New York Times, Facebook, Evernote, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, February 2, 2016


The New York Times has expanded the content available in its TimesMachine. “At the beginning of this year, we quietly expanded TimesMachine, our virtual microfilm reader, to include every issue of The New York Times published between 1981 and 2002. Prior to this expansion, TimesMachine contained every issue published between 1851 and 1980, which consisted of over 11 million articles spread out over approximately 2.5 million pages. The new expansion adds an additional 8,035 complete issues containing 1.4 million articles over 1.6 million pages.” Read this whole blog post. It’s a discussion about how the content in the TimesMachine was expanded and how freshly-OCR’d articles were matched to extant articles in the full-text archive.

Facebook is tweaking its feed algorithm. Again. “In other words, the posts you see first will be determined by the likelihood you’ll want to see a particular update, as well as how likely you are to engage with a post — via Liking, commenting or sharing.” Bleh.

Evernote is getting out of ecommerce. “Some more news from Evernote — the note-taking app and startup of the same name — that speaks to the company’s current rough patch: today it announced that as of Wednesday at 6pm Pacific, it will shutter Market, the e-commerce platform where it sold Evernote swag and Evernote-integrated office products, in an attempt to create another revenue stream around its more dedicated users.”


The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) has an interesting Webinar coming up on 9 February. It’s called We(eding) the People Off Google – Using Government Information and Local Resources for Small Business Research. “Information literacy instruction for small business entrepreneurs is usually provided by public libraries. However, at the University of South Carolina Aiken, the Government Information Librarian and the Instruction Librarian, partnered with the local Small Business Development Center to train local small business entrepreneurs how to access information from free, locally available resources. This webinar will discuss how the partnership was established, developing the content of the workshop, which resources participants found most helpful, lessons we learned from the experience, and how other librarians can use what we have learned to provide information to small business entrepreneurs in their own communities.” Actually all of the FDLP’s Webinars for this month sound interesting.


The future of the Oyez US Supreme Court archive is apparently in trouble. “It’s not on Craigslist yet, but Jerry Goldman says options are narrowing for, the private online archive of Supreme Court materials he has been building since the early 1990s and providing free to the public….The sticking point, however, isn’t the annual budget; Harvard Law School, for one, has offered to pick up the operating cost. But Mr. Goldman also wants to be paid for the sweat he’s put into his baby–or at least the intellectual property it represents—something he estimates is worth well over $1 million.”

Some controversy about after reports surface about possible fees. “Outraged academics last week encouraged their colleagues to delete their accounts after an email suggested the scholarly social network was considering charging users a fee to have their work considered for a recommendation.” A move of this sort will kill It reminds me of when Yahoo started charging for consideration of inclusion in its directory – not inclusion, just consideration of inclusion. That one small thing completely changed the tenor of Yahoo overnight.

From The Straits Times, a how Singapore arts and culture institutions are making their archives more accessible. “Spurred by the growing yearning of artists and audiences to learn more about the arts scene in Singapore, arts groups and institutions are now looking to reach out to not just researchers and practitioners through their archives, but also to curious laymen.” Several pointers to resources here in this article by Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh; check out her accompanying article Struggling to Keep 90 Years of Material. “The perpetual need for space dogs artist-archivist Koh Nguang How and his Singapore Art Archive Project – a dive into Singapore art history through nine decades of material, from yellowing catalogues to vintage photos of happenings at the National Museum Art Gallery.”


Chris Hoffman points out a serious problem in the Chrome Web Store – malicious apps are listed ahead of legitimate extensions. “Search for many popular extensions on the Chrome Web Store and you’ll see misleading and potentially malicious apps first. Google’s Chrome Web Store always lists apps before extensions, and hucksters have taken advantage of this to trick unsuspecting users into installing fake apps instead of the extensions they’re searching for. This needs to stop.”

A former Yahoo employee is suing the company over its rating system. “In a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, Gregory Anderson, an editor who oversaw Yahoo’s autos, homes, shopping, small business and travel sites in Sunnyvale, Calif., until he was fired in November 2014, alleges that the company’s senior managers routinely manipulated the rating system to fire hundreds of people without just cause to achieve the company’s financial goals.”


The Verge dived into Facebook’s audience data and generated some lists about what Facebook users are into. “Because Facebook’s interest categories are publicly available, accessing this data was relatively simple. By programmatically emulating searches of all possible letters and numbers until no more results were returned, we were able to pull a list of 282,002 interests — which Facebook says may not even constitute the entire dataset. Most interests are sorted into broad categories like Lifestyle and Culture, People, or News and Entertainment. Each has a very precise number for audience size, ranging from zero all the way up to 1,466,365,990, the number of people interested in Facebook itself. You may have already glimpsed a few of these tags in your advertising preferences, but this is the closest we’ve come to a complete, ranked list of every interest on Facebook.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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