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Category Archives: Internet

Public archives: more relevant today than ever

Policy Opinions PolitiquesJennifer Anderson

“Public archives represent a democratic vision where all are welcome, ideas circulate, and information is analyzed and diffused for educational purposes. There has been a lot of noise recently about information distortion and its effects on democracy. So what better time to raise the importance of historical literacy and public archives? In gathering and promoting primary source material, archives play an essential role in modelling literacy skills and critical thinking. In analyzing this material and producing modest, reasonable conclusions, researchers aim to understand complex issues and to engage the public in the discussion. These skills are crucial tools in a democracy. For too long archives have been hidden and archivists overlooked. All sorts of unflattering stories have circulated about archives, as if to keep the general public out. Witness the way popular culture has painted the picture: dust, disorder and darkness.

Historical thinking – Archives are considerably more nuanced than most people realize. The researchers who use public archives, as well as the staff, have a wide range of backgrounds and interests. Diversity is valued for the fresh ideas it fosters. Pluralism brings new perspectives and new questions to the sources. Working with archives is an exercise in historical thinking where questions about sources, context and cause are central. (Consider the work of the Historical Thinking Project, an educational initiative organized around the questions historians pose of primary sources, aimed at promoting media and information literacy.) Solid archival research requires sources to be validated, corroborated and referenced, so that peers can follow the line of reasoning and further the arguments. As critical thinkers engaged in creating interrelated information pathways, archivists are allergic to binary thinking. They worry about gaps in collections and how to mitigate bias, both historical and contemporary. Behind the scenes, archivists query one another on acquisitions, evaluations and descriptions of archival collections to ensure that the documentary heritage preserved today will enable future generations to understand their own past…”

Revealing Data: Why We Need Humans to Curate Web Collections

Circulating Now – NIH – “In this Revealing Data series we explore data in historical medical collections, and how preserving this data helps to ensure that generations of researchers can reexamine it, reveal new stories, and make new discoveries. Future researchers will likely want to examine the data of the web archive collections, collected and… Continue Reading

Browser plug-in organizes and contextualizes big news stories for readers

MIT newsroom: “The explosion of digital content has made it hard to navigate news today. This startup’s plug-in will cut down on time and browser tabs, while readers search for information. Acciyo’s name might draw from fiction, but the purpose of the search engine extension is firmly rooted in fact. “When I was first figuring… Continue Reading

AP exclusive report “Google Tracks Your Movements, Like it or Not”

“Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to. An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing… Continue Reading

Axios – The insane Trump news cycle of 2018 in one chart

“Here’s how busy the Trump news cycle has been in just the first half of 2018, as seen in Google News Lab’s data on the googling trends of the public. It shows when and how much people searched about 30 of the biggest news events…This doesn’t even account for all of the policy changes, media… Continue Reading

Trump’s Nemesis in the Age of Pinocchio

The New York Times highlights the work of Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post in the article Trump’s Nemesis in the Age of Pinocchio – “Glenn Kessler’s database of presidential untruths will become a reference, a talisman… Every untruth Trump utters, Kessler chronicles. At the beginning of this month, the running total was 4,229 false or… Continue Reading

AI is bringing a new set of rules to knowledge work

Thomson Reuters – When things go digital, they start following a new set of rules. “The rules of the physical world are either not applicable or are severely diminished. Things move from sparsity to abundance, where consumption does not lead to depletion. To the contrary, the more an object is consumed, the more valuable it… Continue Reading

The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views

The New York Times – The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views – “Plays can be bought for pennies and delivered in bulk, inflating videos’ popularity and making the social media giant vulnerable to manipulation…” Continue Reading

Study – How Do Americans Feel About Online Privacy in 2018?

The Best VPN – “Concerns around online privacy have come to a head in 2018. In mid-March, The New York Times and The Guardian reported that data from 50 million Facebook profiles was harvested for data mining firm Cambridge Analytica — a number that would eventually be revised to 87 million in one of the… Continue Reading

Automatic Transliteration Can Help Alexa Find Data Across Language Barriers

Alexa Blog: “As Alexa-enabled devices continue to expand into new countries, finding information across languages that use different scripts becomes a more pressing challenge. For example, a Japanese music catalogue may contain names written in English or the various scripts used in Japanese — Kanji, Katakana, or Hiragana. When an Alexa customer, from anywhere in… Continue Reading

How to Teach Information Literacy in an Era of Lies

The Chronicle of Higher Education – “Every day, critics of the American president decry his penchant for “false or misleading claims,” while he and his supporters fire back with accusations of “fake news.” It’s no wonder those of us who teach are worried more than ever about information literacy. The flourishing of misperceptions makes it… Continue Reading

United States Legislative Markup XML

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is collaborating with the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, and the Office of the Federal Register on parallel projects to convert a subset of enrolled bills, public laws, the Statutes at Large, the Federal Register, and the… Continue Reading