Friday, August 22, 2014

Good job, well done!

The end of summer approaches. Some recent tour groups of students and parents got soaked in the rain outside. I'm gone for a few days so will post this for your reading enjoyment.

Inside the processing room my two faithful summer processors, Mark Prindiville, and Sandra Standish, have been busy processing the CMU. Alumni records of various events and budget files. These files require a lot of removing of duplicates, publications, and mostly financial miscellaneous that should have been kept 2-7 years at the most. Since the records go back to the 1980s, there is lot to remove. Occasionally we find a publication that is not a duplicate and add it to the collection, notably information on reunion gatherings. Mark has been able to work as a paid student. Sandra has been volunteering twice a week and is finished for the summer. They have both done a wonderful job!

Here is Mark in front of Sandra's neatly organized boxes. She is too shy to appear here.

To date, working since June 16th they have processed about 6 cubic feet, which will be retained, and withdrawn (WD) 71 cubic feet of duplicates, publications, and miscellaneous financials. This is more than I could have accomplished on my own. There is still more to do in this collection which originally totaled about 80 cubic feet. I gave them directions before they began and am here to answer any questions that arise.

Some of the WD material

If you are interested in volunteering or interning or working at the Clarke with manuscripts contact me at marian.matyn@cmich.edu.

Foley's death begins a discussion of what to share or not and why via social media

Last night I was one of many who got a shared notice on social media about James Foley, the American journalist whose recent beheading by IS is documented on video. The notice from his family was that we should not view  the graphic images or video of his beheading. Other voices opine that we should witness the story he was trying to share of the suffering of people living in the hell of dictators and terror. It is an interesting discussion. I can see both points, but I have chosen not to view the graphic images. It is awful enough for me to think of his suffering and that of his family and others suffering under IS and similar groups.  I think good thoughts for his family and friends and the other journalists and hostages. What will their fate be? Apparently, special ops tried in vain to rescue Foley and others. Foley's beheading has ramped up other discussions in the US about IS being our biggest challenge since Sept. 11th. The reality is that until IS and other Islamic extremist terrorists are exterminated they will remain a threat in the world to the US and others; dealing with these terrorists will be a permanent part of US policy. His beheading and what it means, a direct insult to American power and democracy, will be answered by an American response. It is just a matter of time...  Read more about the discussion here http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-28866426

US patients' info hacked

Personal info of 4.5 million people held in computer systems of over 200 hospitals in 29 states administered by the Community Health Systems (2nd largest profitable health care system in the US)  was hacked. Hackers exploited what is called the Heartbeat flaw. The info taken can be used to apply for false ids and credit cards. Hackers hit in April and June. April was when the flaw was publicly announced, so they were organized, professional, and moved immediately. The FBI is involved. It is believed that China is the hacker. Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28867113

Just following this story UPS has been hacked as well. Personal info in 29 states has been taken. Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28879689

Thursday, August 21, 2014

IS left Twitter for US-based Diaspora

A "clampdown" on Islamic State (IS) communications on Twitter sent IS to its new communication option, Diaspora, which is based in the US. IS also has accounts on Friendica and Quitter. The three new systems are more private than Twitter.  Diaspora is decentralized and users set up their own "communities" on pods. IS stategically chose a very active pod in the US. Also IS has thousands of Twitter supporters who can send their own messages. They aren't stupid. I hope the international units working to stop IS anticipated this and are already planning to control their communication. Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28843350

In another interesting post this morning Diaspora team members admitted they cannot stop the IS communications on Diaspora because it does not have centralized control. Diaspora probably wants to stop IS using it site, and has likely been encouraged to do so by authorities. In an attempt to control IS, Diaspora is contacting what it calls podadmins and telling them of legal complications of hosting IS info.  Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28882042

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

China moves to control instant messaging

As of last Thursday, if you are Chinese and want to use instant messaging you must register your real name with the government and receive approval before publishing political news. You must also sign an agreement to "uphold "the socialist system, ... national interests, and information authenticity". Access to foreign IM apps has also been blocked. This is similar to a block imposed two years ago by the Chinese government. Even though the Chinese maintain a tight control on Chinese users of social media, hundreds of millions of Chinese use them. Those who break the rules will have their posts restricted or accounts closed and be reported to authorities. The government is doing this to "resist the spread of harmful information" and to control terrorism to prevent "seriously undermining public interests." Clearly they are controlling information. Oh China, how much longer? Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-28694890

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

UK/Welsh police stats for inappropriate use of social media

Some UK police are inappropriately using social media. Since 2009 there have been 828 cases in England and Wales that have been investigated, 9% of which ended with resignation, dismissal or retirement. There are rules they are supposed to follow and they are told the rules. I'm surprised more aren't fired.  For more info see http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28844500

Monday, August 18, 2014

rare Andy Warhol films to be digitized

About 500 film on the New York art and culture scenes Andy Warhol created between 1963 and 1972 will be digitized over the next few years so they can be made available to the public. Cost is not specified. I'm sure it will be enormous. "almost 1,000 rolls of 16mm film converted to the high-definition 2K format after being scanned frame by frame." The films are considered "revolutionary" in style ranging from portraits to minimalist movies. Sometimes he filmed one person or thing (building) for hours. "The digitisation project was announced on Thursday by MoMA, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and visual effects firm MPC, which will convert the films to digital files." Prior to this, his archaic computer files were rebuilt. (see my blog post on it, April 25th)  Is there anything he did that is not worth keeping? I'm sure there is, but what is it? Read more about it at http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28800178