Showing posts from January, 2015

Oregon archives/information mess

What happened? Several weeks ago 22,000 archival documents were given in electronic form to a professor from the University of Oregon, Prof. Bill Harbaugh. The documents did not go through a review process complying with state and federal privacy laws before they were released. The release of documents was initially referred to as "unlawful". The documents included "confidential information about faculty, staff and students" but no financial, medical or social security info. Documents included correspondence to/from the last four UO presidents.

What is the fallout? The professor returned the information. He says the problem isn't that the info was released, but that the university is obsessive about secrecy and certain attachments were not included with the information he requested. He is concerned that sufficient university presidential papers are not being maintained in the archives. Two archivists are on paid administrative leave. An internal investigation i…

Wayne State U Reuther Archives job posting

Job Posting: Archivist, Wayne State University Wayne State University seeks a knowledgeable, energetic, detail-oriented individual for a full-time, grant-funded, two-year appointment at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs. The Reuther Library collects, preserves, and provides access to historical records documenting the modern American labor movement, the development of southeastern Michigan, and the history of Wayne State University. The successful candidate will report to the Reuther Library Director.

The project archivist will be responsible for arranging, describing, and promoting the oral history holdings of the Reuther Library, comprised of both analog and digital transcripts, audio recordings, and video recordings. Using descriptive standards and processing best practices, and following the Library’s collections manual, the project archivist will be responsible for aggregating information and importing it into Archiv…

Smithsonian in London long-term?

Some collections of the Smithsonian may move long-term to what was the London Olympics center to become part of a global center of museums focused on science. They have a lot in storage that could be exhibited and contribute to knowledge and education. Cool. read more about it here

Brownie camera then and now

Interesting bit about owners and the images made in the past and pretty recently. Read more about it here

KY digital records resource management job posting

Project Blue Book and aliens

John Greenwald, an amateur historian, requested declassified info from the US government about UFO research conducted by the US Air Force. He posted more than 100,000 pages of materials he was eventually given to the internet. The USAF conducted serious investigating beginning in 1947 in a program called Project Blue Book. The cases PBB investigated eventually totalled12, 618 cases.  While most cases were easily figured out and closed, some remain open to today, like a case reported in 1964 in Socorro, New Mexico. Read more about it here

technological attempt to read Herculaneum scrolls

Scientists are trying to "read" burnt scrolls from Herculaneum with advanced x-ray technology. "read" is a generous term. It is  easier to make out curved letters than square shaped ones, but they remain difficult to decipher. Various techniques have been tried unsuccessfully over the years because the scrolls are squished together and burnt to a crisp. Most attempts further ruin the scrolls. Coll images. Perhaps this will improve with time. I'm amazed they can decipher anything at all. Wouldn't it be cool if they deciphered a play or book there is only the merest citation of in ancient literature, or some dead Greek or Roman physician's remedy book? Read and see more about it here

questionable teeth

Tests on teeth found in a Chinese cave in 1976 are different than the norm compared to both early humans and modern humans. Did they belong to a previously unknown species of early human or are they because of inter-breeding between the two? Nobody is positive. They need more teeth and bones to decide. The teeth are between 60,000 and 120,000 years old. Did you know for sure scientists now believe there were at least 4 early varieties of humans?  "The Neanderthals lived in Europe, the Denisovans in Asia and the "hobbit" Homo floresiensis in Indonesia: plus there was a mysterious fourth group from Eurasia that interbred with the Denisovans." Read more about it here

Will France enact its own Patriot Act?

Will France develop and implement something like our Patriot Act? There are concerns about far-reaching collection of data allowed although the original intent of the act did not allow for it. There are also concerns of attacks that have not been prevented in the US while mass data collection was occurring. Read more about it here

US infiltrated NK computers at least by 2010

The latest report is that the US infiltrated North Korean computers in 2010. Some think it would have been at least by 2010. Yet, with our experts in their computers, we remained ignorant of their attacking us, or did we let it happen so we could protest loudly? Hmm. I'm sure we are infiltrating lots of computers internationally all the time. I'm sure there will be more to come on this topic. Read about it here

Update on/from my dear ex-student Andreah Grove


Dead Greeks-who are they?

Parts of 4 skeletons and cremation ashes of a 5th body have been found in the Alexander-era Greek tomb. Bones were of a 60 year old woman, a newborn, 2 men, one of whom died of a stab womb. Interesting! What will they find there next?

proprietary images versus free access for the public

The European Space Agency is now trying to deal with a conundrum. The ESA's Rosetta probe is tracking Comet 67P. There are numerous images from several cameras. Fascinated people and interested parties want to see and share the images. The best images have a 6 month delay before the public can see them because the scientists have first dibs on them to determine which are scientifically important so they can use them and report them in their published research. This is very important to the scientists who developed the research which led to the probe tracking the comet. The ESA has had complaints. People want to see better and more images than the ones they are allowed to see. ESA is now in a pull between the public and scientists about image access and timeliness and if they are free or not. A different approach was taken by ESA with a spacecraft platform called Sentinel-1a- the images are given free away - nobody has first dibs.  I can see how this is part of a larger issue of pu…

Restoring old computers to save history

Computers from the 1960s and 1970s are mechanical, unique, diverse, complex and involve lots of parts and wires that don't always match the blueprints. It's amazing we ever got phones without cords when you think about it. Interesting article. Note: I love the word "fiddly" in describing the computers. Read more about it here

US to strengthen cyber security laws

Pres. Obama is pushing for stronger cyber security laws considering all the recent hacking. Proposals are going to Congress soon. Read more about it here

Friday update on this notes that Pres. Obama's proposal "would allow private companies to share information about cyber threats more freely with government agencies, and it would protect the companies who do so from lawsuits.
Other proposals include criminalizing the sale of stolen financial data, and requiring companies to notify consumers about data breaches."

I note that there is nothing about going after the cyber criminals or better defining cyber crime or punishment for it or about working with non-American sources to combat it.

Read more about it at

metadata librarian job posting

US Central Command hacked

Even as Anonymous prepares to take down terrorist social media sites, a group backing ISIS hacked the US Central Command's Twitter and YouTube accounts yesterday. Both accounts temporarily went down. It is calculated move that is very embarrassing. I think the military needs some computer/security people above what those it employs. Some documents have been released,and most, but not all, were  online somewhere else according to the military or were maps lacking detail. Propaganda was posted via Twitter and pro-ISIS videos were posted to the YouTube site after it was hacked. US Centcom believes that a major hack of data did not occur, that this is merely an irritant not a worrisome dilemma. Remember when we were told not to worry about our accounts and personal information when big stores and banks were hacked? Who is really behind it and what did they really accomplish? Is this a first step towards a bigger goal? When will we know the extent of the damage and what measures will b…

Je suis Charlie

After a very long weekend of the terrorist news in France, which was very upsetting, and the rallies, which were very uplifting and optimistic, I'm exhausted, and I wasn't even in France. I actually don't think I'd ever heard of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical comic magazine, that was brutally attacked. With this attack, terrorists strategically changed their assault program from one of terror and individual or group kidnappings and/or killings to incite fear to attacking one of the main pillars of democracy and liberty, freedom of the press. If there is no freedom of the press, no questioning of what leaders say or national events, no opinions to discuss and argue, no freedom of thought, speech, debate or right of assembly, you have a nation controlled by a dictator, with no freedom to think, invent, write, compose, create, hope, believe, or act as you wish.

I salute the French and others who rallied in support of liberty and democracy, freedom of the press, free speech…

what did Sam Adams and Paul Revere bury?

Today the corroded time capsule originally buried by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere in 1795, and later removed, reboxed, and reburied in the mid-1800s, was opened in Boston. It contained what they all do, coins, documents, some artifacts that tend not to rot. The conservators were pretty excited and had the press present to get good PR. The reason it is a big deal is because of the two leaders of democracy who initially buried it. It was removed from its original location (the Mass. statehouse) due to structural water system changes. Read more about it here and here

Job Posting: Librarian I, Grand Rapids Public Library

Job Posting: Librarian I, Grand Rapids Public Library The Grand Rapids Public Library seeks a forward-thinking, creative leader for a Librarian position in the Department of Grand Rapids History and Special Collections.
This is a full time professional Librarian position. The work includes providing reference and readers advisory to patrons in a busy urban library. The position will also include collection and program development. The successful candidate will be committed and skilled at providing phenomenal customer experience via one-on-one interactions, programming, and collection development. This position has a focus on local history and genealogy. The person hired for this position will be service focused, flexible in a quickly changing environment, and an innovator. This outstanding hire will be excited about growing, learning, and sharing their knowledge and understanding with both peers and patrons. The candidate must have the ability to use computers for variou…