The Telegraph: Facebook closes in on two billion users. “Facebook is on the verge of reaching 2bn members, with the social media giant closing in on a milestone that will move it into a select group of global companies.”
TechCrunch: Algorithmic accountability. “Algorithms are sets of rules that computers follow in order to solve problems and make decisions about a particular course of action. Whether it’s the type of information we receive, the information people see about us, the jobs we get hired to do, the credit cards we get approved for, and, down the road, the driverless cars that either see us or don’t see us, algorithms are increasingly becoming a big part of our lives. But there is an inherent problem with algorithms that begins at the most base level and persists throughout its adaption: human bias that is baked into these machine-based decision-makers.” Really extensive article.
The Eskenazi Museum of Art is closing for renovations until the fall of 2019, so it’s started a new online archive with highlights from its collections. “Online, patrons can visit a new website called ‘Highlights of the Eskenazi Art Museum” that displays about 1,000 objects from the collection… There will also be news updates on the website for people who want to follow how the renovation.’
This is from last December, but a) I think it’s important and b) it was blogged by someone whose interest is in disaster prep and response: a basic twitter geocode search how-to. “I just re-wrote and simplified my instructions for creating a fast, simple twitter geocode search, as my previous blog post has links in the instructions that don’t work anymore.”
The State Library of South Australia has a new online portrait collection of “old colonists”. “For most of last century portraits of over 1,000 ‘Old Colonists’ were on display in the State Library. In 2017 they have returned as facsimiles (along with new indexes and online catalogue records) – funded by the Friends of the State Library.”
Fort Wayne Business Weekly: Health data now accessible through state web portal. “Local health officials and residents can now assess the health of their counties through Stats Explorer, a new database for public health data in Indiana.”
Lifehacker: Secure Messaging App Showdown: WhatsApp vs. Signal. “So, you’re interested in secure, encrypted chat apps. You have a few different choices, but as with any chat app, what all your friends are using is important. To that end, Signal and WhatsApp are easily the most popular. Here’s how they compare.”
Centenary College: Centenary Archives partners to digitize Louisiana United Methodist Women publications (1884-2014). “The Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections has completed a collaborative project to digitize its collection of publications by the Louisiana United Methodist Women and their predecessor organizations. The digitized material includes annual reports (1884-2014) and newsletters (1963-2006) – 12,000 pages in total.”
Egypt Independent: Parliament considers social media draft law, would refer unmonitored Facebook users to trial. “Paving the way for state surveillance over social media networks in Egypt, writer of the social media draft law MP Rayed Abdel Sattar told Egypt Independent on Sunday that 60 MPs have approved its potential discussion in Parliament.”
Engadget: Home Depot left customers’ unprotected personal data online. “It’s been awhile since hackers broke into Home Depot’s servers and stole 56 million customers’ credit card information back in 2014. But recently, a tipster pointed business watchdog site Consumerist to a web address under the HomeDepot.com domain. The unprotected page stored photos of various home improvement projects…and 13 Excel spreadsheets filled with customer data.”
Quartz: The only thing harder than parsing Trump now is doing it for posterity. “For traditional communications like letters and phone calls, the ambiguity around record-keeping today is minimal. But the digital age has forced archivists to constantly rethink what constitutes a federal record. In 2009, then White House director of digital strategy Macon Phillips wrote that ‘everyone agrees that [emails meet] the [PRA’s] broad definition of presidential records, and that the White House is legally required to preserve them.’ The Obama administration also preserved social media correspondence. Under president Donald Trump, social media—and in particular Twitter—has become an even bigger question.”
Brian Pfeiffer: Vermont’s New Damselfly and Dragonfly Atlas. “For the better part of the past two decades, I’ve fallen hard for insects. Birding friends here in Vermont and across the continent know this well. ‘We’ve lost him to the bugs,’ some of them would say. Not entirely. (Heck, I’ve been birding nearly every day for the past week or so: two Fox Sparrows and four raging kinglets at North Branch Nature Center here in Montpelier yesterday.) For those of you who wonder what I’ve been up to out there with an insect net, I bring you the Vermont Damselfly and Dragonfly Atlas. We launched it today, another project of the amazing Vermont Center for Ecostudies, where I’m a research associate.”
Chris Brogan: You’re Going to Have to Get Good at Video. “I’ve been experimenting with making and editing video lately. I’m not doing it for my jollies or because I think I’m damned good looking (which I am). It’s because WE (humanity) have demonstrated loud and clear that we want to CONSUME video. We prefer it to text. And if that’s true, and you and I are in the business of communicating, we’re going to have to make video. Oh, and it’ll have to be good.” If you’ve thought about doing video for your library or business or whatever, and you’ve been feeling intimidated, read this. It’s both encouraging and providing advice.
Family Search Blog: New French Census Records Aid Family History Research. “How can these records help you if you have French ancestry? These census records are valuable because they provide a snapshot of families at a specific time—in this case, 1876, 1891, and 1906. As you find your family in multiple census records, you will see a more complete picture of that family over the years.”
PRNewswire: New Memorial Database Lists Georgians Who Died in World War I (PRESS RELEASE). ” Georgians who died in service during World War I are being commemorated in a unique way as part of the centennial observance of the ‘Great War.’ In a project sponsored by the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission, retired state librarian Dr. Lamar Veatch is compiling an on-line database that, when complete, will be the most comprehensive listing of Georgia service personnel who died in service during that war 100 years ago. The names and information for some 1,300 soldiers and sailors are now on the Centennial Commission’s website and others are being added as they are confirmed.” The press release goes on to note that while the initial information from the database comes from a 1921 book, the racism of the time meant that African-American soldiers were not included. This online database will correct that and does include African-American soldiers.