Jane Austen, North Carolina, Jails, More: Friday Buzz, December 18th, 2015


The music books of Jane Austen and her family have been digitized and are now available online. “The Austen Family Music Books is a collection of 18 albums of music containing around 600 pieces that belonged to the 19th century writer and her relations. The imaging of the books was carried out at the University’s Hartley Library in its state-of-the-art Digitisation Unit.”

The state of North Carolina is getting a new site providing information on police stops over the last 15 years. “A nonprofit civil rights organization – with support from the White House – will launch a website Thursday that will contain up-to-date information about nearly 20 million traffic stops made by every police department and every police officer in North Carolina over the past 15 years.”

More law enforcement: there is a huge new map/ database of information on jails in the United States. “The free on­line tool culls in­form­a­tion from pub­licly avail­able sources such as the Bur­eau of Justice Stat­ist­ics and the Census Bur­eau on the 3,000 county jails na­tion­ally. There are five fil­ters through which the data can be ex­plored. The first one of­fers the growth-per­cent­age change for each jail for which data is avail­able. The second re­veals the ra­tio of people in jail to the county’s pop­u­la­tion (x per 100K). The third breaks down the rate for blacks/Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans in each county, fol­lowed by an­oth­er fil­ter that does the same for wo­men. The last fil­ter re­cords the com­bined jail and pris­on data for New York and Cali­for­nia.”

The state of Iowa has released a new Web site for showing school performance. “The Iowa School Report Card, unveiled Wednesday by the state Education Department, offers quantitative assessments of school performance in a handful of categories, including graduation rates, college and career readiness and student progress.”


The Manchester Christmas Markets are now available on Google Street View. “The Street View, which has gone live today, will celebrate the final weekend of the markets, allowing visitors to relive their experience and give those that didn’t make it along to the award-wining attraction the chance to see what they missed.”

NPR is dropping some of its audio into Facebook. “NPR will offer bits of its audio stories directly in your Facebook news feed throughout December and January, NPR Tech Reporter Aarti Shahani announced via Twitter today. (If that lede doesn’t encapsulate the idea of ‘old’ media meeting new, we’re not sure what does.) ”

Pinterest has apparently turned into a price-monitoring tool. “The social scrapbooking platform is now launching a feature that lets you monitor the price of the buyable pins on your wish list. The new tool will send users in-app notifications and emails every time the price drops on a product they’ve pinned.”


From FedTech: 50 Must-Read Federal IT Blogs 2015. Not all government blogs, a very interesting list. Twitter accounts are easily shown for following but not, alas, RSS feeds, and of course I should better than to expect the whole kaboodle in an OPML file.

Wondering how memorable that picture you took is? MIT wants to help with a new online tool. “You upload a photo, and it spits out a memorability score, what the researchers claim is the likelihood that you’ll actually commit that image to memory.” I tried it, putting in a picture of Bo, my cat. It just ran and ran. Then I tried putting in a picture of my feet. It just ran and ran. I think it’s too busy.

Just want to send a tweet, and DON’T want to get sucked down the rabbit hole? Here are 7 strategies. “Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter. Most of it is spent scrolling through my timeline. That’s not a bad thing. But I’ve noticed that I do it almost accidentally. There are times when I go to Twitter to catch up on my timeline and there are times when I’m scrolling through the TL and suddenly find asking myself ‘wait, how did I get here?'”


Google’s own Matt Cutts will be getting an honorary doctorate of engineering from the University of Kentucky, where he got his undergrad degree: “While at UK, Cutts achieved a sparkling academic record, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, receiving a Gaines Fellowship in the Humanities, earning election to Phi Beta Kappa and being named the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the College of Engineering.” Congrats Matt! Or should I say DOCTOR MATT. Good morning, Internet…

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