Typography, Twitter, Slack, More: Monday Morning Buzz, July 27th, 2015


A new crowdfunded investigative journalism site is being launched in Scotland. “Called the Ferret, the web-based project said it plans to draw on successful investigative journalism collectives, including De Correspondent in the Netherlands and the Belfast-based outfit The Detail, to produce independent investigations and also stories it can sell on to mainstream outlets such as the Scottish and national press, Channel 4 News or the BBC.”

The Ogden Museum is gathering memories of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita for a digital archive. “From Aug. 1 through 31, people can record their memories at computer stations throughout the Circle Gallery in the museum at 925 Camp St. Those recollections will become part of the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, which is operating the program with the museum.”

New-to-Me: a Duggal blog post tipped me to a huge archive of Vernacular Typography. From the Web site: “One vanishing art that can still be studied in the interstices of the assault of global retail is vernacular typography. All over the world, there are cities and towns that retain their rich traditions of vernacular signage. Unfortunately, the fate of these typographic havens is being threatened by the uniformity of corporate advertising, which ignores and subverts local history and tradition. This website seeks to collect and document examples of these vanishing symbols of art and culture.”

I’m not sure why you’d want this, maybe to do some of the most offbeat text analysis ever, but almost every Reddit comment is available in a huge download. Just the compressed dataset is about 5GB. There are over 1.6 billion comments here.

Do you want to “Deep Dream,” or trippify your own photos? There’s an app for that.

The AP has put a million minutes of history on YouTube. “Associated Press, in company with British Movietone, has released a million minutes of historic world news on to two YouTube channels. The collection of more than 550,000 digitised video stories dates from 1895 to the present day and it is claimed to be the largest upload of historical news content on the video-sharing platform.” Entirely free to access as far as I can tell.


Fun stuff from Dylan Burns: Curating a Twitter Presence as a Library Student. “I have to admit that I didn’t ‘get’ ‘twitter’ ‘before’ I was in library school. I may not ‘get’ it. I had an account before I applied and it has maybe 2 followers, none of which were librarians. One of my first steps toward the library world was to get connected with the twitter librarians. This is how I did it, with Simpsons’ memes.”

Ever wondered exactly what subtweeting is? The Guardian snarksplains. (Well, not really; it’s a good article. But there are plenty of people who aren’t familiar with Twitter who weren’t born in 1880.) “Subtweeting: it’s the internet equivalent of talking about someone behind their back – or at least that’s how people usually explain it. But in truth, the art of subtweeting consists of many different strokes. It’s not something that can be so succinctly defined. Subtweeting can be brilliant, it can be cruel, it can be rude, it can be annoying as hell.”

What a great article from PC Magazine! How the NY Public Library Crowdsources Digital Innovation. It’s a quick read but inspiring.


Slack has integrated with Google Calendar. “After linking a Google account to Slack, you can choose any calendar and instruct it to post to certain Slack channels. For example, you could have events from your company’s development deadline calendar post reminders to the #dev channel two days before a product deadline.”


This article from The Next Web has the best URL ever, but that’s not why I’m linking to it. I’m linking to it because it it points out that movie studios are so lazy about vetting their takedown requests to Google that they’re asking Google to take down stuff from their own computers.

Google did a study comparing the security practices of security experts and non-expert users. “The study, based on the responses of 231 security experts and 294 non-experts, shows that there is a big discrepancy in the security practices each of these categories follow. For example, security experts have named software updates as the top online safety practice. In contrast, regular users don’t consider software updates a priority when it comes to online safety. Non-experts don’t clearly understand how effective updates are, and some users even believe they are risky because they could contain bugs or hide malicious software.”

Speaking of Google … from Mazin Ahmed: Bypassing Google Password Alert With One Line of Code. The blog post includes a demonstration video. Google Password Alert, if you don’t remember, is a Chrome extension to protect you from fake Google login sites.


LinkedIn wants to make you wait to download your contacts list. “Previously, the social networking site provided a way for users to instantly export their contacts. It was a useful feature for people looking to manage their contacts elsewhere. Under a change made Thursday, users now must make a request to download their account data. In a page describing the new process, LinkedIn says users will receive an email within 72 hours with a link to download the archive when it is ready.” LAME.

Egyptians are using Facebook to highlight the sad state of public facilities. “Egyptian doctors posted hundreds of pictures on a Facebook page showing poor conditions at medical facilities around the country: bandaged patients sleeping in halls, animals traipsing through wards, splotches of blood left to coagulate on floors. Their effort inspired a series of similar pages illustrating the miserable state of other public facilities, including the nation’s universities, courts and government offices, as well as streets and slums.” Good morning, Internet…

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