WordPress – sounding the Bell

Some free WordPress.com users will be used to responding to the Bell in the top-right of their blog’s User Interface. They may now be wondering what’s happened there. Clicking on the Bell should open a sidebar list of recent posts and responses. It now never loads.

It’s part of the slow and stop-start changeover from the old editor to the horrible new Block editor (the free Open Live Writer desktop software is the alternative for free users).

To get to your Bell alerts now, when in ../wp-admin/.. you instead swing over to the other side of the screen, and click on “My Sites”…

This then gets you the newer interface…

Swing back over to the Bell, now blue. Your alerts will now load…

Then you click back to the ../wp-admin/.. UI.

As for Open Live Writer, it only lacks access to this Bell, and to the blog’s uploaded Media Library. All other WordPress blogging functions are in there, though sometimes you need to right-click on a seemingly-plain icon to find its advanced options (like loading a list of the scheduled posts).

Cultural Japan

Launched in August 2020, Cultural Japan. More than a million items on Japanese Culture, in a user-friendly interface.

On searching it becomes apparently that it’s an aggregator. A search for cat for instance, brings in results by Japanese artists and photographers from all over the Anglosphere and Europe, whereas one might have expected it to draw on Japanese digitised collections. Only one result came from Japan, from the University of Tokyo General Library. However, it appears this is simply an artefact of my search. If I search for cat using the Japanese Kanji , then the search results are indeed a mix.

It seems no large versions of pictures are on-site, and the searcher must follow an off-site link and hope for the best, negotiating various links and viewer types to try to get a large version.

In the case of a test picture, “Scouts near Niu-chang on a snowy night”, after about four pass-throughs the largest version at the final landing site was 800px. However, a quick Google Search for the same picture’s title “as a phrase” found a large version via Google Arts & Culture. This was not picked up by Cultural Japan. This is worth remembering if you get to the end of the click-chain and still only have a small picture.

Weather magic

Here’s how to remove the invasive official Weather widget (and possibly other such widgets, as they roll out) from your Opera Web browser’s start-screen. This method may also work in other Chrome-based browsers.

1. Type or paste chrome://flags in the browser taskbar. Press Return on your keyboard.

2. Scroll down the list, find it, disable it…

3. Then click the “Relaunch” button at the bottom of the page. This will relaunch the Web browser and apply the new settings. This special Flags page, as you can see, does not work like the main Settings page does, where changes take effect immediately. A restart of the browser is needed from the Flags page.

Added to JURN

Norwegian-American Studies

Italian Modern Art

Architecture Philosophy

Luminary, The

Fantastika Journal

Comics Reporter, The (indexing interviews only)

Europubmed fixed — they recently changed the per-article URL path from ../articles/ to ../article/

Semantic Scholar’s harvested PDFs are back in JURN again. This also now brings in some record pages, bounced from the pdfs/.. URL path, in which case the users needs to check the URL on the record page. If it appears to be a book and the page says something like Petplayground2 . Com then you know the harvester has been somewhere dodgy and harvested a pseudo-ebook.

Thankfully the search result only appears to bounce if the PDF is 404, which means the ‘hive of scum and villainy’ has been erased.


U.S. Forest Service Treesearch service. JURN already has excellent coverage of forests and natural fire, but this adds another 54,000 selected items relevant to the USA.

Canadian Field-Naturalist, The (four-issue paywall, but worth indexing to get 2013-2019 into JURN).

Science Museum Group Journal (UK)

Open and shut

It appears that the DOAJ is now accepting journals that are only ‘open’ in the sense that they’re available to institutions and members via JSTOR. e.g. four or five Berghahn Books titles that were listed today.

The Berghahn Books blog has no announcement I can find that these titles are about to go open access, and Google appears to know nothing either. Their only fully OA journal title appears to be Anthropology in Action, added to the DOAJ in May 2018.

It’s not Funai

It appears that someone is using Nigeria’s Federal University Research Archive (FURA) to run one of those “produce a poisoned spam-PDF for every book-title in the world” robo-scams, and is using the repository server to spam these online with a high search ranking. See the results via a Google Search for…

site:dspace.funai.edu.ng horror

For now I’m keeping dspace.funai.edu.ng in my GRAFT (‘search across all the world’s academic repositories’), with the suggestion that GRAFT users simply add -dspace.funai.edu.ng to the end of their search to clear this spam. Hopefully the problem will be sorted out, and the server cleaned up, relatively soon. The server is not in the JURN index.

Transcribe in Word

New from Microsoft, a “Transcribe in Word” service. Upload an audio file of less than 200Mb, press play for transcription to begin. The words appear as if being typed into the Office 365 online version of Word (only). What makes it interesting is that it apparently identifies different speakers, and can also work in real-time when at conferences, lectures etc. Users can transcribe five hours per month from their uploaded files.

Microsoft is rather playing “catch up” here, and the market leader is StreamText offering real-time no-lag transcription at 9 cents per minute. Such rapidly advancing tech likely means it’s not a moment in time to be training as a sign-language interpreter for classrooms and large events. Although I guess heavy accents and mumbling professors may still require it.