Dime Novels, Japan, Philippines, More: Thursday Buzz, September 17th, 2015


A new service intends to help track down pirated content in Google’s search results. While I’m in favor of pirated links and content being removed from search results, I am very much against legitimate content producers being harassed because of robo-enforcers. And this tool seems to make a strong attempt to address this: “Aside from setting up a blast and clicking a few buttons, everything is handled automatically by Blasty. There’s no effort to file a takedown notice, but you should take the time to confirm that piracy is occurring. Blasty warned me that they track bogus takedown notices and could censure users…”

The new online exhibition “Women and the World of Dime Novels” is now available. “Women and the World of Dime Novels… is divided into two main sections: the Tropes and the Women. The Tropes section provides an overview of six of the more common character tropes I have found in dime novels, such as the Brokenhearted Wife or the Ruined Woman. The Women section explores specific characters from the dime novels, providing summaries of their stories, highlighting how they exemplify certain tropes.”

Now available: an online video archive of Japan’s involvement with the United Nations. The UN put the content up on YouTube; looks like about 30 videos.


Street View images of the Philippines is now available. “Thanks to the support of the Philippines Department of Tourism, 37 cities and 35 historic locations—including eight UNESCO world heritage sites—are now available for the world to explore in 360-degree panoramic views with Street View.” What a beautiful place.

Now you can make political donations through a tweet. “We’ve teamed up with Square to enable anyone in the US to make a donation directly to a US candidate through a Tweet, starting today. This is the fastest, easiest way to make an online donation, and the most effective way for campaigns to execute tailored digital fundraising, in real time, on the platform where Americans are already talking about the 2016 election and the issues they are passionate about.”


From The Signal: Cultural Institutions Embrace Crowdsourcing. “Many cultural institutions have accelerated the development of their digital collections and data sets by allowing citizen volunteers to help with the millions of crucial tasks that archivists, scientists, librarians, and curators face. One of the ways institutions are addressing these challenges is through crowdsourcing.” This article has a roundup of lots of different crowdsourcing efforts.

Fascinating article from WBUR on the museum of the 21st century. So nice to see an article where QR codes aren’t sneered at.

This is interesting: Periscope for farmers. “It’s a sunny September morning, and Shaun Tyson, a seed advisor with Beck’s Hybrids, is checking a corn field in central Illinois for stalk strength on check strip where no P and K was applied. The result – about a dozen stalks appear to have diminished stalk integrity.”

Looks like Facebook may be getting a — well, not exactly a dislike button, but possibly something other than like.


Google is being taken to court to identify ebook pirates. “Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has taken Google to court in an effort to obtain the personal details of one of its users. The account in question had been selling ‘pirate’ eBooks on Google Play but despite responding to BREIN’s complaint by shutting down further sales, Google is refusing to hand over its user’s identity.”

A class-action lawsuit says Twitter has been spying on direct messages. “While it’s quite obvious that there aren’t humans that work at Twitter reading your direct messages, an algorithm is sweeping over them, to swap out links with shortened (the shortening service owned by Twitter) ones for tracking purposes, presumably. The lawsuit claims that Twitter should collect consent to do such things within the private messages…”


Wikipedia’s articles about places written by the West, which shouldn’t surprise anybody. “Nearly half of all edits to articles about places on Wikipedia were made from just five countries, researchers at the University of Oxford have found. The UK, US, France, Germany and Italy are the source of 45% of the edits on ‘geocoded’ Wikipedia articles, which have a longitude and latitude associated with them to link them to a specific place in the world.” Good morning, Internet…

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