Book Reviews, AV Artifacts, Labor Camps, More: Saturday Buzz, June 11, 2016


A new site aggregates book reviews — as the article says, it’s like a “Rotten Tomatoes” for books. “The book reviews come from over 70 outlets—when a book garners more than three reviews, they are aggregated on the site. The Book Marks staff assigns letter grades based on the criticism, which are then published as an average score.”

Big thanks to Matt S. for a heads-up on the new-to-me A/V Artifact Atlas (which is set up as a wiki.) Multimedia archivists, I think you’ll dig this. From the about page: “The AV Artifact Atlas is for use in the identification and definition of the technical issues and anomalies that can afflict audio and video signals. The goal of AVAA is to advance the audiovisual archiving field generally by strengthening the practice of reformatting archival media content. Archivists, curators, librarians, conservators, digitization service providers — plus all the users of cultural heritage content — benefit from the use of a common vocabulary, with supporting examples, when discussing such issues with one another.” In addition to the problems, possible remedies for the problems are also mentioned.

Czech Historians have created an online museum about the labor camps operated by the Soviet Union. “Czech historians launched a Gulag Online virtual museum on the Internet yesterday, the first project in the world that maps and documents the former Soviet Union’s abandoned labour camps by means of 3D animation and that is available in a Czech, English and Russian versions.” Strangely this story does not have a link to the museum I can find; it’s available at .


Twitch has updated its search tools. “It now updates in real time across games, live channels, users and video, giving you multiple options when you’re searching keywords.”

What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Facebook is going to allow users to upload videos in comments. “By selecting the camera icon underneath a string of replies — previously used only to add a photo — you’re now able to upload your own video clip on Facebook’s iOS and Android app, as well as on its regular site.”

The betas for Linux Mint 18 have been released. “The Cinnamon release comes in at 1.6 GB while the MATE release is an even larger 1.7 GB, which is strange considering MATE is supposed to be the more conservative, lighter-weight version of the two. In the Cinnamon edition, the desktop has been upgraded to version 3.0; you can see an overview of its features in the Linux Scoop video below. Meanwhile, MATE was bumped to version 1.14.”

Google has announced the first Tango-enabled phone. “Tango helps you answer a new set of questions about your world through specialized hardware and apps. Some of the coolest apps that work with Tango are the ones that overlay digital objects on top of your surroundings. For example if you’re shopping for a new bed, Tango lets you view your bedroom through your phone and visualize different options—even walk around the virtual furniture like it’s actually there.”


MakeUseOf: Nine Google Calendar Features You Should Be Using. I like the countdown one.


TechCrunch has a writeup about a Twitter chat tool called Huckle. “For people who think Slack is just a little bit too formal, there’s Huckle. The platform makes kicking off a group chat with your friends, fans and followers as easy as composing a tweet, hitting send and tapping away until your fingers go numb. Until recently, the platform was only available on iOS, but that’s changing today with a brand new browser-based interface.”

Yet another person is having trouble with Google Maps and their property. “Red Rock Rancher Pete Stoner has tried in vain to contact Google Maps to fix an error that keeps leading hundreds of strangers to his door. The popular online mapping system directs visitors along Highway 97 south of Prince George B.C. to a trail head for Fort George Canyon Provincial Park. The problem is they end up on private property with a river and a cliff between them and their desired destination — even if they did cut through Stoner’s field and climb a rock wall.” There are going to be glitches, what’s upsetting is how non-responsive Google is. Read the article.

Poynter takes a look at The Sunlight Foundation and IFTTT. “The Sunlight Foundation has put IFTTT to work by bridging its Congress API to various online services. The foundation automatically pulls in lots of data from the government — the locations and zip codes of congress members, for example, and the crush of information that accompanies the legislature’s routines: floor votes, hearings, bills, amendments and nominations. ”


An AI has written a short sci-fi film. It’s not great. The actors are good. Did you ever see that song which is supposed to be what English sounds like to non-English speakers but is actually mostly gibberish? This felt the same way. The actors were so earnest I kept waiting for it to make sense, but finally gave up. Good morning, Internet…

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