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Research Notes 2021-1-11

Research Notes

The Corona Virus Pandemic isn’t bad enough. The political world has decided they should control how people can use the Internet. Not good. Fortunately there is one man who still believes that the Internet should be freely accessible to all. That man is Tim Berners-Lee. If you aren’t familiar with the name, Tim Berners-Lee is the father of the Internet. We would not have the World Wide Web if not for him.

He hates what it has become and is taking action to fix it. Inrupt, a startup Berner-Lee has been working on for months will finally launch to the world this week. In a recent demonstration, he pulled up what looked like a page very similar to what we use today. He also showed an app he built for his personal use, displaying his calendar, address book, chats, etc. While it looks very similar to Google Drive, Flickr, Spotify, Twitter and all the apps we use today, there is one big difference. All of the information included in his apps is under his control.  This is true for all users. Your information is yours to control.

His new project is called Inrupt. It provides the tools and libraries for developers.

What does that mean for us? Here’s how he describes it . . .

“The basic idea is that each user is assigned a Solid ID and Solid pod when they first come online on the platform, that can be hosted wherever you want. Pod here stands for personal data store, which is what it does. Instead of apps like Google Drive, where your data is stored on the company’s server and therefore is subject to their data harvesting, Inrupt is a way for developers to build their own apps while Solid is where data exists – in your own Solid pod. When an app requests access, Solid will authenticate and then you can choose to give it access to your pod.”

It will take a while before Inrupt will be ready for prime time, but after all the threats and shut-downs currently happening it’s worth the wait.

 

How would you like to search for your overseas ancestors? Yes, it’s usually quite expensive to get access to most worldwide records. Fortunately, a FamilySearch account costs you nothing and includes an impressive collection of overseas records. For example, last month alone, FamilySearch added more than 28 million new indexed family history records from all over the world. (Yes, the Wiki also supports the United States.)

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a genealogy resource guide with more than 95,000 articles full of genealogy resources.

There is also an online ‘Community” for FamilySearch members. Hit the Ask the Community button on the Wiki screen and you’ll soon find members to help you with your research. It’s especially useful if you are researching overseas.

If you’re planning to “attend” February’s Virtual RootsTech conference (https://www.rootstech.org), you may want to create your own FamilySearch account now. There will be lots of presentations and resouces to help you see how impressive FamilySearch is. There will be dozens of classes covering all kinds of topics.

screenshot_1660.png

What you see here is the beginning of the Wiki information available for the Rhineland area of Germany. There are about four more screens of content just for this area. In addition to historical background information, the Wiki also includes lots of resources to help you deal with languages, records and more. It’s an impressive service for all FamilySearch users.

You’ll also find lots of useful support at the RootsTech Connect virtual conference. It’s free and full of useful presentations to help you improve your research efforts. You can register now at https://www.rootstech.org.

Final Notes

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