Showing posts from October, 2012

Beethoven music discovered

Beethoven wrote some his own version of a harmony, changing the tune a bit, for the well known Gregorian chant hymn tune of Pange Lingua. Trust me, you would recognize it if you heard it. Google it. The music was recognized by a man who knew plain song (the chants) and Beethoven's music. It is very basic notes, but obvious what the tune is. It is unusual in that Beethoven rarely wrote music like this, what is described as "functional" rather than elaborate performance pieces or great masses. For more click here

Fighting cyber attacks

The Uk is going to recruit young generation X members for a career in the secret service fighting cyber crimes. People who are "deep into" tech will get two years of education, have to pass tests, and then become team members of the secret service. This is smart. As one official noted, those who have formerly been "naughty" like to stop others doing the same with tech. I hope the US does the same thing. Hopefully none of the recruits have watched MI-5 where the agents die often and horribly.  For more click here

historically significant gold coins found

At the end of the 4th century, Romans ceased importing gold coins into the UK as their power in Britain waned. Recently nearly 150 gold coins, of a type used only by the rich, likely merchants, perhaps cavalry officers, was found near St. Albans, which in Roman Britain was called Verulamium, and was then an important site. This is a large hoard of what is likely the last coins to arrive freshly minted from Rome. Other hoards of the same period have only been located outside of the UK. For more click here

Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters Conference

a record of deaths by hanging

Have you heard the expression "Dying with Cotton in your ears"? Well, the expression is based on a minister named Horace S. Cotton who used to be so terrifying in his sermons concerning sin and damnation and hell fire, that he was asked by officials to tone it down. He would exhort criminals to repent before they were hung. Cotton kept a journal of executions with details, 1812-1839. It is an interesting read. Apparently, he felt they all deserved the punishment they received. For more click here

International electronic preservation standards project

I just read in the Linkedin digital curation blog that there is an international 2-year  partially grant-funded project involving 13 historic institutional partners which is going to try to "harmonize" storage and preservation policies for cultural data, increase cooperation and communication among institutions, and "identify the most suitable models for the governance, maintenance, and sustainability of such integrated infrastructure for digital preservation of cultural content." The title of the project is Digital Cultural Heritage- Roadmap for Preservation. Maybe it should be Googlemap, considering Google gives directions for everything including coral reefs these days. I will interested to see what the end products of this project are, and if they are adopted in any way by American professional information organizations.

Another interesting read from the same blog is a Guardian article by Chris Elliott on Oct. 14, 2012, about online information and the Guardian…

reading that old writing a problem?

You think you have problems. Oxford scholars may finally be approaching a break through with proto-Elamite tablets.  Other early languages have been deciphered but not this language. Proto-Elamite was used between 3200 and 2900 BC in SW modern Iran. Scientists think there is a lack of scholarship evident in surviving tablets. While they haven't decoded the characters for sounds or words, they have decoded numbers. So they are sure that the tablets, like most early surviving forms of documentation, document accounts of ownership, farm crops, property and status, not religion, poetry, or stories. Proto-Elamite was not spoken, just written. Interesting. One of the scholars leading the decoding efforts is using a lighting system to film every groove and notch and the images will eventually be put online so others can see and make educated guesses about the code. One of the things they found were fingernail marks. This reminds me of when they find fossilized early human prints. Cool. F…

Twitter bans content of pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic tweets

Twitter is banning (only in Germany) access to a pro-Nazi group which is charged with being criminal and inciting racial hatred. People outside of Germany will see be able to access the Tweets, however. This is the first time Twitter is banning content. Will other hate group Tweets follow? This could have an interesting impact on law enforcement tracking hate groups as well as functioning of the groups. For more read here

Twitter, on the verge of a lawsuit, also agreed to cut French anti-Semitic tweets. For more click here

Marie Antoinette's shoes sell for $65,600

Ever wonder what your ancestor's thing is worth? Well chances are pretty good whatever it is, it is not worth as much as Marie Antoinette's shoes. They were lovely. And while some royal pieces have survived, her  verifiable personal items are rarely auctioned. They are fascinating because of her life and death and rarity.  Interesting short video and pic. For more read here

Another conf. announcement

conf. announcement

old medical equipment with viruses could hurt patients

Apparently older equipment in hospitals has virus problems just like the older computer in your office or home. The companies who generate the equipment can charge pretty much what they want because usually they are the only ones who make any given piece of equipment, which hospitals need. They can also agree or disagree on allowing updates to their systems. Thus, it is difficult to deal with viruses. This is scary for any patient. Hope you don't end up in a hospital this weekend! To read more click here

PirateBay moves to cloud to stop it being shut down

Well, how smart of them. By being in a cloud it makes it difficult for law enforcement to shut them down. Pretty soon all the criminals or those who might be labeled as criminals are going to do this if they haven't already. I wonder if spies could do this as well? Why not? Pirate Bay is a file sharing site that perhaps is engaged in illegal file sharing. To read more click here

Apple and Foxconn

My blog discusses information in various formats. Companies generate equipment that creates information. One of these, Apple, has a subsidiary that generates equipment, Foxconn, which has admitted to having interns under the age of 16, some as young as 14 working for it. How do you feel about this if you have an iPod or an iPad? Apple is investigating. We outlawed child labor here a long time ago, not that it still doesn't happen, especially among migrant farmers to think of one case. And it happens in 3rd world countries. An international company like Apple does not need this in the news. What will happen? None of us can pretend that it is fairly paid adults in America making our gadgets anymore, much less creating them  in decent work and housing conditions.  To read more click here

Google privacy policies

In March, the European Union ordered Google to merge its 60 different privacy policies into one policy. Google has been told to be more explicit as to what info is collected and for what purpose. Info from whatever various Google related services you access is compiled and sold to companies for sales purposes, and perhaps, there are other reasons? The US Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether or not Google has complied with disclosure info guidelines about paid ads.  To read more click here

Lulzsec hacker pays

Lulzsec hacker who hacked Sony Pictures website pleads guilty in a plea agreement. He faces up to 5 years in prison and could be fined as much as $250,000.He probably won't serve or pay that much. I hope the government is smart enough to enlist him in our new cyber attack fighting team. For more click here

Hathi Trust ruling major news

As many of us know, Google has been scanning millions of books so they can be preserved and accessed online. HATHI Trust is the digital repository providing access to the online library of the scanned books. All of the universities involved have become involved for a number of reasons: to preserve the materials, to make them widely available, and, let's be real here, because they are major leaders and think outside the box. Plus, its good PR.  Authors have fought this because it deprives them of money people would normally pay to read their books. Federal judge Harold Baer ruled the recently for HATHI and against the authors in this landmark fair use case. He particularly appreciated HATHI's work which he believes helps the blind and disabled particularly. If you are a librarian type or believe info should be freely accessible you are doubtlessly happy. If you are an author, you may be unhappy.  To read more about it click here…

How did they make illuminated manuscripts?

Cambridge U and the Fitzwilliam Museum in the UK are going to use new technology, fiber optics and x-ray fluorescence, to try and discover the details of the art of making illuminated manuscripts. To learn more and see gorgeous images click here

Google adds more streets

First it added coral reefs and now more streets. That's great because the last two times I drove to a new location the street wasn't online. What a relief! Do any of us read maps anymore? To read all about it click here

Steve Biko Archives online

Remember apartheid? When in college, many of us had bracelets with names of people in South Africa who were fighting or had fought apartheid. One of my housemates had Steve Biko's name on his bracelet. Biko died from major head trauma at age 30 while in police custody. He had been banned in SA. He couldn't publish anything and his image couldn't be published. His name and story were a huge force in motivating people to learn about the injustice and terror of apartheid.  His archives are now online as are 42 historical exhibits, published by Google's Cultural Institute Initiative. For more click here

US preparing for "cyber Pearl Harbor."

Defense Secretary "Leon Panetta said the US was preparing to take pre-emptive action if a serious cyber-attack was imminent." Panetta notes the scale and speed of cyber attacks are rapidly escalating now. He also notes the Shamoon virus which replaced crucial info with an image of a burning US flag on ARAMCO oil company and replaced info on 30,000 plus computers, which had to be destroyed. Then it hit another oil company.  Now I've blogged about many attacks on US gov offices, businesses, and those in other countries. Well, when you attack big oil things get nasty. Rich oil men don't like it, politicians fear it, and we all pay for it.  Oil is specifically mentioned in this article several times.  My guess is that the US is either prepared or close to it for them to announce this. Panetta refers to a possible future "cyber Pearl Harbor" and its impact. Interesting and scary.  This is our reality. I note that he does not blame anyone nation specifically.  Do…

smart phones/zombie smart phone users

My husband wants a smart phone. He WANTS one; he doesn't NEED one. There is a significant difference between the two that was drilled into me by my parents who survived the Great Depression and WWII and did without things they didn't NEED even when they WANTED them.  I don't want or need a smart phone. He wants one because others have one and it is cool, technologically, which interests him.

Interesting point, the company with which we had our last phone bought out another company so we have to switch to a new phone. The new phones and plans all cost more than the old phones and plans. What a racket!!  Does the government know about this?

Here are a couple of articles that I think are hysterical and cover my thoughts about smart phones. I hope you find this amusing. It's Friday=enjoy.

First, why do I mention smart phones here? Because increasingly people write and email less, leaving less info for archivists to collect that is easy to collect, preserve, and access. Th…