Showing posts from June, 2013

The US created STUXNET virus?

Last night the national news reported leaked info about the STUXNET virus which invaded Iran's nuclear power plants in 2011. Israel was thought to be the culprit, but now a general who was responsible and empowered by the White House has admitted the US and Israel together created it. Why leak the info now? What I want to know is this STUXNET was very sophisticated and virtually undetectable as it read data and set up false reports for those monitoring the computers and reports. It took a year or two for the Iranians to figure out it existed. A huge number of computers were ruined by STUXNET. So, why aren't we employing it against N. Korea and China? Maybe we are. Maybe we will soon.  For more information click here

UK Museums urged to changed lives

Apparently museums affect people in ways other institutions do not. So UK museums are now being urged to affect people, including seniors, those with mental and other challenges, in a positive way. Museums are facing budget cuts. Interesting fact that both the number of art and natural history curators are down in the UK. I think archives affect people in ways other institutions cannot as well. Maybe we should try to change lives as part of our annual goals. To read more click here

Grad history papers wanted for conf. Nov. 1st at Northern Illinois University History Graduate Student Conference

Call for Papers
Sixth Annual
Northern Illinois University History Graduate Student Conference in Honor
of Professor Alfred F. Young
November 1, 2013
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
We are pleased to announce the 6th Annual History Graduate Student Conference,
sponsored by the Department of History at Northern Illinois University, to be held in
DeKalb, Illinois on Friday, 1 November 2013. Participants will present their work in a
supportive and collegial setting, and meet future colleagues from other institutions and
historical fields.
We are especially excited and proud to announce that this year's conference will be
dedicated to NIU Professor Alfred F. Young. To mark this occasion, we have invited
former American Historical Association President, Professor Linda Kerber of the
University of Iowa, who will deliver the first annual Alfred F. Young Keynote Address.
History graduate students (MA. and Ph.D.) are invited to submit proposals to present
individual research papers…

MAA conference

Back from the MAA conference in Ann Arbor. My presentation on my EAD finding aids project went well and my student, Tressa Graves', presentation on our film preservation project went well, too. There is a move afoot to get Tressa to give a workshop on the project. So proud!

Dumbing down or making it easier?

Dumbing down or making it easier? A number of libraries are abandoning Dewey Decimal and grouping things together in large topic chunks. Here's an interesting short article about it. What do you think?  I think it is a reaction to Google searching and the I want it now attitude. If this is how public libraries operate, how are college students going to find anything?

Yahoo received more requests for info than other tech cos

Yahoo said it the last 6 months it has received 13,000 requests for info in the last 6 months, more than from any other tech co. Most of the requests involve criminal activity, although Yahoo could not give numbers involving federal crime investigation requests. To read more click here

how many requests to FB, Microsoft?

FB received federal requests for information  covering about 1% of its billion users. Both FB and Microsoft deny that they allowed access to all their users information. I think if the feds really want access they just get it. FB says they strongly fight requests for info. I can't imagine the government loves them, although it must acknowledge that FB and Microsoft  are the doors to much info. Still, I think, do the feds have to follow so many people? Are so many people and their accounts problematic? I doubt it. They've been doing this for some time now. Surely they know who they should focus on and who they should ignore. Also, does the gov really have enough people and machinery to sort the millions of accounts and related information like metadata that it is supposedly reviewing?  To read more about it click here

Now Apple is releasing info about how many requests for info it has received from the feds. Like MS and FB, Apple says th…

Info we share and can be inferred and tracked from our internet and other e-uses

Especially considering the recent revelation about how the government is tracking info on tens of millions of Americans and the overseas connections, I read a very interesting article today in CNN about how we give up info in FB, the types of info, how we are tracked, what types of info we have or use that predict info about us, who is tracking this, and how it is used. And, there are fun retro images to go with this. Check it out at

facial recognition has a new use

Facial recognition software has a new use- identifying who is who in art. Example shown-Death mask of Lorenzo DiMedici is used to recognize his face in paintings, etc. I know we've had situations where we wonder, is that so and so in that image?  Now, using facial recognition you can tell for sure who it is, unless we are talking twins. This should also have interesting applications for stolen art works. To read more click here

Google FB and Microsoft want to disclose

Now that a lot of people are upset and law suits are being filed, Google, FB, and Microsoft have requested that that US government let the three disclose what security requests they've received. Google reps say they've had few (%-wise) and specific requests and that they would fight general, broad requests like the one Verizon received for phone #s. The European Union registered concern yesterday over the US monitoring Europeans, and the possibility of not honoring their rights. And the debate continues over rights versus safety and whistle blowing versus traitor. To read more about this click here

historic 1926 Irish census missing-burned or illegally recycled

The first census completed after the partition of Ireland in 1926 is missing. Officials believe it may have been either turned into pulp (recycled) without legal permission, or burned during WWII.  Someone must have known it should not have been recycled. Censuses are permanent records by all accounts, but who can stop a rabid recycler? I hope it got burnt during WWII instead. I feel better about that happening. To read more click here

NHPRC webinars proposals requested

10s of millions of Americans' phone records collected

Through the Patriot Act, thank you Pres. Bush, extensive collection of information and communications has been accumulated, and is being accumulated still, under the aegis of fighting terrorism. Finally, info has been released proving the 10s of millions of Americans have had  records of their telephone calls collected. Who are these millions? What did they do or who are they to merit this? Supposedly the content of the calls have not been collected, which I find hard to believe, although metadata (not really considered a record here) has been. I'm all for catching terrorists, but I doubt there are 10s of millions of terrorists in the US, or 10s of millions of Americans with terrorist friends. What are we missing here? Is this every American criminal or immigrant or person from the Middle East or Muslim? Hmmm. Surely by now the specialists in terrorist catching and information crunching can probably say here are large groups that we monitored that it was useless and a waste of tim…

Superman comic found in wall

A rare 1938 Superman comic was found in a wall where it had been placed as insulation. This is back in the day before they had pink panther type or spray-it-in type insulation and people made due with whatever they had. In good shape, except for the back cover being recently torn, the finder hopes to sell it for big bucks. To read more about it and wish you had kept your comics, which never much appealed to me I must sadly admit, click here