Google, Instagram, NARA, More: Thursday Buzz, October 8th, 2015


Google has launched the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. “Today, after discussions with publishers and technology companies around the world, we’re announcing a new open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages, which aims to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant—no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.”


Now you can Goof around on Facebook image uploads. “Doodle has now been brought over to the main Facebook app, users can free-form draw on the images they upload using the app before they hit the publish button to add a bit of flair to their image uploads.”


I’m a bit late to the game, but There’s an Instagram challenge for libraries going on the month of October. “I have a confession: I have a very sad library Instagram account. I know I should be posting daily (some stats say twice a day), but making the time to take photos, find relevant/popular hashtags, and posting them when teens get out of school — it was overwhelming. So, this challenge is for those who are in the same boat and those who want to learn how to use Instagram in the most painless way possible.”


NARA has announced its digitization priorities. “Overwhelmingly, people asked us to digitize records of genealogical interest, including immigration and ethnic heritage records; military and veterans records, especially those from World War I and II; and, of course, records that had preservation concerns. People also suggested that we digitize records that relate to specific research themes, including diplomatic relations, law enforcement, and intelligence. When specific records were cited, we assessed the feasibility of digitizing those records and adding them to the list. In one case, the public demand for the ‘Helper Files’ in RG 498, Records of Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (WWII), was so great that those records were added to the list. I am happy to report that staff has already started to digitize those records and they will be available in the National Archives Catalog in a few months, if not earlier.” The list is too long to reproduce here; hit the link. Note that this is an 18-24 month priority/productivity window.

From State Scoop: Open gov advocates face obstacles when publishing state codes. “Across the country, transparency advocates like [Carl] Malamud are facing legal obstacles to moving state codes online. Though the Supreme Court ruled 200 years ago that government work can’t be copyrighted, a tug of war between private companies with contracts to publish state codes and open government activists has raised questions about the ruling’s scope.”

Consumer advocates are complaining about the YouTube kids’ app. “YouTube announced changes to its kid-friendly YouTube Kids mobile application this week designed to better educate parents on how the app works and the protections it offers, following a number of complaints, including those to the FTC, from consumer watchdog organizations. But the groups today are saying that YouTube hasn’t gone far enough with the updated YouTube Kids app, calling the changes ‘superficial.’ Of particular concern, the organizations feel that the advertising that takes place in the app is still ‘excessive and deceptive’ in nature, and doesn’t meet the same guidelines as the advertising permitted on children’s television programs.”

Privacy-focused search engine Hulbee has gotten additional funding. “Swiss-based semantic search company Hulbee, which launched a consumer search engine in the U.S. this August, has closed a $9 million angel funding. The investors are not being disclosed beyond the firm saying one is a serial entrepreneur from Switzerland and the other is a business person from Canada.”

Congratulations to Chronicling America, The Library of Congress’ digital newspaper archive, for its TEN MILLIONTH PAGE! “Launched by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2007, Chronicling America provides enhanced and permanent access to historically significant newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922. It is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a joint effort between the two agencies and partners in 40 states and territories….The site now features more than 10 million pages – 74 terabytes of total data – from more than 1,900 newspapers in 38 states and territories and the District of Columbia.”


A data breach at Experian is bad news for T-Mobile customers. “Experian said it discovered the theft of the T-Mobile customer data from one of its servers on Sept. 15. The computer stored information about some 15 million people who had applied for service with telecoms carrier T-Mobile during the prior two years, Experian said.”

LinkedIn has to pay out after spamming the crap out of people. “LinkedIn’s Add Connections program allowed users to import their personal contacts into the company’s system and then have invitations to connect on LinkedIn sent out on their behalf. However, if a recipient of the invitation email didn’t accept the invitation within a certain amount of time, LinkedIn would then send two follow up emails repeating the invitation.” Okay, so technically it’s not spamming people, because LinkedIn did have permission to communicate with people. So I guess technically I should write “LinkedIn has to pay out after horribly abusing the trust and permission of its users by metaphorically beating them over the head with an e-mail stick.” Right?


Not cool, but nostalgic and a bit sad: The OCLC has printed its library card. “Catalog cards were once a key part of the company, with rows of printers running in a sunny second-floor observatory, hitting a peak output of 131 million cards in 1985. The company’s innovation was in compiling the information on the cards, which meant that libraries didn’t need to write the text themselves. As of last year, orders had fallen to less than 1 million.”

There’s a map that shows the most-Instagrammed location in each state. That’s too big! how about the most-Instagrammed location in each city or metro area? Good morning, Internet…

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2 replies »

  1. Re: LinkedIn – does this mean I’ll stop getting all those “So-and-so wanted to connect with you on..”? Since I’m NOT on LinkedIn, I DO consider it spam.

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