The Mandarin: Anne Twomey: National Archives ‘completely dysfunctional’ for serious scholarship. “Constitutional law professor Anne Twomey thinks the National Archives is nearly useless for serious academic and historical research, partly because it is ‘starved of funding’ and takes too long to decide whether to open old government records.”
Nature: Crowdfunding research flips science’s traditional reward model. “No papers? No problem. Scientists who have historically been at a disadvantage when pursuing traditional funding sources — for example, those who lack extensive experience or who do not demonstrate a good publication record — are now the most successful at sourcing money from the public.”
BBC: BBC urged to increase National Broadcast Archive for Wales funding. “The BBC should commit more to the running costs of a new National Broadcast Archive for Wales, the deputy minister for culture has said. Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas has refused to commit funding for the project at the National Library of Wales because of fears over its long-term sustainability. He told the assembly’s culture committee the BBC needed to increase its financial support for the plans in order to proceed.”
Search Engine Journal: DuckDuckGo Receives $10M Financing to Expand Global Impact. “DuckDuckGo is receiving a US$10-million investment through a partnership with OMERS to help the search engine continue expanding its privacy protection worldwide. OMERS, which stands for Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, is one of Canada’s largest pension funds.”
MetaFilter: State of the Site: Metafilter financial update and future directions. “Right now, because of recent steep drops in ad revenue, we’re running at an $8,000/month deficit. I’m bringing this to you all now because we need to fix that shortfall soon to avoid significant cuts to our current payroll levels. We’re still operating as normal right now thanks to the cushion members built up last fall, and that and conservative budgeting have worked as intended: it’s given us a few more months of leeway to work on the problem, so we can consider our options and make smart, non-panicky decisions. But we need to get to work on it ASAP.” PLEASE HELP THE SMALL AND INDEPENDENT WEB SITES YOU LOVE OR THEY WILL DIE.
YouTube Blog: Greater transparency for users around news broadcasters. “A big goal for us in 2018 is to provide greater transparency across the board to our community of creators, advertisers, and viewers. In one small step towards that commitment, today we will start rolling out notices below videos uploaded by news broadcasters that receive some level of government or public funding. Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube.”
Scientific American: Culture Shock: Precious Microbe Collections Languish in Threatened Bio-Libraries. “Freeze-dried and locked away in liquid nitrogen–filled vaults around the world are hundreds of thousands of microbial cultures. In the U.S. these living libraries include 91,000 bacterial and fungal strains in Peoria, Ill., as well as 13,000 fungal strains in Ithaca, N.Y., and 7,500 wild yeasts at the University of California, Davis. Researchers have used strains from such publicly accessible culture collections to develop penicillin as well as the CRISPR gene-editing systems and the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) DNA-amplifying technique. But as government priorities apparently change, and as the federal money that historically created and preserved many of these biological resource repositories in the U.S. dries up, their infrastructure is at risk of deteriorating. “