Showing posts from September, 2014

not one Ermine painting but three

Recent tests have proven that Leonardo painted three portraits to get to the famous, final Lady with the Ermine portrait. It changes how the art world thinks of Leonardo's portrait and painting technique. First she was painted with out the ermine in a red and black dress, then with a small, gray ermine and a blue sleeve was added, then, in the final version, she looks as we have known her. Fascinating. Guess this means lots of new academic discussions and papers as well as new text books for all the art 101 students. Read more about it here

the anti-Facebook

Don't like the ads but love social media? There is a social media site that is bare bones and without ads. It was invented by a bike shop owner in Vermont, Paul Budnitz. It's name is Ello. Originally it was designed for communication just between the owner and his friends. Budnitz opened  Ello to others in Aug. Since then, 31,000 requests to join PER HOUR have been received. Read more about it here

encrypted phones

The FBI thinks encrypted phones will aid and abet criminal activity. Apple says it won't, that it will allow for more privacy, but information can be accessed by authorities if needed. Who is right? How secure will it be? Read more about it here

EU again requests that Google change privacy rulings

In March 2012 Google combined data from YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps. At the same time it combined its then 60 privacy policies. The European Union  data privacy regulators want Google to alter its policies again to bring them more in line with European standards for data privacy and protection. Google has already made some requested changes, but the EU wants more.  Read more about it here news/technology-29381114?print=true

Shellshock attacks recorded

Shellshock attacks have already occurred. So far, "thousands of servers" are already "compromised." In some cases, Shellshock makes the server blast excess data at a site, making the site inoperable. Read more about it here


This is too interesting to post later...Apple's Mac operating systems have a flaw in their software known as Bash. This is part of the Linux systems. Many servers run on the Apache system which includes Bash. There is a "deadly bug" called Shellshock which is worse than Heartbleed. Heartbleed infected an estimated 500,000 computers internationally, but Shellshock may infect 500 million computers. Bash (which stands for Bourne Again Shell) is a command prompt. Did you know there is a US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (referred to as US-Cert)? Well there is. It issued a warning about Shellshock recommending IT people use a patch, but the patch is incomplete. Shellshock has higher potential than Heartbleed to do terrible damage, but the bug itself is not very complex which allows hackers to easily use it. Shellshock allows for someone to "potentially take over the operating system, access confidential info, make changes, etc." Security experts believe hackers a…

Mid-Michigan Digital Practitioners meeting at CMU

Excellent Nova programs last night on hacking and Richard III

Last night Nova ran two programs back to back that were both excellent about topics I often cover here. 1) The Rise of the Hackers and 2) Secrets of the Dead: Resurrecting Richard III

The Rise of the Hackers discusses the global emergence of hackers, who, what they do, some of the methods used and systems or flaws in systems they take advantage of, and what the future impact will be globally of hackers, as well as discussing with those who have been hacked and are fighting hackers. Excellent and very understandable to all. One of the scariest points is that individuals, governments and criminals are all equal in status as hackers. Talk about a sobering thought.

Resurrecting Richard III continues an earlier program and news articles (see my blog for several entries) about finding his remains and verifying it was him. Resurrecting... goes into analysis of his…

EBay hacking

EBay users have been tricked and are being tricked into giving up personal info or billed inappropriately by hackers. "Cross-site scripting (XSS)" is the hacking technique of choice here.
"Users clicking on eBay listings that appeared legitimate were being automatically re-directed to harmful websites designed to steal user information, including credit card details." This has been happening either since Feb. or possibly for a year.  Outside sources are pressuring EBay to combat the hacking. Seems like EBay should also determine the breadth and depth of the hacking that has occurred. Read more about it here

Job posting

Oral history workshop

Amazing tomb found- Alexander the Great's?

A large, extremely fine tomb from the era of Alexander the Great is being excavated in Greece. Archaeologists aren't sure yet whose tomb it is. Inside are large, gorgeous carvings - 7 foot high caryatids. The tomb is in what was the ancient city of  "Amphipolis, a major city of the Macedonian kingdom, 100km (62 miles) east of Thessaloniki, Greece's second city."  I know there was another tomb found years ago that was featured in National Geographic that specialists thought could be Alexander the Great who is supposedly buried in Egypt.  This could be someone from his family, too. It is the tomb of someone rich and important for sure. For an interesting read and gorgeous images click here

Bentley job posting

CURATION ARCHIVIST Job Summary The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan invites applications from innovative and creative individuals with demonstrated technical skills for an open title position in the Curation department of the Library.

Position Focus:
This permanent position will play an essential role in the Librarys Curation operations and assist in the Librarys current initiatives to implement Archivematica, ArchivesSpace and AEON and revise existing ingest, processing, and descriptive workflows for all collection genres and formats. Moving forward, the archivist will monitor emerging trends and best practices and build capacity to (1) implement technologies appropriate to the Librarys needs and policy framework and (2) develop strategies and resources to preserve and provide access to new and/or complex data types. Additional duties will include the arrangement and description of digital and hybrid collections and curation of archived websites…

Chinese hack US govt contractors' sites and airlines

A new report shows that Chinese hackers hacked US government contractors' sites and airlines more than 50 times from June 2012 to June 2013. 20 of these were "advanced persistent threats". The attacks were focused on systems dealing with troop movement and equipment. The report also noted that US government agencies did not communicate with each other about the attacks and that "contractors are only required to report network-level cyber-intrusions." You would think significant attacks would have been reported as they must have been at least network-level, wouldn't you? The Chinese government denies it. Read more about it here

final analysis of mortal wounds of Richard III

Nine injuries to his skull, three of which were fatal, plus 2 other injuries, these likely sustained after death, are evident on the bones of Richard III, the infamous historical king demonized in Shakespeare. He may also have sustained other tissue damage. A new report based on analysis of the bones of the king, to be reburied in Leicester Cathedral. Bones are so cool. Read more about it here

British explorer ship found in Canadian arctic

The HMS Erebus was one of two ships (the other being the HMS Terror- what a name!) sent to chart the NW Passage of the Canadian arctic in 1845. Both became stuck in the ice off King William Island. While some of the crew made it to land, everyone perished. Some bodies and equipment were found. Those that lasted longest had resorted to cannibalism.  The UK has searched for both vessels. Recent surveys found a ship in the Victoria Strait. Which ship it is remains to be determined. Researchers hope if one ship is there that the other is nearby. Read more about it here

more icloud fallout

Not content with stealing nude images, a criminal gang is now in a phishing campaign to iCloud users asking them to click to verify their ID, which links to a fake Apple site,  which puts personal personal data of the users at risk. This follows  Apple increasing security and notifying users of the same. So now there are false Apple messages. Isn't this fun? Honestly, the criminals just use every angel don't they? They are tenacious buggers. Read more about it here

Google holding sessions on "right to be forgotten"

The controversial concept of the "right to be forgotten" which would eliminate some people's online information (various kinds for various reasons if your application is approved) remains controversial. Google does not want to do it. Many people, over 90,000 since July, have petitioned to have some bit of information about them removed from online search indexes. Perhaps they were accused of a crime they were innocent of committing. Perhaps it is something embarrassing but not criminal. Google is going to hold a series of meeting throughout Europe with a panel of experts espousing pro- and anti- sentiments about the concept. It remains unclear whether these sessions are to convince the public or Google as to which direction to go with the concept.  Read more about it here

Tricorder in process

Who doesn't remember the tricorder Dr. McCoy used on Star Trek to diagnose his patients? It was small, portable, and full of info to diagnose everything. Doctors are now working on developing a tricorder, particularly for people who haven't got insurance and wait until their health issues are advanced or fatal before seeking medical care. Developers are working on ways to get info into a system that would be usable. The doctor leading the charge experienced patient frustration when his son was hurt. He is approaching the challenge with medical skill and for patient advocacy.  Read more about it here

stolen nude shots from cloud prompt changes

An online storage company, 4Chan, has announced changes its policies and protocols to comply with more stringent US laws (Digitial Millennium Copyright Act -DMCA) to allow those whose data is stolen to get it "taken down" from online sites where it is illegally shared. Prior to this 4Chan ignored copyright laws, but usually got around it because materials was posted for a maximum of a few hours. This is a result of the recent, targeted theft of nude shots from a number of  stars. The stolen videos and images first surfaced after being stolen on 4Chan.  The company has also moved against child abuse images on its site. It now has staff specifically employed to remove such information, repeat offenders will have their access to the site terminated. Still if you have a nude pic what is to prevent you from storing it and sharing it on other sites, now or in the future? I don't see that there is any way to completely erase all the images that have been stolen or control all t…

rainbow and Home Depot

Two things:
1) there was a rainbow over the Park this morning in the middle of a sky that had recently rained. Anybody else see it at 7:10 am Thrs?

2) Home Depot joined an ever longer growing list of companies, banks, and government units which have now admitted there was a massive hack of its systems. Thousands of credit cards went on sale illegally Tues from info and accounts gathered in the HD attack. HD now believes that the hackers have been hacking since May. That's 4 complete months of undetected hacking. The company is working with police and banks. There are some also basic steps about what to do if you had an account with a company that has been hacked. Read more about it here

I love looking at other people's photos!

One of the great things I enjoy about being an archivist is that I get to look at other people's photos and wonder about them and their lives and learn about something new. It is always sad to me when I can't tell who or what or what. Lots of people do not identify or date their images. All my processing students learn this and by the time they leave me they are determined to organize their own papers and date and identify their own images. Sometimes a pile of photos are found somewhere and it is a hunt to find the owners or their descendants. Here are some from Belfast, Ireland, with rather witty captions. I  hope the creators or their descendants are found. Enjoy at

DNA reveals populating of northern Canada

Through recent DNA analysis scientists have learned that the Inuit and current First Peoples of northern Canada descend are from different DNA groups. They followed several other groups of immigrants into the area, from other DNA groups, who are long gone. These groups include:
Paleo-Eskimos (beginning around 6,000 years ago) including Saqqaq and three separate Dorset cultures. This was a group from Siberia. Thule people (beginning around 1,000 years ago), ancestors of the modern-day Inuit. Two waves further south, giving rise to different groups of Native American ancestors. Read more about it here