Thailand, Haiti, Fake Data, More: Monday Buzz, August 3rd, 2015


The Thai Film Archive is uploading footage to YouTube. Including part of a silent film from 1927!


Twitter now supports four additional Indic languages. “Today we’ve made Twitter available in Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi and Tamil, and we’ve updated and the Android app to support these additional Indian languages.”


Wonderful stuff from Sarah Werner: How to destroy special collections with social media. “I just got back from a wonderful trip to Rare Book School to deliver a talk in their 2015 lecture series. It was the last week of their summer season in Charlottesville, the week when the Descriptive Bibliography course (aka ‘boot camp’) was in full swing, and the weather was in all its hot, glorious humidity. I wanted to keep things light as well as make some points I feel very strongly about: the importance of librarians and researchers using social media to help sustain special collections libraries.”


Happy 20th birthday to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “Launched two decades ago, years before Wikipedia existed, the site led the way in academic information sharing. It now includes 1,478 authoritative and vetted entries about all manner of philosophical topics. It is updated almost daily, thanks to about 2,000 contributors.”

From Mashable: Inside the failure of Google+, a very expensive attempt to unseat Facebook — “Google+ has become a favorite punchline in the technology industry, but the objective was deadly serious. Interviews with more than a dozen Google insiders and analysts in recent months, many speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, paint the Google of 2010-2011 as increasingly fearful of Facebook snatching away users, employees and advertisers. Google tried to mobilize itself quickly, but approached the task with all the clumsiness of a giant trying to dance with a younger, nimble startup.”

MIT Technology Review: This Is What Controversies Look Like in the Twittersphere – “A new way of analyzing disagreement on social media reveals that arguments in the Twittersphere look like fireworks.” I would have thought they would look more like that annual tomato fight in Spain.

Duke University Libraries has a wonderful behind-the-scenes article on its efforts to database and digitize a huge collection of Radio Haiti tapes. “We’re creating rather sweeping controlled vocabulary — describing subjects, names, and places that appear in the archive. Once we’ve put in all this metadata, we can send the more than 3500 tapes off to be cleaned and digitized. These tasks (organizing, typing in data, cross-referencing, labeling, bar-coding, describing, mold-noting), while arguably unglamorous, are necessary groundwork for eventually making the recordings publicly accessible, ensuring that these tapes can speak again, and that Radyo Ayiti pap peri (Radio Haiti will never perish).”

Queensland (Australia) is putting together its first digital archive. “Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch will next month invite a worldwide expression of interest for the mammoth project…. The state is grappling with how to manage its growing digital records and keep them safe and accessible for future generations.”


A fascinating article from The Atlantic on using fake data to protect real privacy. “There are basically two ways to reduce the risk of a confidentiality breach, [John] Abowd explained. The familiar approach is to perform an analysis on confidential data and then add random error to the output of the analysis. Introducing random error in the output is necessary to reduce the chance that information about any individual will be revealed. But sometimes the random error precisely masks the features that researchers are interested in. Another way, that gets around this problem, is to implement privacy protections on the input of an analysis, by modifying the dataset itself.”


Pernille Ripp has some thoughts on Periscoping from schools. “I fell in love with Periscope, the free live-streaming app created by Twitter, this summer while at ISTE. Free, instant access to events happening around the world – finally! The myriad of ways I could see implementing it in my classroom overwhelmed me in a good way….Yet, when I thought about it some more, I started to second-guess my love for it a little bit. I didn’t fall out of love, but I did start to question my own ideas, as well as the professional responsibility that I carry not just as a teacher, but also as an active conference goer/speaker.” Good morning, Internet…

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