Cinema Cameras, Campaign Finance, Genealogy, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, May 30, 2016


Now available: a database of digital cinema cameras. Enter a daily hire budget and specify any special requirements like slomo, 4K, etc. and click Search. You’ll get a table of possible results, with filters on the left. Unfortunately, whoever designed this site thought light gray text on a white background was a good idea.

Solomon Khan has created a new tool for exploring campaign finance data. “Explore Campaign Finance is an open source tool, which compiles the last 25 years of campaign finance data and puts it online in a new user friendly format. Kahn’s tool, developed in part during his Ash fellowship, allows the public to better understand where contributions to federal office holders come from with more context than ever before. By aggregating campaign finance data from a variety of sources including the Center for Responsive Politics’, Kahn is able to provide a uniquely detailed perspective of individual politician’s campaign donations.” Make sure you search by last name only if you’re looking for a politician who isn’t showing in your search results. I was wondering why a search for Kay Hagan drew a blank until I searched just by last name and found Kay R Hagan. The search on this site doesn’t appear very forgiving.


From Genealogy Insider: 12 Free Websites to Search for & Honor Fallen Military Ancestors on Memorial Day.

Fun with Python and ‘bots, from Dev Cereal: How to Build a Raspberry Pi Twitter Bot with Python. “You might even have your own ideas about a funny or useful twitter bot – maybe a parody bot, or a bot that tweets if it’s raining? If you’ve got a Raspberry Pi hanging around and a few minutes to spare, then you can make your very own twitter bot.”

Lifehacker’s got a writeup on an iOS app for Twitter called Charm. “Frankly, Charm is the kind of tool that Twitter should roll into the official app. Think of it like Twitter lists, just for everything or anything you want, not just for people. It’s iPhone only (which is a shame, maybe it’ll come to Android soon) but you can use it to build a playlist of all of the music your favorite musicians and music accounts have posted, or maybe someone’s in the middle of a massive tweetstorm you want to read later, but you want an easy way to parse through it without going to their profile or faving everything. Charm can build that playlist for you, or save all of those tweets.”


Sogou and Bing are teaming up. “Sogou, which operates China’s third-largest online search engine, said on Thursday that to satisfy Chinese curiosity for global information, it has teamed up with Microsoft’s Bing to launch an English-language search engine The newly launched search engine, Sogou English, is able to help Chinese users access trillions of pieces of English-language information, including academic developments, Sogou said.”

Kinda weird: a Facebook clone has popped up in North Korea. “Doug Madory, a researcher at Dyn, a company that monitors internet use and access around the world, says that the site’s DNS resolves to North Korea’s Domain Name System, the servers that convert domain names to IP addresses. DNS is often referred to as the ‘address book of the internet.'”


Great stuff from nature! Digital forensics: from the crime lab to the library “The Gould papers were an early indication of an issue that’s been rapidly worsening: four decades after the personal-computer revolution brought word processing and number crunching to the desktop, the first generation of early adopters is retiring or dying. So how do archivists recover and preserve what’s left behind?”

NYT Op-Ed: Don’t Hand Our TVs Over to Google. “Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission resolved to ‘unlock the box,’ requiring cable companies to give video streaming, programming and encryption data to companies like Google that make stand-alone alternatives to the traditional cable set-top box. Done right, this could unleash innovation and usher in a new era in which televisions become a direct extension of our online world. Unfortunately, the F.C.C.’s proposal threatens to replace one set of powerful gatekeepers with a new one: Google.” Good afternoon, Internet…


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