Google accidentally let the lid off “right to be forgotten” requests. “Less than 5% of nearly 220,000 individual requests made to Google to selectively remove links to online information concern criminals, politicians and high-profile public figures, the Guardian has learned, with more than 95% of requests coming from everyday members of the public. The Guardian has discovered new data hidden in source code on Google’s own transparency report that indicates the scale and flavour of the types of requests being dealt with by Google – information it has always refused to make public. “
Catching up: A new database of British slave owners is now available. “Historians from University College London (UCL) have catalogued the 46,000 British subjects who were compensated by the British government for losing in total 800,000 slaves as a result of abolition.”
Are the constant Flash security warnings driving you spare? From How-To Geek: How to Uninstall and Disable Flash in Every Web Browser.
I’m sorry, I can’t stop thinking about Google’s Deep Dream toy — erm, I mean neural network tool. Yeah, that’s what I mean. Anyway, now researchers are deep-dreaming maps. “Last week, Google released the ”DeepDream” code to the public, so that anyone with some programming skills could process their own images with a psychedelic glaze. Naturally, a couple of brave mapmakers stepped in and produced some geo-visualizations—now, the hills literally have eyes.”
The FEC has a new API, and The Sunlight Foundation gives us a breakdown. “Big news in the campaign finance world: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is taking a huge step forward by making data accessible through a modern API. With the help of a team of intrepid 18F developers, the FEC is rethinking both its website and its data offerings to better serve its mission of educating the public with real-time disclosure of campaign finance information. It’s part of the larger OpenFEC project, and we think it’s a very encouraging sign that this collaboration is going to improve access to a crucial information resource. This is a beta release, but we’re really excited to see what’s been accomplished so far. What follows is meant as both an introduction to what’s available through this new resource and a critique of what’s working well, and the changes Sunlight would like to […]
Leeds University Library has launched a new online resource for illuminated manuscripts. “The resource showcases illumination found in twenty-seven medieval manuscripts held in the collections. It builds on digitisation and cataloguing work undertaken in 2008. Dr Katja Monier (who worked on the original project) has carried out extensive research into the collections. Dr. Monier has enhanced the online resource with detailed contextual information about the origins of specific manuscripts.” I have seen illuminated manuscript sites before but never one so seriously annotated.
Catching up… Facebook is letting you pick who you see first in the news feed if you’re using the iOS app. If you’re not, tough cookies. “You can adjust the new News Feed preferences, which are only in Facebook’s iOS app for now, from the ‘News Feed Preferences’ menu in the ‘more’ section of the Facebook app. The revamped preference menu has four sections: prioritize who to see first, unfollow people to hide their posts, reconnect with people you unfollowed, and discover new pages.”
Interesting blog post from Dartmouth: Live Office Hours With Google Hangouts on Air: A Recipe. Two professors wanted to do live office hours with Google Hangouts, and present a “recipe” of equipment and timing to make the most of the office hours. “DartmouthX has recently offered Live Office Hours with students in an Introduction to Environmental Science (ENVX) with Google Hangouts on Air. Instructors Prof. Andy Friedland and Mike Goudzwaard along with the course team hosted four sessions over two offerings of the course. In each session we tried something slightly different based on feedback from that last session. This ‘recipe’ is based on what we learned from the experience. Like any recipe, feel free to use, improvise, simplify, or spice it up.” At the end of the blog post there are YouTube links to completed hangouts.
Annette Demers has created a new Google Custom search for open access law journals. The blog post with the announcement notes a few other CSEs she’s created which you might find useful. Use the second link to try the CSE – the first one at the top of the blog post apparently leads to the wrong place.
Inscriptions from cultural heritage sites in Iraq are are being saved into an online database. “Between 1997 and 2014, [Amir] Harrak made several trips to cultural heritage sites throughout Iraq, cleaning and recording engraved inscriptions that date between the seventh and 20th centuries. During a trip to Mosul in 2014, he recorded inscriptions and art at the monastery of Mar Behnam. Islamic State fighters captured the city and monastery in June 2014, but Harrak managed to leave before they arrived. Since then, the militant grouphas destroyed the monastery along with many sites in Mosul and other parts of Iraq…. Because of this destruction, the photographs he took during these trips (about 700 in total) have become scientifically irreplaceable. He’s now working with the Canadian Centre for Epigraphic Documents (CCED) to create an online database of all the inscriptions, which will allow new research on them and, despite the destruction, allow […]