Inuit, DPLA, WordPress, More: Saturday Buzz, October 24th, 2015


In development: a digital archive of Inuit history. “Led by Dr. Tom Gordon, the project, called Tradition & Transition Among the Labrador Inuit, will bring together 100 Inuit people and researchers to build the archive in Inuktitut, German, and English.”

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has released its first Primary Source Sets for education. “These sets were developed and reviewed by a new Education Advisory Committee for use by students and teachers in grades 6-12 and higher education. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to additional resources, and a teaching guide. This project was generously funded by the Whiting Foundation.”


WordPress 4.4 Beta 1 is now available. It sounds like embedding is going to get a lot easier for those of us who are using hosted WordPress and have limited plugin/scripting options – “WordPress can now embed rich content from nearly all sites that support the oEmbed standard — not just YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and the like. You can even embed previews of posts from other WordPress sites by pasting the URL on its own line.”

The Obama administration has created another issue-specific Twitter account — this time climate change. “Continuing the Obama administration’s push towards environmental reform, this week the White House launched a new social media initiative, a Twitter account called @FactsOnClimate.”


Very interesting event at Texas A&M today – Using Tech, Social Media To Observe, Archive Social Movement. “Some Texas A&M students and faculty will use live streaming and social media to observe and archive the RiseUp! October march against mass incarceration in New York City on Saturday (Oct. 24). Texas A&M participants will use state-of-the-art technology in the Humanities Visualization Space, located in the Liberal Arts and Arts & Humanities (LAAH) building, including a group of 15 screens that are 17 inches wide, to livestream the event and monitor multiple social media outlets simultaneously.” There will be followup events to analyze and archive the data gathered. Read it; fascinating setup.

Is Twitter going to renable Politwhoops? “…under co-founder Dorsey’s leadership, Twitter is trying to mend relations with its developers. Dorsey even apologized to developers yesterday, and referenced some of the company’s more controversial decisions – including the shutdown of Politwoops.” I think this would be a very smart move, though it wouldn’t completely repair relationships with third-party developers. Twitter has A LOT of spadework to do in that regard.

Yahoo missed on its earnings. Kara Swisher breaks it down. “One disturbing trend: An $86 million loss from operations totaled in the quarter, in contrast to $42 million of income a year ago. If you back out certain fees that have little to do with the core business, it gets worse.” I have fond memories of Yahoo. I used to have great hopes for Yahoo. But it’s time to stick a fork in it; it’s done..

Google Photos is gaining some traction, so Google is celebrating with some cool facts about Google Photos. Since splitting off from G+, it’s slightly easier to use, but still not as easy as when it was Picasa. I would love to put some of the graphics I regularly use into a photo album, but it’s so annoying to deal with that I’ve just e-mailed them to myself with a particular keyword and then look for that keyword.

Apparently Bing is now profitable. It probably says something about me (something not particularly good) that my first thought was “Now Google can legitimately use Bing as a plausible defense in an antitrust trial.” “Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remarked on the earnings call that Microsoft saw roughly $1 billion in search ad revenue for the quarter. He added that ‘Windows 10 users [have asked] Cortana more than 1 billion questions.'”


The government of Australia is considering using social media photos in its counterterrorism database. “In September, the justice minister, Michael Keenan, announced that the federal government would spend $18.5m to develop the national facial biometric matching capability, known simply as ‘the capability’. Under questioning in Senate estimates on Tuesday night, senior officials from the attorney general’s department said that photos could be pulled from social media sites and used in the new system.”


Looks like Google/Alphabet’s getting deeper into life science and biomedicine. “[Jessica] Mega’s decision to move in March to Google was one in a string of announcements by top-flight scientists and physicians who are enlisting in the mission, and pioneering a new type of career path in the process. Although academic researchers from fields such as computer science and engineering have led innovative Google projects (such as the Internet-connected eyewear known as Glass), Google and other technology companies are increasingly recruiting life scientists as Silicon Valley broadens its reach into health care.”


LinkedIn has done some data mining and can now match your first name with a possible career. Find out what other people with your first name are doing. I put in my first name and found I might be a kindergarden teacher, dental hygeinst, or massage therapist. Nope. I put in “Terry,” which is what some people think my name is, and I got Fire Chief, Police Chief, or semi-retired. Finally, I tried TJ, which some people call me, and got President, Vice-President, and Account Representative. (Note to self: change name to TJ.) Good morning, Internet…

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