The Calculator Drawer at Archive.org. Vintage calculators, emulated online and as fiendish as ever. Only 14 so far, plus a stash of manuals. The one I tried had about a 20Mb download of its MAME files, and then worked as expected in the browser.
No, your AI-powered writing assistant can’t be credited on academic papers. Even old Microsoft Clippy, the talking paperclip. So says Science and Springer Nature, with others likely to follow their lead in banning AI-generated text.
Interestingly, images and graphics are also forbidden. So presumably, in future, editors won’t feel able to use AI to magic up a cost-free front-cover illustration.
AI-generated image by Dream by Wombo
Meanwhile, Manubot with AI-assisted clarification tool. Sounds like a rather useful ‘Super-Clippy’, to me. It’s a pity academics won’t be permitted to use it, now.
Runs on Linux. Mac, Windows 7 and higher.
Regrettably it can’t just be used as desktop RSS reader, as that’s integrated with Mail and not in its own panel. Nor, so far as I can tell or find, does SeaMonkey yet have a Dark Mode — except for the Web browser via a plugin. Both of which are deal-breakers for me.
However, the search did make me aware that several Web browsers are now shipping an RSS feedreader in the default package, or plan to…
* The Vivaldi browser already has a nice one, though limited and not standalone (it’s inside Vivaldi Mail).
* Google Chrome announced in August a planned port of their Android Chrome RSS feedreader to the desktop version of the browser. Though probably only as a side-panel. So far as I can tell from news searches, it hasn’t happened yet.
* Brave’s “privacy-preserving newsreader” still doesn’t appear to have a desktop version, despite promises back in the summer.
My search of news also brought details of changes in standalone desktop readers, gHacks reports this week that RSS Guard update brings massive performance boost. It appears to have caught up with the No.1 RSS desktop freeware QuiteRSS (development stalled), at least in speed, by introducing parallel feed updating. You can also now block all cookies (Top menu-bar | Tools | Settings | Network | “Do not accept …”).
So I tried it. Installed. Lovely dark mode, easily applied. Turned off all cookies. I was then utterly stumped as to how to import the OPML. Turns out it’s completely impossible to import an OPML, if you skip past the popup window at the start. But then my anti-virus did its own pop-up and blocked RSS Guard, anyway. It was a very generic detection and I permitted it, reluctantly. Uninstalled, reinstalled, and this time an OPML import option was offered on startup. But then it fatally crashed when it went to load the OPML feed-bundle. Oh well, RSS Guard looked slick and sounded fast but… uninstalled. No good.
So… for now the old QuiteRSS is still the best there is on the Windows desktop.
The Index of Medieval Art Database will become perpetually ‘free to use’ from 1st July 2023 onward, for “researchers at all levels”. The largest database of such research, it is well-established and includes a “photographic archive” which offers iconographic clustering and links to referenced texts (e.g. Arthurian + Sir Lancelot pictures can be clustered together, and apparently there are also links to the story-texts related to each image). It also seems to includes carving, engraved items (spoons etc) and so on, and the definition of “art” appears to be as wide as you might expect or require for answering research questions (e.g. “plain as a pikestaff” — how plain and unadorned were medieval English ‘palmer’ pilgrimage staffs, exactly, compared to the staffs of officials and merchants?).
The Index of Medieval Art is currently public and free for initial searches, though “Subscription is required to view images” even for the thumbnails in the search results.
AutoHotKey 2.0 final was released yesterday. This is venerable and well-supported freeware, commonly used for scripted desktop automation on Windows. Installer downloads via MajorGeeks also include a link to a portable version.
Regrettably it seems there is no central repository that archives all known “tested and working” AutoHotKey scripts. Perhaps there should be?
There’s a new Democracy’s Library at Archive.org, a unified hub bringing together… “more than 700 collections from over 50 government organizations, archived by the Internet Archive since 2006.” And they’re collecting more from governments around the world. The collection has a search box, constrained to the collection. As you might expect many documents are a little dated though many are still practical…
A new Flickr Foundation, set to start hiring in early 2023. Among the current aims: “restore and then grow the Flickr Commons”; provide evidence about use and usefulness; and bring in new curators. If only they hadn’t locked me out of my Flickr account years ago (due to the Yahoo crash-and-burn), I’d be among them.
A new UserScript, Microsoft Teams – Use Web App Instead. Stops the Desktop version of Teams from nagging you, if you’ve already launched (and want to use) the almost-identical Web browser version of Teams in Edge or Chrome.
Reportedly new, the Historical National Topographic System (NTS): 1:50,000 Scale Maps, Data, & GIS. This is Canada’s official portal for the nation’s free Canadian maps, created and printed from 1948 onward. Currently appears to be hosting nearly 6,000 high-res maps plus their associated data. Most maps feature cheese factories, if this curious item on the site’s sidebar facets is to be credited…
Now gearing up, here in the British Isles, the relatively new UK-Ireland Digital Humanities Association…
Growing out of the Digital Humanities Research Network
…which was at dhnetwork.org.
Plans for the next few years include: a mailing-list; an annual briefing for members; a call for Special Interest Groups (deadline: 17th February 2023); and a guide to career pathways, among other ideas. There are already a couple of white papers on the site, relating to the latter.