for more than a decade.”

CNET: US cuts off Pegasus developer: What you need to know about this spyware. “Pegasus has been a politically explosive issue that’s put Israel under pressure from activists and from governments worried about misuse of the software. France and the US earlier raised concerns, and NSO has suspended some countries’ Pegasus privileges. On Wednesday, the US federal government took much stronger action, blocking sale of US technology to NSO by putting the company on the government’s Entity List.”


The Michigan Daily: Why I hate LinkedIn. “I’m writing this to settle a debate. In the limited amount of time since I’ve started planning for my career, my parents have ceaselessly insisted that I must have a LinkedIn profile. They have instilled in me that LinkedIn is an indisputable need when it comes to establishing my professional reputation and making myself visible to recruiters — to not have a profile would be self-sabotage. In that case, call me a saboteur, because I’m going to die on this hill: LinkedIn is a caucus of fart-sniffers, a hellscape disguised as a necessary resource for young professionals. Allow me to explain.”

MIT Technology Review: Hackers are stealing data today so quantum computers can crack it in a decade. “While they wrestle with the immediate danger posed by hackers today, US government officials are preparing for another, longer-term threat: attackers who are collecting sensitive, encrypted data now in the hope that they’ll be able to unlock it at some point in the future. The threat comes from quantum computers, which work very differently from the classical computers we use today.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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