Polaroids, Pocket, Nairobi, More: Thursday Buzz, August 27th, 2015


Zun Lee is starting a new digital archive of found Polaroids. “Photographer Zun Lee is dedicated to countering stereotypical, often negative views of the African-American family. While he was working on Father Figure, his book about African-American fathers, he stumbled on some old Polaroids that appeared to have fallen from a family photo album. He was intrigued to see how the Polaroids —’the Instagrams of their day,’ he calls them — reflected ‘the way black people saw themselves in private spaces and in ways not intended to be seen, or judged, by others.’ By searching yard sales and e-Bay, Lee has amassed 3,000 of these now ‘orphaned’ mementoes and recently began posting them on a Tumbler and an Instagram feed named ‘Fade Resistance.’ ”

Hmm. There’s a new video discovery app in town, and it sounds quite good. “To sift through the heaps of crappy video content for us, Hyper has employed a team of journalists and filmmakers who hand-select anywhere from six to a dozen videos each day and package them into a visually appealing digital magazine of sorts. The videos range from one to twenty minutes in duration and span a broad variety of topics, from artsy foodie videos to emotionally draining war-zone documentaries.”

YouTube has offically launched YouTube Gaming. “As promised, and after some excellent road-testing by thousands of dedicated gaming fans (thanks, folks!), YouTube Gaming is now available. Blending gaming videos and live streams, YouTube Gaming brings you closer to the games, gamers, and culture that matter to you.”

Facebook is testing a new virtual assistant. “TODAY, A FEW hundred Bay Area Facebook users will open their Messenger apps to discover M, a new virtual assistant. Facebook will prompt them to test it with examples of what M can do: Make restaurant reservations. Find a birthday gift for your spouse. Suggest—and then book—weekend getaways.”


The NOLA Hip Hop and Bounce archive is expanding with twenty more video interviews which will be added to the archive later this year.

Pocket is now recommending things for you to read based on what you’ve saved. Pocket. I ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH TO READ!

Bing has an easter egg in its search results. Snake game!

Facebook wants to create videos based on your “moments”. “Facebook added a video feature that takes photos and turns them into customizable movies (or slideshows, rather).” It reminds me a bit of Animoto.


Sometimes on social media you might see a video that’s — well, that you wish you might not have seen. This article by TheNextWeb explains how to turn off video auto-play in social media.


This is fascinating! How Nairobi Got Its Ad-Hoc Bus System on Google Maps. “In a collaboration called Digital Matatus, researchers from MIT, Columbia University, and the University of Nairobi along with the design firm Groupshot released a map of the entire matatu system last year—a first for a non-formal transit system. And on Wednesday, it became the first informal network to be launched on Google Maps. Just as New York commuters can plot their subway routes on the service, residents of Nairobi can now jack into the matatu system on their smartphones.”

Google’s Government Innovation Lab has created its first prototypes. “In California’s Central Valley, Kern County has announced two prototypes envisioned as remedies for a number of civic challenges. The first prototype is what officials call a Virtual Resource Library (VRL), an online hub that once finished, will act as a crowdsourced resource for county services and collaboration. The second prototype is an enterprise app designed to pluck data from departments for countywide analytics.”


Very fun, but very mathy: when will Google index a googol Web pages? I’m not going to spoil the answer for you, except to say: not tomorrow. Remember when Google had just indexed a billion pages and we were all super impressed? Wasn’t that long ago… Good morning, Internet…

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