Georgian Group Journal (18th century)
Open Military Studies (Military History)
Nordeuropa Forum (Nordic Studies)
Acta Archaeologica Carpathica (Carpathian mountains and region)
Folia Quaternaria (Polish journal of Quaternary Paleogeography)
OBOE Journal (Art Studies, “Journal On Biennials and Other Exhibitions”)
Litinfinite (in English and Bengali)
Incontri: Rivista Europea di studi Italiani (Italian history, some articles in English)
Acta Universitatis Lodziensis : Folia Litteraria Rossica (Russian literature)
Acta Universitatis Lodziensis : Folia Germanica (German literature)
African Journal of Inter/Multidisciplinary Studies (University of Durban, South Africa)
Biodiversity Observations (South Africa)
Citrus Research & Technology (Brazil)
Open Books (University of Cape Town)
BodoArXiv (Medieval Studies preprints)
A Medieval Studies preprint server. Who knew?
A useful new analysis today from COAR, “Don’t believe the hype: repositories are critical for ensuring equity, inclusion and sustainability in the transition to open access”. Recent…
publishers’ comments portray gold open access as the only ‘legitimate’ route for open access, and attempt to diminish the repository (or green) route.
According to the author, some publishers are even implying that repositories have no aggregators, or are not present in Google Search or in specialist search-engines such as Scholar and GRAFT. Laughably, they apparently suggest that poor over-worked researchers will instead…
need to search through individual repositories to find the articles.
The publishers are also said to be trying to stop all but a sub-set of elite repositories from being used for data deposit, via…
proposing to define the repository selection criteria for where their authors’ should deposit research data. These criteria, which are very narrowly conceived, threaten to exclude thousands of national and institutional repositories as options for deposit.
Again, this sounds like it is designed to make researchers feel it’s more convenient to publish their article + data via a big publisher.
There’s a useful and unique new UserScript. In search results, always redirect the links on Twitter hits to Nitter. Useful if you’re not a Twitter user, but may occasionally want to peek at a perhaps-useful Twitter hit in search.
If the main Nitter is being “rate limited” by Twitter, there’s another script that’s a Nitter Instance Switcher and offers a link to a random mirror site.
A full Instance (mirror) list is here at GitHub, if you need to find a few fresh ones.
The Tucows site has closed its doors and shipped the famous cows off to the local burger-flipping joint. In the early years of the broadband Internet the Tucows site was a go-to-place for desktop PC freeware for Windows, and well-known for its “two cows” graphic logo.
Key ongoing alternatives for users of desktop PCs and classic Windows freeware in 2021 are…
Softpedia. The usual go-to, found from a general shallow-search search-engine such as DuckDuckGo. Mixes trials with well-documented freeware, but it’s obvious which is which.
Lo4D, I rarely use it, but it’s useful if you want a second opinion on a Softpedia find.
MajorGeeks. The best for tracking freeware on a daily or weekly basis, re: what’s new or updated. Also very comprehensive. Just avoid the scattered text ads for downloads of the Malwarebytes software, which is ‘limpet-ware’ — it does what it says, but is a lead-in to a purchase and is extremely difficult to remove once installed.
OldApps is also useful if you need a specific older version. Despite the name, it’s classic Windows desktop software and not mobile apps. It also has some Mac pages.
GitHub Search can be useful, if you know what functionality you’re looking for and the precise terminology. Such as Scan Tailor Experimental 2015 for automatic de-curving of photos of opened book pages.
A final backstop is The Internet Archive Software Collection which has all sorts of golden oldies for Windows. Also ISOs of old magazine cover-CDs and DVDs.
Being a bit of a connoisseur of rare or overlooked graphics and utility freeware for the Windows desktop, I also know that many nice bits of freeware never reach such sites, and reside on the maker site or some specialist software-specific directory like Paint.NET Plugins Index. Sometimes the latest updates from a solo maker are only ever posted on forum threads, with Dropbox links, and that’s the last you hear of him. In such cases, a search with a deep-search engine such as Google is often needed, as such recent or forum-buried things are usually not highly ranked by the search-engines. Yippy can also be useful for finding free scripts.
Finally, avoid sites like FileHippo, which used to be good but have turned to the dark side.
Got nasty breadbrumbs in your Google Search, again? An update to the free UserScript Google Search restore URLs (undo breadcrumbs) fixes that, restoring full human-readable URL paths in your search results. Having URL paths visible is vital for instantly detecting and blocking spam, something which Google’s mega-mind AI seems unable to learn to do. After a while, the experienced searcher learns to spot the half-dozen common types of spam URLs. An obvious example…
A garbled hash forms part of the URL + an .it domain + a movie ‘download’ offer = definitely robo-spam and likely dangerous too. Why is it even in Google Search, and for search terms that have nothing to do with Thundercats?
The leading graphics-card developer NVIDIA has a new NVIDIA NGC catalog that…
provides GPU-optimized AI software for data engineers, data scientists, developers, and DevOps teams” and these are “optimized to run on NVIDIA GPU cloud instances, such as the Amazon EC2 P4d instance.
Apparently free, though the December press-release called it a “Storefront”. Presumably the modules are free, but you then pay to have them pondered by Amazon’s super-brain.
Seamless and free height-maps for the whole world, now at Tangram Heightmapper. It’s very easy to use. Once you’ve dived down to your location, and exported such a map, these height maps can be imported into 3D software. There they can then be used as the basis for making new elevated terrain maps, and as pretty as you care to make them.
How to use…
1. Go to Google Maps. Find your chosen location, and position it. Copy the current Google Maps URL to Notepad.
2. Now use this Google Maps URL co-ordinate data to craft a new URL for the Height Mapper. An example Google Maps URL would look like…
Therefore the needed Tangrams Height Mapper URL would be…
The #12 appears to be the zoom-level, with #13 zooming the satellite down another mile or so nearer to the ground. It appears to correspond with the ,12z bit of the Google Maps URL. It thus seems someone could easily cook up an URL-converter UserScript for Google Maps, but for now it needs to be done manually.
3. Paste your newly-crafted URL into Tangrams Height Mapper. Allow time to load. Once you’re happy, press “Export” to get the heightmap in PNG.
If needed, zoom-in further and grab multiple adjacent sections for export, then stitch these with the free Microsoft ICE. Although this does not appear to add detail. It just makes the final image larger.
4. View in your chosen 3D landscape software by loading up your new height map. For a quick look, the Aerialod freeware is simple and will do the trick.
You will then likely find the height map has “terraces” (aka “stairsteps” or “steps” or “zippers” or stepped “waterlines” or “tidelines”). These look like the tiny lines following the contours of a drawn map. These are not actually drawn-on contour-lines, but rather the unwanted artefacts of the relatively low-resolution heightmap. If you want high-resolution heightmaps you generally have to take out a mortgage to afford them.
Seen here in Aerialod, this “stepping” effect is actually not unappealing when rendered crisply. Though here with a bit too much of the Minecraft game about it. You can hide this effect somewhat by switching Aerialod to display in ‘Poly’ or ‘Surf’ mode, but these modes make the terrain look like a plaster-cast and seem far from ideal.
5. Most will then want to find a method of smoothing these tiny terraces, but without removing too much detail from the real bits of the terrain. Sadly it appears there’s there’s not really any way to do that, without smushing the other details, other than to cover the terrain with a satellite map or apply textures.
One simple free option I find that work for mesh export is Height Map to OBJ. This smooths the 3D mesh as it exports, also smushing fine details regretttably, rather than trying to smooth the height-map pixels first. It’s old but, like most good Windows freeware, still works and it will get rid of the ‘terraces’. Just note that the height maps you feed it must have exactly square dimensions. On import of the resulting OBJ into 3D software you will may have to re-set the scaling, to something like 700% on the Y axis.
With a vastly steeper learning-curve, TerreSculptor is now free and will also import a height map and export an OBJ.