Getty, Comic Books, Amazon Video, More: Thursday Buzz, May 12, 2016


Getty Publications has released another couple of online catalogues. “The publications released in this launch include Roman Mosaics in the J. Paul Getty Museum, a catalogue by Getty curator Alexis Belis that accompanies the exhibition Roman Mosaics across the Empire that is currently on display at the Getty Villa, and Ancient Terracottas from South Italy and Sicily in the J. Paul Getty Museum, a catalogue by noted archaeologist Maria Lucia Ferruzza in collaboration with Getty curator Claire Lyons.”

New to me: an entire Web site devoted to comic book covers which feature golf. “This site is about collecting comic books that have some sort of golf reference on the FRONT COVER. This reference could include an actual golf swing, golf equipment, a picture of a golfer, the word golf or caddie, or just making the action of a golf swing.” There are over 500 covers here!

Whoa: Amazon has opened its video platform to creators. “With the launch of Amazon Video Direct, open to any video creator, the e-commerce giant will compete head-to-head with Google’s YouTube for video-ad dollars and views as well as other big Internet video distributors like Facebook and Vimeo.”


Brown University’s digital archive on the relationship between the US and Brazil is about to get an expansion. “The Brazilian Amnesty Commission and the United Nations Development Programme have awarded Brown University’s Opening the Archives Project a grant to more than double the number of declassified U.S. government documents on Brazil, produced during that country’s military dictatorship of 1964 to 1985, that are publicly accessible through the project’s open-access website.”

Five of Ohio’s public universities (out of 14 total) will post their spending online on Ohio’s checkbook site. “Five of Ohio’s 14 public universities will post their spending online for public view, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced Tuesday. Bowling Green State University, Miami University, Ohio University, Wright State University and Central State University will join Mandel’s online checkbook.”


Social Media Examiner breaks down the changes to the Facebook news feed. “Are you struggling to remain visible in Facebook’s news feed? Wondering how Facebook decides what to show in the news feed? In this article you’ll discover how the Facebook news feed algorithm works, what’s been updated, and how marketers can respond to create more visibility on Facebook.”


WIRED speculates on a redesign of arXiv. “To get a sense of just how important arXiv is, consider these stats. In 2014, the site passed its million-paper mark. It received 105,000 submissions in 2015 alone, and last year boasted over 139 million downloads. It has become the go-to place to find out what’s going on right now—in the fields it covers, and in the workscapes of individual scientists.”

A group of Google employees wants to see more women’s emoji. “In a recent submission made to the Unicode Consortium [PDF], the body responsible for approving new emojis, a group of Google employees has proposed ‘a new set of emoji that represents a wide range of professions for women and men with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere.'”

Not a vote of confidence: Congress has blocked Yahoo Mail. “According to the email sent in late April by the House’s Technology Service Desk, there has been an increase in ransomware attacks sent through Gmail, YahooMail, and other public email services….In response to the attacks, the House’s IT desk blocked access to YahooMail ‘Until further notice.'”


Google will ban payday loan advertisements. “The decision is the first time Google has announced a global ban on ads for a broad category of financial products. To this point, the search giant has prohibited ads for largely illicit activities such as selling guns, explosives and drugs, and limited those that are sexually explicit or graphic in nature, for example. Critics of payday lenders say they hope the move by Google and other tech companies might undercut the business which finds huge numbers of willing customers on the internet.”


From PeerJ: A longitudinal study of independent scholar-published open access journals: “There is still an on-going debate about how OA journals should be operated, and the volunteer model used by many such ‘indie’ journals has been proposed as a viable alternative to the model adopted by big professional publishers where publishing activities are funded by authors paying expensive article processing charges (APCs). Our longitudinal quantitative study of 250 ‘indie’ OA journals founded prior to 2002, showed that 51% of these journals were still in operation in 2014 and that the median number of articles published per year had risen from 11 to 18 among the survivors. Of these surviving journals, only 8% had started collecting APCs. A more detailed qualitative case study of five such journals provided insights into how such journals have tried to ensure the continuity and longevity of operations.”

This article from First Draft News quotes a saying that I first encountered in Terry Pratchett’s The Truth: “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth has got its boots on”. Some recent research tags that saying as pretty spot-on: “On average, it takes more than 12 hours for a false claim to be debunked online, according to two recent projects that compared how falsehoods and truths spread. One study analyzed rumors on Twitter and found that a rumor that turns out to be true is often resolved within two hours of first emerging. But a rumor that proves false takes closer to 14 hours to be debunked.” Good morning, Internet…

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