Showing posts from May, 2013

update on Timbuktu's manuscripts

Timbuktu's ancient manuscripts, hidden to avoid being burned by terrorists, now are beginning to       suffer from their new, more humid, environment and are showing signs of mold. To read more click here

Mary Rose Museum

Henry VIII's ship MaryRose, brought up from the bottom of the sea after 200 years has a new museum. Very cool. Many artifacts and skeletons were found aboard. Most of her 500 member crew drowned with her. The ship, sections of which have been recreated, original artifacts, and faces recreated from skulls are included. Very neat. Conservation continues. To read more click here  Really cool related video

World's oldest complete Torah scroll

What may be the oldest complete Torah scroll has been identified in Italy as being over 750 years old. It is dated by the type of text and things that are included in it which were later legally excluded. Read more about it here

Chinese hackers now have hacked US weapons design systems

How safe do we feel knowing that our latest missile systems, fighter jets, and defense systems have been hacked by China? What will they do with the information? Make the same or similar equipment and systems, or find ways to exacerbate our weaknesses? I still want to know what the US is going to do about it? Feed them bad data? Hack their systems? Turn off their national power grid? What are they hacking that we don't even know now that they are hacking? How will this affect us in the future? For more info click here

The king was bugged!

Edward VIII's telephones were bugged by the Home Office, both his calls to Wallis in France and to other royal residences, newly released archival documentation proves. The Home Office wanted to know what he was up to. Transcriptions of phone call conversations did not survive time, but comments about some of them did. This is part of a cache of newly released, declassified British Archives materials now available to the public. To read more click here

early computer webpages lost

An effort has been made to try to find the earliest computer pages. Early Cern computer programmers rewrote over earlier versions, which are now lost, and they forgot the first passwords and failed to write them down, so no access exists.  As an archivist I find this quite funny and typical. Forget about changing software, hardware, or non-permanent electronic records, this is just due to humanity.
To read more click here

cassette tapes: archaic media or new trend? Maybe both!

Some people are purists and love analog sound recordings on cassette tapes. One company is making cassette tape recordings again. Why? Will it succeed? Against CDs? Here I thought it was just another form of outdated media found in my Dad's truck and in yard sales. To read more about it click here

Now we know what caused the Irish potato famine

HERB-1, a form of potato virus now thought to be extinct, which is unique compared to other viruses, was the culprit for the potato famine which resulted in a famine causing the deaths of 1/8 of the entire population of Ireland. Scientists took samples during the famine in the hope that future scientists would be able to identify the problem and deal with it. This is probably one of the oldest scientific experiments ever, because it had to wait over 170 years for science to catch up. To read more about it click here

job ad Art Reach Marketing Coordinator

Art Reach Mt. Pleasant is looking for someone to be their marketing coordinator. For more info click here

225th anniversary of library

Linenhall Library in Ireland is now 225 years old. It is the only remaining subscription library left in Ireland. For those of you who don't know what this means, you had to pay to be a member to use its collections. It is a recognized cultural treasure. Here's the BBCNews link

FB asks what to censor, not if to censor

Sorry. I've been out with family illness.

On Friday I blogged about the Saudis blocking social media, which prevents uncensored discussion online. Well, Facebook is now strongly considering censoring of itself. Videos of beheadings will now be blocked and additional violent videos may also be blocked. Other content is under discussion. There are obviously many issues involved: freedom of speech, self-censorship, censorship of others, censorship of hate groups and terrorist organizations who use certain online materials for recruitment purposes, which leads to increased membership and potentially increased harm to at least some others. Very interesting. If we limit one group's freedoms, no matter what we think of them or what they do, is this a slippery slope to limit freedoms for potentially all groups and individuals? Is there a point where we say, enough! How much more violence and hate does your group have to put online? An interesting dilemma. I wonder what else FB will de…

Saudis considering blocking social media

The Saudi Telecommunication Authority wants to block social media platforms including Twitter. Tweeters would be identified. Twitter is one way people are able to express themselves. Conservative elements want the platforms blocked, the government wants to control political uprisings. Many others want free platforms to express themselves. Political, religious, and porn are now blocked and filtered. Since Sept. when the Authority imposed additional restrictions, increasing numbers of Saudi internet users who have protested online have been arrested. Another option being debated is to decrease privacy for users by increasing surveillance. Another option is to have every Twitter register with the government. This would allow the government to track everyone who posts anything. If the changes go through, anonymity would end.  Many are protesting for free use of the Internet and Twitter. A great quote is in the news from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal  who tweeted, "social media is a…

Pentagon reports China a cyber attacker

Finally in an actual report, from the Pentagon no less, China has been clearly named as a cyber attacker of US government and business sites. China denies it. This is major that the denouncement is actually in print. What will the US now do when China continues to cyber attack us? To read more about it click here

repatriated dino goes home

I'm glad we don't have skeletons in the Clarke. Repatriation of remains to the recognized legal custodian is a good, ethical thing in my opinion and now its also law. Here's an interesting case. A  dinosaur skeleton smuggled out of Mongolian via Britain in 2010, involved in a legal custody battle, is finally going home to Mongolia. The skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus bataar is 70 million years old. Four other dino skeletons were also recovered from a black market dino seller in Florida. In 2012 the T.b. skeleton was offered at auction in Texas and sold for over $1 million. It was later seized by authorities.  To read more about it click here

What does stolen information cost?

Well if you are the people who stole it (a Troy, MI, GM engineer and spouse), 1-3 year prison terms plus fines of $12,500 to $25,000.  They stole information from Dec. 2003 to May 2006, focusing on GM's trade secrets on hybrid  technology development from 16,000 folders. If you are the company it was stolen from (GM) investigation and lawyers' fees to put the people in prison, and who knows how many millions you may lose now that a competitor in a foreign country (China) knows your trade secrets. The police estimate the value of the stolen information in excess of $40 million. IF I was a GM person who helped develop this technology, I'd be pretty mad. China has got the info and they didn't even have to hack your sites.  To read more about it click here

Really cool WWII letters decoded

Brit. army men in WWII were taught a complex code using the first letter of words in a sentence, which then formed groups of 3 numbers, each of which translated into a letter or period. They did this in their heads when POWs sending letters home. In one case, the family got the letters after they were decoded by the War Office. The family has been slowly deciphering the letters, but recently a mathematician started decoding the letters. It is clear the POW was asking for maps and other supplies needed for the Brit POWs to escape. They were finally freed after the war. Very cool. Try doing this in your head today. They were products of an age of learning by memorization. To see cool video click here

Gave my final for my Archives Administration Class Tues night. Everyone got their boxes processed and Scope and Contents Notes and Box and Folder Listings turned in on time. Now I have to grade. It was a good class. Lots of good thoughts, questions, com…