Chiang Ching-kuo, Jewish Genealogy, HathiTrust, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 26, 2022


Focus Taiwan: Former president Chiang Ching-kuo database goes online. “The Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) database went online Wednesday, comprising 55,000 written or multimedia records related to the late Republic of China (ROC) president that provide the public with a more comprehensive understanding of the country’s development and history, according to Academia Historica.” New Database Documents Every Grave In Lubavitch. “A new database is enabling users to search and find matzeivos of those buried in the Jewish cemetery in the town of Lubavitch in Russia. For the past several years, the Lubavitch Organization in Russia, under the leadership of shliach Rabbi Gavriel Gordon, has been conducting research and restoration work at the historic Jewish cemetery in Lubavitch. Hundreds of matzeivos were uncovered, raised, cleaned and restored.”


EurekAlert: HathiTrust Research Center receives NEH support for open research tools. “The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), cohosted by the School of Information Sciences (iSchool) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Luddy School of Informatics at Indiana University, has received a $325,000 Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. One of 15 awarded nationwide, this grant will support the development of a new set of visualizations, analytical tools, and infrastructure to enable users to interact more directly with the rich data extracted from the HathiTrust Digital Library’s collection of more than 17.5 million digitized volumes.”

CNET: Google launches .day domains to bring attention to special days. “Google has launched its new .day domain name system, allowing companies, charities, organizations and individuals to use the domain names to bring special attention to certain days and causes.”


Designboom: wikipedia votes against classifying NFTs as art. “a group of editors on wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, has voted against categorizing nonfungible tokens (NFT) as a form of art. it all started on the platform the past december. the wikipidia editors were questioning if sales that reached up to 60 million dollars — like pak’s $ 91 million collections and beeple $ 69 million NFT — should be on the list. following a public debate, five wikipedia editors have voted not to classify NFTs as art and just one was opposed.”

Bloomberg: Google Team That Keeps Services Online Rocked by Mental Health Crisis. “In November, ‘team temperature’ surveys found dissatisfaction among Borg employees. Out of a top score of 10, Borg’s three sub-teams scored 5.07, 6.5 and 6.73—all short of the 7.5 rating Google considers satisfactory. In meetings with human-resources officials, some Borg employees described a toxic and overwhelming work environment, according to notes HR shared with the team that were reviewed by Bloomberg, but Google left the management team in place and promoted [Pierre] Aubert.”


Techdirt: Why U.S. Robocall Hell Seemingly Never Ends. “According to the YouMail Robocall Index, there were 3.6 billion U.S. robocalls placed last December, or 115 million robocalls placed every single day. That’s 4.8 million calls placed every hour. Despite the periodic grumble, it’s wholly bizarre that we’ve just come to accept the fact that essential communications platforms have been hijacked by conmen, salesmen, and debt collectors, and we’re somehow incapable of doing anything about it.”

Gulf News: Harsher penalties for creating fake social media accounts, emails, websites in UAE. “The punishment for creating spoofed accounts for others, emails or websites for government entities has become harsher in the UAE, thanks to new amendments in the Cybercrime Law. The new law presents tougher penalties for email fraud or impersonating others on social media platforms for fraud purposes.”


Vice: Google Is Forcing Me to Dump a Perfectly Good Phone. “Despite being just three years old, no Pixel 3 will ever receive another official security update. Installing security updates is the one basic thing everyone needs to do for their own digital security. If you don’t even get them, then you’re vulnerable to every security flaw discovered since your last patch. In response to an email asking Google why it stopped supporting the Pixel 3, a Googles spokesperson said, ‘We find that three years of security and OS updates still provides users with a great experience for their device.'” I’m using an iPhone 7 Plus as my phone. It came out in 2016.

Hakai Magazine: China’s Surprisingly Robust System of Marine Protection. “China, as the world’s largest producer and consumer of seafood, is well known for its voracious international fishing fleet. But a comprehensive understanding of the country’s efforts on marine protection, at least in its domestic waters, has remained elusive—even to many experts within China. Now, an international group of researchers has compiled the first database of marine conservation efforts in the country, and it is more extensive than many expected.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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