Spokane, GSA, Wayback Machine, More: Friday Buzz, October 23rd, 2015


The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is putting its photo collections online. “The museum’s largest photo collection in the Joel E. Ferris Research Archive is the career work of Charles Libby, which spans decades of Spokane’s history, from the 1900s to the ’70s.”

The General Services Administration (GSA) has launched an online gallery of public art. “GSA owns of one of our nation’s oldest and largest public art collections with over 26,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, new media, and more. For the first time, people looking for information on these pieces will be able to find it online instead of thumbing through a printed book. The Fine Arts Collection is an interactive website that allows users to quickly find works by their favorite artists, or discover what works are in their state or hometown.”


The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is getting an update. “The Wayback Machine, a service used by millions to access 19 years of the Web’s history, is about get an update. When completed in 2017, the next generation Wayback Machine will have more and better webpages that are easier to find. The Internet Archive, with generous support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), is re-building the Wayback Machine which currently offers access to 439+ billion Web captures including Web pages, video and images.” Hit the link for the roundup of changes. Looking forward to it.


A brief slide deck, but plenty of resources: Text Analysis Without Programming.


TERRIFIC article from The New York Times: Museum Specimens Find New Life Online. “Mr. Kroupa and 14 colleagues are in the midst of a vast undertaking: digitizing and publishing online the museum’s entire collection of insects, including high-definition 3-D images of thousands of particularly important specimens. The researchers here are not alone. Museums around the globe are trying to harness the power of digital technology to make available collections that have long lain dormant on shelves and in dusty cabinets.”

Apparently if YouTube “partner” content creators don’t sign its revenue-sharing agreement, YouTube will hide all of that creator’s content on both the ad-supported and ad-free iterations of YouTube. Geez, no wonder Google dropped the “Don’t be evil” slogan. “Google says the goal is to offer consistency, so people thinking about subscribing to Red don’t have to worry about their favorite content not being available in the ad-free service. But there’s no explanation why it couldn’t just flag videos of those who don’t sign the deal as ‘Not On Red’, and instead had to go with a sign-or-disappear strategy.”

Google and Yahoo are now teamed up again for Yahoo’s search results. However, Yahoo is still teamed up with Bing, which means, it seems to me, that the search results will be inconsistent and Why am I supposed to be doing any searching at Yahoo again?. The Search Engine Land article about the deal breaks everything down, but I’m still scratching my head.

More Google: there’s a guy who works at Google and lives in a truck parked in the parking lot. I guess the weather is consistent enough there that he’s not going to have a problem with extreme weather changes or storms. If he’s safe and healthy that’s the important part, though I guess this says a lot about the rent costs in Silicon Valley…

The New York Times is getting into VR. “The New York Times is giving out Google Cardboard kits to its one million subscribers. The free gifts will ship in advance of the November 7 release of its new virtual reality film, The Displaced.”

Uber is apparently using its own map-making cars. “BuzzFeed News reports that the ridesharing service has started deploying its own mapping vehicles, which are said to be the same ones Microsoft previously owned and used in its efforts to capture street data.”


Wow, this is crazy: malware that impersonates an ENTIRE BROWSER? “As reported by PCRisk, the ‘eFast Browser’ works by installing and running itself in place of Chrome. It’s based on Google’s Chromium open-source software, so it maintains the look and feel of Chrome at first glance, but its behavior is much worse.”


Interesting paper: Use of Facebook by Local Health Departments: Usage, Public Health Themes, and Maintenance. “This study examines the manner in which U.S. local health departments (LHDs) use Facebook. Public health program themes discussed on Facebook profiles of LHDs were analyzed and ranked by the frequency of mentions on Facebook…. Nineteen public health themes were identified that were being discussed by LHDs. Different levels of maintenance of Facebook profiles was also noted.” Facebook would be a great outlet for these health departments, but Facebook’s abysmal organic reach for pages would make trying to use it extremely frustrating. Good morning, Internet…

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4 replies »

  1. I’m a huge fan of the Wayback Machine, Tara, and I’m looking forward to the overhaul — it’ll cause some revamping of some assignments I give students, but that’s fine if it looks more appealing to them.

    • Remember when the Wayback Machine DID have keyword search? It was a LONG time ago. I miss it. I know it’s really too big to do that now, but I’m looking forward to even limited search.

  2. Thank you for alerting me to the GSA database. My father’s sculpture was funded by the 1% for Art program back in the 1970s and, though it is not in the same location as it had been place back then (and now it’s in a cage), I remember visiting his piece in Las Cruces with him when it was installed. Direct link: He will be thrilled to know his work is online.

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