Showing posts from March, 2014

2 very interesting bits of news re: government info requests of Google and FB's plans and what the world thinks of the web

First, Google reports an increase of 120% in the last four years of requests from governments for information on people. Part of this is due to the increase in users by some is from "More governments ...starting to "exercise their authority to make requests." How many requests are we talking about? The number of requests reported for last year globally was 53,356. Not all of these requests are granted, for example in the US 83% of 10,574 requests were granted July-December 2013.   Notice I'm  bolding the font of specific facts from the report. Also, journalists and news agencies were targeted, 21 of the top 25 international news agencies were targeted.  What does this mean? It is not just spy group from the UK and US requesting info. Imagine other governments seeking information on criminals, terrorists, or average joes in order to control their people. For more information click here

Secondly, FB, in an effort …

painting stolen by Nazis to be returned to owner's family

An 1824 Constable maritime painting confiscated from a collector of Jewish background during WWII eventually ended up in the Tate in the UK. An investigation found the Tate did an insufficient job of reviewing the painting's provenance. In fact, an identified image of it was on a Hungarian website of stolen art at the time the Tate received the painting as a donation. The Tate has agreed to return the painting to the man's descendants. Hopefully, in the future, they will be more careful about reviewing the provenance of paintings. To read more about it click here

UM archives job announcement


UK Police apparently illegally shredded documents to cover their butts ; Irish police illegally recorded

Talk about a day for inappropriately following your laws and records schedules! And see the result: This behavior generates public protests and much bad PR.

Files documenting illegal actions in police files regarding a murder were apparently inappropriately shredded. An investigation has begun. People are unhappy. This is how bad it is when you try to cover your tracks and don't follow the records schedule. There will undoubtedly be more on this story in the future. To read a bit more and see a really uncomfortable verbal exchange about the topic click here

Republic of Ireland police are in trouble because they illegally recorded phone conversations without informing callers they were being recorded. In the past police had recorded phone conversations, an investigation and laws made them stop, but the word now is that they continued. Over 2400 calls are being investigated. Journalists and witnesses were recorded when they called the pol…

jobs of the future and now: info security analysts

Cyber attacks will happen, have happened, are happening. Want a good job in our lackluster economy either here or abroad? Become an info security analysis. Read more about it here

the NSA and our phone records

News today: Pres. Obama will propose a new plan to Congress to get the NSA to stop collecting phone info in mass as it has. The info it already has collected will be kept 5 years. Why? No reason given. After Friday the plan will perhaps be that the phone companies, which keep call related info 18 months,  will be required to be able to swiftly give info upon request (court order) to the NSA in a way they require to be compatible with their system. This is an improvement. Let's see if it works. To read more about it click here.

Jeanette Lempke, one of the Ninety-Niners, in the Aladdin collection


Vatican to digitize archives

A major Vatican project is beginning in conjunction with Japan's NTT Data tech co. to digitize 82,000 manuscripts. In stage 1, over the next 4 years, the Vatican plans on digitizing 3,000 incunabula (handwritten manuscripts). Won't this be incredible?! Works of math, science, law, medicine, and, politics, power, and religion some as early as pre-Columbian America, from all over the world. I can't wait!!!  The cost is estimated at over $20 million. I wonder where their server is and what kinds of backups they'll use? Will they have online exhibits as they complete certain sections of the Vatican archives? What are their parameters because I bet they have more than 82,000 manuscripts? To read more about it click here

Ethiopia and Turkey monitoring/restricting access

Recently 10 million Twitter users in Turkey  found their access blocked. The government blocked access in retaliation for Twitter conversations discussing corruption in the government's inner circle. Prior t this the government had blocked other social media after perceived insults to the country's founder. To read more about it click here Later the government defended its actions saying that Twitter had failed to comply with court orders, not specifying which ones. Negotiations with Twitter are occurring simultaneously with public protests. To read more about it click here

Update: Now the Turkish courts have block the government's move to block Twitter. Tee sad news is that this may take weeks before it goes into effect. Read more at

It is intereeting that Ethiopia, sadly a nation I do not think of as highly technologically advanced, is a…

News from UK about the value of primary sources of note

First one of Lewis Carroll's letters complaining about fame was just auctioned for over 11,000 pounds, about 4 times auction estimates. To read more about it click here

Second, a very early complete dictionary of Middle English-Latin called the Cathlicon Anglicum, dating from about 1483, that was going to leave the UK via auction has been saved and will stay in the UK. The British Library paid over 92,000  pounds to keep it. It is considered one of the earliest examples of an English dictionary, the only complete example in existence of the evolution of English dictionaries.  A second, incomplete, copy is also in the British Library. Scholars in training would have used the dictionary to improve their Latin, the all important language of the church, politics, and international affairs. It is also valuable in the study of the English Reformation.  To read more about it and see cool image click here…

Mr. Sovereign's yatch

Mr. Sovereign, owner of Aladdin Homes, in Saginaw owned a yatch called Sovereign. Here is an exciting blueprint of it. It weighed 84 tons and was 91 feet long. I like the salon in middle. It looks nice from the side view. Mr. Sovereign was a member of the Bay City Yatch Club. The Club's registers, 1906-1911 are part of the Aladdin collection, as is this lovely blueprint recently discovered. To learn more about the collection, part of which is still being processed by my intrepid interns, click here;view=reslist

Lake Michigan summer lighthouse intern jobs

Open to Students of Museum Studies, History, Human Relations, Business, Arts, Culture
Positions posted February 2, 2014 Deadline for Applications: April 5, 2014
Available through Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPLKA) for Summer, 2014:
1) Site/Event Coordinator for White River Light Station (WRLS) in Whitehall
2) Site Coordinator at Ludington North Breakwater Light (LNBL) in Ludington
3) Site Coordinator at Little Sable Point lighthouse (LSP) Silver Lake State Park
4) Site Coordinator at Big Sable Point lighthouse (BSP) Ludington State Park
Position: The ideal candidates for these onsite lighthouse positions will be fun and energetic, possessing great people skills and the ability to work well with weekly- changing, multi-generational volunteer groups and work environments, they will be flexible, dedicated, responsible, organized problem solvers who are willing to work on a variety of tasks that may change daily. Candidates should …

NARA considering closing Anchorage NARA branch permanently

Happy 25th to the Web !

Yes it has been 25 years since the Web hit us and now most Americans and 1/3 of the world is using it. It has, in many ways, changed the world, not always for the better.  To learn more about it click here

CIA accessed congressional computers inappropriately

A Senate committee and their staff had a separate computer system to review millions of secret documents related to alleged CIA abuse in a detention and interrogation program which Pres. Bush established. The CIA, instead of asking the staff and members of the committee, hacked into the system reviewing the committee's draft documents of their report as well as their communications. The head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Diane Feinstein, is really mad about it and publicly accused the CIA, on the Senate floor no less, of inappropriate actions which she said "may have undermined the constitutional framework" of government oversight. Was the CIA trying to intimidate the committee?  She's right, of course, the CIA should have begun by asking and should not have hacked. I'm sure the CIA has hacked into everyone's communications concerned with government at some point. I'm sure none of the august senators or their committees of import have b…

3 paintings stolen by Nazis returned to descendants of original owner

A French museum recently surrendered 3 paintings to the family of the original owner whose works were stolen by the Nazis. To read more about it click here