Patents, Press, Photography, More: Friday Buzz, September 18th, 2015


The USPTO has launched a new tool to explore patent data. “he U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today launched PatentsView (link is external), a new patent data visualization platform. The PatentsView beta search tool allows members of the public to interact with nearly 40 years of data on patenting activity in the United States. PatentsView allows users explore technological, regional, and individual-level patent trends via search filters with multiple viewing options. The database links inventors, their organizations, locations, and overall patenting activity using enhanced 1976-2014 data from public USPTO bulk data files.”

The International Press Institute (IPI) has launched a new online media laws database. “The International Press Institute (IPI) today launched a new online database aimed at cataloguing legal provisions affecting freedom of the press and expression on a country-by-country basis. The initial roll-out of the database features detailed information on defamation laws, parsed into 12 searchable categories, for countries in the European Union and the Caribbean, building on IPI’s ongoing research, advocacy and training work on the topic in both regions.”

Now available: a database of nonprofit organizations in China. “The Research Infrastructure of China Foundations (RICF), online since Wednesday, includes the names, addresses, starting funds and other details of more than 3,000 Chinese foundations.” Unfortunately this story does not have the URL and I can’t find the link via Google searches. Maybe because it’s Chinese I either don’t have access or it hasn’t been indexed yet? Leave a comment if you have the URL.

The Aperture photography magazine now has a digital archive. It’s not free: access is either $9.99 a month or $59.95 a year. “To bring this trove of photography to life, Aperture Foundation partnered with Bondi, a New York-based technology and creative services company whose platform powers the online archives of many top magazines. The Bondi platform presents every back issue as a full digital replica—preserving the magazine’s award-winning design—with every article and image indexed individually. Aperture worked with Bondi to add additional metadata, so that users can now search more than 15,000 images by photographer, genre, keyword, and more.” 220 issues are in the archive.

The CIA has released a collection of presidential briefing documents from the 1960s. “Today at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library at the University of Texas, the CIA released a trove of presidential briefs that were delivered to both Presidents John F. Kennedy and LBJ from 1961 to 1969. The collection includes over 2,500 documents exclusively prepared for the president each day.”


FindMyPast is having a free weekend starting this morning. “From 7am EDT Friday, September 18th to 7am EDT on Monday, September 21st, you’ll be able to access a collection of billions of family history records and millions of historic newspaper pages at no cost.”

Chandler Coyle has an excellent “Periscope for Musicians” article at Berklee Online. Must read if you’re a Veruca Salt fan.


ALL RIGHT POLITIWHOOPS. The service, which was shut down everywhere by Twitter recently, has uploaded its collection of over one million gaffaroonies to the Internet Archive. “Twitter may have revoked Politiwoop’s API access but that isn’t stopping the political watchdog from preserving its already-sizeable collection of online gaffes and retractions from elected officials. Politiwoops, which archived the deleted tweets of politicians in 35 countries worldwide, announced on Wednesday that it will upload its collection of 1.1 million formerly-deleted tweets to the Internet Archive for perpetual preservation.” I hope the service comes back one day.

The State Library of Western Australia is turning to crowdfunding to digitize some items from its World War I collection. “On the Homefront is a project which will ensure the survival of important World War 1 records including news from the ANZAC battlefields, personal diaries and letters, and local newspapers. Our goal is to make these important documents and records, which bring to life the stories of everyday Western Australians, available on-line to everyone who wishes to see them. They will be invaluable to family historians and researchers. We are seeking your support to raise the necessary funds needed to fully conserve and digitise these fascinating records.”

Wikipedia is getting criticism for its relationship with Elsevier. “Ars Technica reported on Elsevier’s recent deal with Wikipedia — the publisher has given 45 free ScienceDirect memberships to “top editors” on Wikipedia. Open-access advocate Michael Eisen — co-founder of the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and supporter of numerous other ventures — criticized the deal on Twitter and dubbed it ‘WikiGate.’ His main fear is that those with access to ScienceDirect’s database will add links to its content on Wikipedia articles.”

The US Department of Education has added an open education advisor. “School technology expert Andrew Marcinek will serve in the Office of Educational Technology (OET) and focus on helping both K-12 and higher education connect with teaching, learning and research resources in the public domain that are freely available to anyone over the web. He will work with tool providers and developers, district and state leaders, and educators. Open educational resources are an important element of an infrastructure for learning and ranges from podcasts to digital libraries to textbooks and games.”

Google, while wanting to make car technology, apparently doesn’t want to make cars. “Keeping ‘automaker’ off its list of ever-growing business ventures, the company will instead focus its energy in autonomous — or self-driving — technology and continue its partnerships with autoparts suppliers Bosch and ZF friedrichshafen.” Good morning, Internet…

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