How about an AI to automatically date a vintage photo, by the cut of the dresses and hats to be seen in it, and/or the cars and vehicles to be seen?
A new category for posts on this blog, Regex. I’ve gone back and retrospectively tagged old posts with it.
A WordPress plugin is needed that lets small publishers and copyright-owners easily and cheaply offer a Google Books-like experience. This would allow public searching across a set of uploaded PDFs, but the actual PDFs would not be made public.
The only thing being served from search would be Google Books-like snippets of text and page. Something more or less like this in terms of the elements… snippet, issue title, cover thumbnail, page thumbnail with snippet location highlighted…
A typical use-case would be, for instance, a set of 50 hobbyist magazine back-issues. Cheese Making and Makers magazine, 1990-2002, that sort of thing. Old, but still valuable in terms of the wealth of information. The rights owner is not a huge mega-publisher, and may indeed have inherited the rights on the death of a family member. All they want to do is ‘scan and sell’, as simply and cheaply as possible and without recurring costs other than the web-space.
Searchers, having satisfied themselves via search snippets and a TOCs preview that their discovered magazine or journal is of obvious use to their specific needs, could then buy a bundle of the back-issues.
There must be a great many niche, trade and ‘vernacular’ sets of back-issues out there, that might be winkled out into public availability if such a simple secure tool were available.
Hurrah! After numerous support emails and hassle, my new jurn.link domain has now been ICAAN verified within the 15-day verification period. It should now stay online for the foreseeable future.
JURN is now back online after a short hiatus, at the Web domain www.jurn.link and my blog has also had all instances of the old .org links fixed.
Please update your bookmarks and links. It’s just a matter of changing .org to .link which should be a simple matter for most.
My JURN directory of open scholarly ejournals in the arts & humanities and GRAFT (full-text search of the world’s repositories) are also back online.
Everything should be working correctly, though it’s possible that one or two especially recalcitrant DNS servers in Whereizitagin may not yet have picked up the new domain-name.
Ok, don’t freak, I’m on it. It seems like half the population of Whereizitagin just arrived at this blog, and it’s probably because jurn. org has gone AWOL in the last day or so. I’ll be back by Monday, or so I’m told, but at a new domain.
Google News is becoming ever-more picky about what it will display in search. A special problem is its growing lack of full-coverage in terms of timeliness (i.e. it defaults to old news after just a few timely items, when there should be many more present). A clear example: apparently no outlet in the entire world has once mentioned Staffordshire -police -dog in the past three days. Yet Bing News has the ‘missing’ news stories, and from the same search… so why doesn’t Google News?
Another major problem is its seeming inability to weed out all the ‘market reports’ pseudo-news spam. There are so many of them because I presume they’re an entry-point for scams involving sales of worthless stocks and shares. If you’re gullible enough to buy one of these reports, then you set yourself up as a ‘mark’ to be conned.
What then are the search-box alternatives to Google News at the end of 2021? There are not many, but here they are.
Bing News. This is by far the best bit of Bing. Also the best news search service for timeliness, with ‘sort by date’, and the ability to pick up and display news even from the last few minutes. Also has very good coverage of local and regional news here in the UK, able to pick up the Bogglinton-on-the-Wold Bugle class of local news-sheets and more.
Though they have recently started including ‘local classified ads’ as news, which is slightly annoying. Note that one of the downsides to Bing News is that there’s no way to selectively block some of the very low-grade and click-baiting sources they use. I’ve looked and looked for a solution here… but it seems there’s just no way to block a source in Bing in the browser itself. With Google News it’s one-click easy, with Google Hit Hider. The solution for Bing News is to filter its RSS feed instead.
The Bing search box accepts two -knockouts, e.g. comics digital -nft -nfts and respects these in results. A third -knockout keyword will be ignored.
Proquest. UK public library members can get free home access to this, and can get full text from it (though no pictures, which some may consider a pleasing feature). Search major newspapers and selected magazines by multiple keywords, with many facets. Speed is reasonable for something that’s not a proper search-engine. Can re-sort results by date and narrow by date using a simple slider. Does not respect -knockout words, but does appear to accept NOT as an operator. Very little timeliness, but good for trawling the last year, especially in the UK and the major corporate U.S. newspapers and magazines. In the UK it gets down to the Bogglinton-on-the-Wold Bugle level.
Knewz. A self-proclaimed “Google News competitor” from heavyweight publisher Rupert Murdoch. A few sources reported it was “killed off” in summer 2021 and Wikipedia now claims it’s dead and gone. But it obviously isn’t dead, and Knewz is still working fine for me. I had no idea it even existed until now, so the first PR team on it obviously did a very bad job. It can’t re-sort results by date, but a timeliness indication is given on results. Has a definite bias toward US sources, with the main UK corporate newspapers and BBC News seemingly the only British sources. Supposedly favours conservative sources, but curiously it can’t find last month’s headline stories from The Spectator (UK) or Reason (USA). Possibly it considers them magazines rather than news, yet it does index magazines like Esquire and Wallpaper. Has a horrible yellow colour (which I guess might be fixed with a CSS tweak), but at least there are no blaring photos on results…
NewsNow. A useful ‘at a glance’ timeline for your search terms or phrases, and can surface things that might have gone unnoticed… e.g. “Wiley buys Open Access firm Knowledge Unlatched” — who knew? Only the British book-trade journal The Bookseller and the Library Journal, it seems. Sadly NewsNow does not respect -knockout keywords, and instead adds them. Pop-ups and overlays. A search for digital comics gives only two results, confirming the feeling that the range of sources is actually rather limited. Still, the trade magazines and original press-releases it indexes may make it useful to some.
DuckDuckGo News. You get to this via a standard search and then switch to the “News” tab. Basically, it’s identical to Bing News, though with what seems to be less sources and less timeliness. So it’s better just to use Bing News instead.
Yahoo News. Has several major problems. No ‘sort by date’. Does not respect my -knockout keywords. e.g. comics digital -nft -nfts gets a wall of stories from hucksters touting comics and NFTs, and artists warning against buying NFTs of stolen art. Still, these results are at least relatively timely.
Yandex News. Difficult to control for timeliness. Search for just one keyword, and you’re fine in terms of timeliness… but results are incredibly scattergun. Search for two keywords and you get nothing at all from 2021 and lots of way-back items. Search for a phrase in quotes (e.g. “digital comics”) and you get one story from 2019 and lots from 2010. Bizarre. Also, you need to translate.
Baidu News. Slow. Does not respect -knockout keywords (see the same problem with Yahoo, above). Appears to cover only approved Chinese sources. You need to translate.
Gab Trends. Has a strange political bias, supposedly to the right, which appears to exclude genuine conservative magazine titles and yet includes Russian propaganda outlet RT and fruitcake sites. Still, it offers search and if you know what to ignore you might get some mileage out of it, as it’s obviously capable of timely coverage.
A few years back I made three curated picks from the Unsplash CC0 Creative Commons collection, and posted these here…
* Libraries and archives theme.
* Creative Industries I theme.
* Creative Industries II theme.
The CC0 status was later changed. For instance, Alex Knight uploaded his Robot picture under CC0 Creative Commons, prior to the end of 2017. But Unsplash now has its own licence, under which it is claimed this formerly CC0 Creative Commons picture now sits.
The new licence is not that bad actually, on glancing through it… it seems to just prevents the big stock companies from ingesting en masse and re-selling. But now comes the news that the evil stock agency Getty Images is about to “acquire” UnSplash outright anyway.
So here’s another pick, and under the still relatively permissive non-Getty licence, before the purchase goes through and any changes start happening.
What follows is ‘Creative Industries III’. As before, images reduced a little to make them more wieldy, and a few spamming brands (Apple, Nike etc) were airbrushed away. Photographer names are in the file-name, and should be credited if used in print etc. A few of the older pictures (see my collections above) don’t pop up for me in search, where you might have expected to see them again, and may have since been deleted or moved. Useable “draw-on-the-screen” images are very rare, but I found two good ones.
Creative Industries III:
Daylight code writing (useful, as most such pictures are on black):
All-night code writer:
Leather crafts maker:
Glass crafts maker:
Children’s book illustrator:
Special-interest magazine editor:
General designer using a Cintiq or XP-Pen:
Table-top RPG game designer / miniatures painter:
Pinball table designer:
Children’s party clowns:
Branch librarian / local documentary-maker:
Field researcher (a bit spammy, re: the brand, but the closest I could get which says ‘field research’):
Local history writer:
Philosophers / old books conservator:
Sports vehicle designer:
Vehicle livery colourist:
Local TV studio, junior camera operator:
Local TV broadcast station desk-jockey:
Live theatrical event desk-jockey:
Synth/trance musician / YouTube celeb:
Young stage drummer:
Young comics reader:
Children’s creative dress-up:
JURN is now as up-to-date as it can be, ready for the “back to university” crowd. I’ve completed a link-check of the full URL base, checking for continued presence of an indexed URL path in Google Search. The full path is checked, not just the top domain (e.g. foobar.foo/foo-foo/journal_of_foo/articles/ and not just foobar.foo). This checking process has been slow, taking about 18 months, on and off.
Of course, a few URLs may still have newly broken in the meanwhile. But the core URL base is kept fresh by a regular check of the key home-page URLs, as organised and listed at the JURN Directory of arts & humanities journals (English-language journals only). This Directory was link-checked and updated in mid September 2020. Also recently link-checked, back in July 2020, was JURN’s openEco Directory of over 800 journal titles variously related to the study of wildlife, ecology etc. Please update any local copies you may be keeping.
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…
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.