Egypt, Land Contracts, LinkedIn, More: Tuesday Buzz, October 20th, 2015


The American Numismatic Society (ANS) is teaming up to publish a catalog from the Egyptian National Library. “The catalogue consists of more than 6,500 objects, ranging from late Roman glassware and pre-Islamic Sasanian coinage to the modern Egyptian coinage of Anwar Sadat. The collection is particularly strong in Medieval Islamic coinage across all major dynasties. The catalogue differs from its predecessors in a number of ways. The collection has been photographed in color, with inscriptions read and transcribed from these images. The database includes references to the 1982 catalogue of the collection undertaken by Dr. Norman D. Nicol.” It’s available in both English and Arabic.

Now available: a database of large land deals around the world. “, based at Columbia University in New York and backed by the World Bank, lists details of 69 deals so far involving palm oil plantations, sugar cane, biofuels, soybeans, tea and other crops in eight countries.”


LinkedIn has launched a referrals site. “LinkedIn has reimagined how it can facilitate more relevant connections for recruiters, and the results are two new features that are being introduced today at the company’s Talent Connect conference, in addition to the debut of its redesigned core app, codenamed Project Voyager. The first is a new search engine that takes the guesswork off of recruiters and leaves it to LinkedIn’s algorithm, while the second involves an application aimed at boosting employee referrals for available jobs within your company.”


Very nice GMail shortcut cheat sheet.

The University of Southern California is planning a huge initiative to teach analysis of biomedical information. “…the National Institutes of Health has awarded USC a three-year, $6.3 million grant to build Big Data U, the nation’s first Training Coordination Center aimed at teaching people with different backgrounds how to assemble astronomical amounts of data into compatible and comparable statistics. The goal is to find trends, interesting relationships and clustering effects….Big Data U, tentatively set to launch in the spring of next year, will be a hybrid of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and YouTube video tutorials. It’s a free resource for anyone who wants a self-guided or semi-structured study of topics relevant to biomedical science. Social media tools will provide ratings for course content and guide the selection of relevant training media.”


Adrienne LaFrance, who did a recent article in The Atlantic on digital impermanence, also did a recent Digg Dialog on the same topic. Lots of thoughtful questions and answers. I love the format that Digg has put together for this.

Ooof, Yahoo’s yesterday was not great. I had heard some chatter about the Bloomberg interview with Scott Galloway but I had not seen it; I just looked at it now and it was pretty brutal.

GigaOm’s got the skinny on Notify. “Notify will apparently allow select publishers to send notifications to people who subscribe to a publication’s ‘Station’ for breaking news alerts, according to a recent report from The Awl. This meshes with an earlier report from Business Insider, which states that Facebook is working on a ‘stand-alone mobile news application’ meant to rival Twitter. A Facebook spokesperson declined to discuss Notify, telling Gigaom the standard ‘We don’t comment on rumors and speculation.'” This feels familiar. Remember when “push” was the end-all and be-all of Web activity? Mid-90s? Pointcast? Anyone? Bueller?

Apparently people are using Facebook to come out. “Facebook has crunched the numbers on its LGBT community and found that a large number of people — around 800,000, in fact — have come out in the last year alone via the social network. The landmark Supreme Court decision supporting same-sex marriage helped the numbers, but Facebook is also noting an overall positive trend toward people coming out online and more support for LGBT groups’ pages, too.”

Who has two thumbs and a 4% stake in Twitter? Steve Ballmer. “Bloomberg noted that Ballmer now ranks third among top individual shareholders at Twitter. Ballmer’s new stake in Twitter adds to his other post-Microsoft investments, which include a $2 billion purchase of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.”


It’s official: Google Books is okay. “After ten years of litigation, the copyright fight around Google Books—once considered a controversial, high-stakes fight—is likely over. On Friday, the US Appeals Court for the Second Circuit ruled that the Google Books program is fair use, affirming the lower court’s decision.”

Amazon has filed suit against individuals offering fake product reviews on Fiverr. “The defendants in the new case, listed as ‘John Does,’ each used to sell fake positive or 5-star Amazon reviews. In some cases, they even offered ‘verified’ reviews, meaning those where they buy the product – provided they’re compensated for that, of course. Other times, they also tell the purchaser to just provide the product review and they’ll post it.” Good morning, Internet…

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