British Red Cross, Monograph Publishing, The Alamo, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, April 25, 2016


The British Red Cross has completed its online archive of WWI volunteers. “Today, the British Red Cross celebrates the completion of an online archive of more than 244,000 personnel index cards, which provide a new picture of their work on the home front and overseas…. The collection of index cards, which is now more than 100 years old, includes VADs’ [Voluntary Aid Detachments] names and details such as where they worked…”

In development: a new open source monograph publishing platform. “We’re excited to announce that the University of California Press and California Digital Library have partnered with Collaborative Knowledge Foundation to develop, Editoria, a new open source, digital-first book production platform. Through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University of California Press (UCP) and the California Digital Library (CDL) have embarked on a project to build an open source platform for content and workflow management of book-length works. The goal of the project is to create a shared resource for presses and library publishers to automate book production in multiple formats using a versatile, web-based production workflow system.” Launch is expected early next year.


The Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas has a new Web site. “The General Land Office (GLO) set out to create a website that raised the bar on the typical state government website and push the boundaries of tourism web design. The resulting website features full-screen video, interactive features and other rich content to entice and excite prospective visitors of all ages.”

Is the Google Play store coming to Chromebooks? Oh my. “Android apps in Chrome OS may already be a thing, but there really aren’t that many available on the Chrome Web Store. That could soon change, however, as the search giant appears to be on the verge of launching the Play Store on Chrome OS, as evidenced in a new screenshot recently shared on Reddit.”


TheNextWeb has a quick writeup on Readism, a Chrome extension which gives you estimates on how long it’ll take you to read an article on the web.

From The Telegraph: tricks to clear up space on your smartphone. One of the tricks is “Backup your photos,” and I don’t want to do that because I don’t want to use iCloud. An IFTTT recipe, however, saves my photos to Dropbox.


The Verge is launching a blog that will live on a Facebook page. ewww. “Circuit Breaker will be edited by Paul Miller, a former employee of The Verge who is returning to the company. Mr. Miller said the new page would reach for a ‘core audience’ of hard-core gadget fans. The Verge offers some popular gadget coverage, but Mr. Miller said many of those gadget fans ‘feel neglected when we’re talking about Netflix’ and technology’s role in the broader culture.”

An interesting read and comforting, in a backhanded way, to know that even the International Olympic Committee can’t always keep its archives straight: How two Canadian designers salvaged a century of Olympic logos. “…Hulse & Durrell was hired to compile, digitize and edit all the emblems, pictograms, mascots and colour palettes from past Olympic Games into a catalogue of brand marks that could eventually be licensed and emblazoned on everything from clothing to coffee mugs. The challenge was that the IOC’s digital archive was itself incomplete: it had only a rudimentary collection of historical materials—and some of those materials, especially older, pre-digital samples, contained errors. Roman numerals were cut off at the edge of the frame, fonts were inconsistent and colour gradients had inexplicably crept into the artwork. ”

From the BBC: How African governments block social media. “A small but increasing group of African governments is blocking social media during elections. Clare Spencer asks why and how this is done and how people get around it.” That sounds like a video transcript but this is a print story.

Remember MTV’s Cribs? It’s coming back as a free Snapchat series. “The MTV Cribs Snapchat series is going to be launched in June this year with Austin Mahone and Mac Miller, after their appearance the series will air weekly. No word as yet which stars will be welcoming us into their homes with the new Cribs series.”


If you’re on a jury in California, resist the temptation to Google the case. “California lawmakers are considering fines of as much of $1,500 for jurors who tweet about trials or research a case on Google, after court officials argued that misbehaving citizens have caused mistrials and overturned convictions around the country.”


And from our “Get off my lawn” department: the average Web page is now roughly about the same size as a full install of Doom. “This is according to Ronan Cremin, a lead engineer with Afilias Technologies and dotMobi’s representative for the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Cremin points to data from the HTTP Archive showing that, at 2.3MB, the average page is now the same size as the original DOS install of the id Software mega-hit. The HTTP Archive report places the average web page at around 2,301KB. This is smaller than Doom’s 2,393KB footprint, but only slightly.”

From Dave Winer: The Web Thrives Despite Google. “Google has not been a good friend to the web, imho. They should have been, but they have not been. And Wired, even though they have a tradition of liberalism, also has to pay the bills, and they do so with advertising from big companies, like Google, and by doing interviews with the leaders of Google. So they have to be nice to them. Maybe I understand why they did this, but I don’t accept that they did it.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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