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Comics, Connecticut, Sheep, More: Thursday Morning Buzz, June 25th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Under development: a digital archive of British Comic Fanzines. “For several months now, British comics fan David Hathaway-Price had been gathering and scanning every British comics fanzine that he’s been able to buy or had loaned to him. His aim is to create a Fanzine archive / repository, celebrating all of the brilliant work that was produced in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s in British comic zines such as BEM, Comic Media News and many other fondly-remembered titles.”

Huh. Reddit now has a music player. “It works by offering you an extensive list of subreddits on the left-hand side. Clicking on a link adds it to your playlist and gives you the most recently recommended songs as YouTube clips that run in the player.”

Quartz has launched a new home for the charts which appear on its site. “Atlas gives each of our charts its own home, along with a set of tools for interacting with them: You can now download the data behind our charts, embed our charts elsewhere on the web, grab an image of our charts, and of course share our charts on social media. They will look great regardless of whether you’re using a big screen or mobile device.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The state of Connecticut has relaunched its Web site (PRESS RELEASE). “The all-new mobile-first, responsive design site allows CT.gov to be accessed across multiple devices providing an optimal user experience for phone, tablet, and desktop users. Along with the new layout and new features, CT.gov aims to make government services more accessible for online visitors to conduct business with the state through increased usability, customer service, transparency, and accessibility….Along with the updated CT.gov Portal, Connecticut launched new websites for the Office of the Governor and Office of the Lieutenant Governor, providing the latest news and information from both offices at your fingertips.”

The ipl2 is shutting down at the end of the month. No reason why, just a shutdown notice. “We regret to inform you that the ipl2 is ceasing operations on June 30, 2015. The Ask an ipl2 Librarian service will close on June 24, 2015 to allow us time to answer every last question. The ipl2 site (http://ipl2.org/) will remain up but unmaintained for an unspecified period of time after June 30. We sincerely thank all our loyal patrons for 20 years of support and enthusiasm.”

Instagram has announced a couple of really interesting updates. “Today we’re excited to announce two major updates to Instagram that will help connect our community to the world as it happens: the all-new Explore page, with trending Tags and Places, and more powerful search that makes it easier to find the people, places, and tags you’re looking for.” You know the search part is what I’m interested in. Instagram’s new search allows you to search by place (is it intentional that Yosemite is the example search here right before Google announced the “Street View” of El Capitan? Or just a weird coincidence?) and also offers a “top search” that searches people, places, and tags at the same time.

GMail now has an official “Unsend” button. Not in Labs, not in an extension – official. It’s under the General tab of your GMail settings and you can set it for up to 30 seconds. This is going to come in handy has long as Google is as wonky autocompleting e-mail addresses as it has been for the last few months.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

That’s weird: Google is sending searchers to nonexistent videos. “Google offers a dedicated Google Video search designed to bring back videos from across the web, in addition to its own YouTube service. However, something seems seriously wrong with Google Video. Some searches promising to lead people to video content fail to actually do so.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

From The New York Times: Can Wikipedia Survive? “These are existential challenges, but they can still be addressed. There is no other significant alternative to Wikipedia, and good will toward the project — a remarkable feat of altruism — could hardly be higher. If the foundation needed more donations, it could surely raise them. The real challenges for Wikipedia are to resolve the governance disputes — the tensions among foundation employees, longtime editors trying to protect their prerogatives, and new volunteers trying to break in — and to design a mobile-oriented editing environment. One board member, María Sefidari, warned that ‘some communities have become so change-resistant and innovation-averse’ that they risk staying ‘stuck in 2006 while the rest of the Internet is thinking about 2020 and the next three billion users.'”

Google is training its neural networks to augment images, and in the process is making downright trippy art. “What Google is doing here is essentially reversing image recognition, and telling its computers to use the images they already know to augment new images. As Singularity Hub (via Engadget) explains: ‘Where the software was allowed to “free associate” and then forced into feedback loops to reinforce these associations — it found images and patterns (often mash-ups of things it had already seen) where none existed previously.'”

Well that’s not creepy at all: Facebook can recognize you in photographs even if it can’t see your face. “An experimental algorithm out of Facebook’s artificial intelligence lab can recognise people in photographs even when it can’t see their faces. Instead it looks for other unique characteristics like your hairdo, clothing, body shape and pose. Modern face-recognition algorithms are so good they’ve already found their way into social networks, shops and even churches. Yann LeCun, head of artificial intelligence at Facebook, wanted to see they could be adapted to recognise people in situations where someone’s face isn’t clear, something humans can already do quite well.”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

OH THE SILLY: Google Sheep View. “Google Sheep View is an amusing project by Ding Ren and Michael Karabinos that collects photos of sheep from Google Street View. The project also accepts submissions.” Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

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About ResearchBuzz (3233 Articles)
News and resources covering social media, search engines, databases, archives, and other such online information collections. Since 1998.

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