I’m pleased to say that jurn.org appears to have come out of ‘Google Search quarantine’ on 23rd February, a month after the domain was re-activated, and the traffic saw a big upward bounce.
There’s a new substantial source of CC0 images, Collections at the Musee de Bretagne (Museum of Brittany, northern France). A test search for “Paris” pictures with images and under CC0 gave 1,298 results. Downloads were initiated by a simple mouse-click, with no hoops to jump through.
In the first tests, image size results were variable, with some being low-res and fuzzy and others being crisp medium-res 3Mb images. Obviously searches will require a passing knowledge of French, as there appears to be no English language interface or tagging. Thus a search for “cat” needs one to know that “chat” is the French word for a cat, and that chromolithograph is “chromolithographie”. Changing the search term from “Paris” to “chat” demonstrated that the site’s search filters/facets are retained across searches. Loading and download speeds are excellent.
A search of the site via Google Images returned no CC results at all, for site:www.collections.musee-bretagne.fr/ “Paris” — under any CC licence. This suggests that Google may be having problems detecting the licences. Google does however offer a useful 2Mb size filter.
This is how a great many American newspapers now treat online visitors from outside America. Like criminals.
This was the art exhibition report I had wanted to take a quick look at…
… which could be had with a VPN that let me pretend to be in the USA. Perhaps the world now needs an automatic “auto-detect a xenophobic block, switch on VPN and reload” browser plugin for these legacy newspapers?
This is for users of the old WordPress Dashboard, who are puzzled about how to make a wordpress.com blog “private” in 2019.
1) Click on the “My Sites” wording in the top left of the old Dashboard. This is actually a clickable link button, rather than just a decorative UI header. This will cause a sidebar overlay to pop out over the left part of your old Dashboard. The sidebar is different from the usual one you use, which is seen in the picture below. At the foot of this new pop-out sidebar is “Settings”, another text label which is also clickable.
2) Here’s a screenshot of the new unfamiliar pop-out sidebar. Clicking “Settings” on this will take you over to the new style Dashboard at your WordPress.com blog…
3) Your view will be focussed onto the new-style “Settings” page. Scroll down this unfamiliar page and find a section called “Privacy”, where you can save and set the required settings.
So far as I can tell, there is no longer any way to access these particular settings from the old Dashboard.
4) Back on the sidebar of the new style Dashboard, the “People” tab then gives you access to invite people to your newly Private blog.
This “People” tab is also present on the old Dashboard, although there it goes by the name of “Users”. You may also see them called “Readers”. This means that once you have set Privacy settings, your blog can continue to be managed as usual through the old familiar Dashboard.
When setting your blog to Private, WordPress will inserting “href.li” at the beginning of Web links. This is a form of link anonymiser, and tries to keep even the existence of your blog unknown. Turn off this feature via: Settings | Reading | “I would like my links to be public” | Save.
While you are at Settings | Reading, you can also see the names (or WordPress usernames) of those you have already invited to read your blog and who have accepted the invitation.
A new February 2019 paper, from the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies, testing existing methods for auto-detection of OA papers in Web of Science (WOS) and Scopus. The conclusions are about what you might expect — that it’s easier said than done, even with such well-behaved services, and even then it’s partial.
But as part of the study a research assistant valiantly undertook further manual checking by hand. They found that OA full-text links there were broken at a rate of 17%…
“a further manual check found about 17% of OA publications are not accessible … 17.57% in WOS and 16.74% in Scopus.”
Now on Archive.org in a handy open .torrent form, the Corpus for 45 million OA papers in 46Gb and dated January 2019. Gathered by Semantic Scholar in Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Biomedical. I get the impression that there’s been some bycatch with Semantic Scholar, but it’ll be overwhelmingly in those areas.
Archive.org has also recently placed online a whole bundle of similar bibliographic datasets from disparate sources, with torrents. This seems to be part of their FatCat project, to ingest and preserve all available records and metadata from mainstream scholarly journal publishing. Open snapshots of the resulting combined (and presumably cleaned and aligned) FatCat mega-base are also available, the last one dated 30th January 2019 and under CC0. It weighs in at a modest 80Gb, so have a spare hard-drive ready.
Not content with trashing the trusty old Skype desktop interface, and replacing it with shiny app-ized blah, Microsoft’s latest Skype update has now completely locked many people out of using Skype. Including me…
Microsoft seems to have developed a knack for blowing up their updates. In this case the interface, such as it is, is “frozen” and unusable.
Thus, time for a downgrade. The latest Skype Classic no longer works as a fallback, as Microsoft started blocking it from service in early 2019. Instead, I find that one can still downgrade to the Skype Classic 7.36.01 standalone installer. It works fine under Windows 8.1.x as long as you turn off its automatic updates. As a bonus, you get the old user interface back again.
There’s a new type of Creative Commons / GPL -like content licence. The General Asset License Information (GAL) is specifically for… “digital assets, shared or sold with the intent of being used within larger works”. Think low-poly 3D models for building new videogames with, that sort of thing.
As I read it (and I’m not a lawyer), GAL is not for final works. Rather it permits use of what the digital entertainment production industries often call ‘assets’, ‘content’, ‘merchant resources’, ‘stock’, and similar terms. A videogame partly made with GAL assets could be sold commercially and protected as a commercial product in the market. Even while the GAL parts of the game remained free for others to re-use again under GAL. The GAL seems to be aimed at allowing a creative maker to be generous with their free content, without forcing them to go to CC-BY or CC0. Presumably GAL content would not be purloined, aggregated and sold on by the Alamy-like companies, since GAL would only permit re-use as a part of a larger indivisible whole product.
Looks good to me.