Singapore History, Facebook, Google, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, April 14, 2016


Singapore’s National Heritage Board (NHB) is created a Web site to aggregate all its heritage resources. “The new website … integrates all heritage information — not just NHB’s resources — about Singapore’s historical monuments, artefacts and trails within a single content bank. It contains information on the selected monument or collection as well as “intelligent recommendations” about other similar sites or collections, and links to other historical information. ”


Facebook has opened Instant Articles to everybody. “Product manager Josh Roberts said in a Facebook Media blog post that more than 1,000 publishers globally are now part of the Instant Articles program…”

Google will stop supporting Chrome on older operating systems. “Although we’ve known it was coming since November last year – and dropping the axe has already been postponed once – the newest version of Chrome will no longer be updated to work with Windows XP, Vista or OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or older.”

Snapchat now has 3D stickers. I look forward to the new creative weirdness.


I post on Metafilter pointed me toward this very cool resource on dating historic photos via components like cars, clothing, hair, street lights, billboards, etc. “So, what can you do with an old photograph and no date? Well, you can deduce that date, and our site is going to help you! Photographs are filled with evidence that tells a story about that snapshot in time. What is that evidence? It is our built environment; it is the clothing we wear; it is the tools and machinery that we use; it is the natural landscape. Every feature you see in an historic image is an important clue to its date.” An absolute gold mine for genealogists.


Israel’s State Archives is changing its policy on paper document access. “Israel’s State Archives (ISA) will no longer give researchers and the public access to its historical materials and documents once it starts putting digitized documents online.” Be sure to read the follow up interview with Israel’s state archivist.


The bad news is that there’s yet another ransomware variant out there, this one deleting files every hour (or every time you reboot the infected computer.) The good news is that there’s already a decrypter available.

From The Wall Street Journal: Twitter and Islamic State Deadlock on Social Media Battlefield. “U.S. companies such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, joined by online hackers and similarly minded groups, have for months aggressively battled the spread of Islamic State material online. Accounts and posts that would have stayed alive for weeks now sometimes last as little as a few hours. Islamic State supporters, particularly on Twitter, have responded to the crackdown by opening accounts almost as quickly as gatekeepers delete them.”


Backchannel: Instagram Is Ruining Vacation. “The phenomenon of photography annoying tourists is far from new. My parents wielded disposal cameras and Polaroids with the best of them, occasionally begging for at least one decent photo of my brother and me at the state fair, in front of the Golden Gate bridge, or smiling half-heartedly next to a mascot. My grandparents and their peers surely sat through the tediousness of home movies, slideshow sessions or guided photo album tours from friends and neighbors who were all too eager to brag about their recent safari or trip to Niagara Falls. Today, I treasure those family photos, especially the ones of generations of awkward siblings. But it never felt like the chronicling was the purpose of the trip, rather it was an afterthought.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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