Black History on Tumblr, Black Heroes of the RAF, Fiji, More: Sunday Buzz, June 25, 2016


The Washington Post is creating a crowdsourced collection of items related to Black history on Tumblr. “On Sept. 24, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opens on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Inside, visitors will find exhibitions and collections of objects, images and art that begin with slavery in the United States and span the the Civil Rights movement. Every day leading up to that opening, The Washington Post is collecting objects of ‘lived Black history’ to display. On Wednesday, the Post launched ‘Historically Black’ on Tumblr.”

More crowdsourcing for people of color: the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC), which is doing some very interesting projects, wants to highlight the Caribbean and West African volunteers who served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II. “…the board of trustees of the new International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) being built in Lincoln to honour those who fought in Bomber Command, is now appealing for photographs, letters and oral testimonies of Caribbean and West African aircrew to be included in the Centre’s digital archive. Black volunteers served in the RAF as pilots, navigators, air gunners and flight engineers, and a third were killed in action. A quarter of those who fought were awarded medals.”


The National Archives of Fiji has updated its Web site. The article was very short so I went and took a quick look at the new site. Looks terrific!

Instagram wants to pick videos for you. “‘Picked for You’ lives in the Explore tab, and each day will show you a ream of videos from one of over 20 channels based on topics Instagram thinks you’re interested in. But these aren’t your average channels like Sports, Fashion, or Technology. Instagram is getting specific, launching with channels like Cookies, Special Effect Makeup, and Softball Players.”

Sites hosting video have started using automated means of removing extremist content. Facebook in particular does not have a good track record when it comes to removing false-positive content, but if the story is correct this shouldn’t be too much of a problem: “The technology was originally developed to identify and remove copyright-protected content on video sites. It looks for ‘hashes,’ a type of unique digital fingerprint that internet companies automatically assign to specific videos, allowing all content with matching fingerprints to be removed rapidly. Such a system would catch attempts to repost content already identified as unacceptable, but would not automatically block videos that have not been seen before.”


The always-excellent Larry Ferlazzo has updated his Web sites for learning about the Fourth of July.

Offbeat but interesting from MakeUseOf: 5 Sites to Download Famous Sounds from Movies, Games, & More.


From The Verge: How Politicians Are Using Periscope. “Seeds of Tuesday’s protest were planted in 2013, when state Senator Wendy Davis, a Texas Democrat, mounted a 13-hour filibuster in an effort to prevent Republicans from passing onerous new restrictions on abortion. While most major networks largely avoided the filibuster, it captivated the internet, thanks to a YouTube broadcast provided by the Texas Tribune. The event showed how a new digital broadcasting infrastructure could turn a routine vote in a state legislature into a cause célèbre — and all but guaranteed federal lawmakers would one day use that infrastructure for their own purposes.”

This should be interesting: the co-founder of Google Fiber, Kevin Lo, is moving to Facebook. “Lo’s new title is Director of Infrastructure Connectivity and Investments, which we’re told is a fancy way of saying he’ll deal with many of Facebook’s external partnerships pertaining to its connectivity efforts…. A spokesperson was very clear that Lo’s hire does not mean it wants to sell you internet or cable.” The article also noted that Mr. Lo will not be working on Facebook’s “Free Basics” initiative.


The state of California has amended a bill that would have given it new powers to copyright government work. “This week, the bill was amended to remove the new intellecutual property powers and the new exemptions to CPRA. What remains are provisions for better tracking of state patents, trademarks, and copyrights, and a new requirement that state agencies ‘consider’ the intellectual property rights of all parties when they write contracts. These changes should help avoid situations like the ongoing trademark dispute over hotels and campgrounds in Yosemite National Park, without harming public access to government records and data.”

Gizmodo has called out Telegram for being insecure. “Telegram, the supposedly secure messaging app, has over 100 million users. You might even be one of them. If you are, you should probably stop using it right now. Here’s the unfortunate truth about Telegram: it’s not as secure as the company’s marketing campaigns might lead you to believe. According to interviews with leading encryption and security experts, Telegram has a wide range of security issues and doesn’t live up to its proclamations as a safe and secure messaging application.”

Oh my: apparently Google Chrome has a flaw that makes it easy to download movies from places like Netflix. “For years Hollywood has waged a war on piracy, using digital rights management technologies to fight bootleggers who illegally copy movies and distribute them. For just as long, hackers have found ways to bypass these protections. Now two security researchers have found a new way, using a vulnerability in the system Google uses to stream media through its Chrome browser. They say people could exploit the flaw to save illegal copies of movies they stream on Chrome using sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime.”


The Next Web: Why we should all be very worried about Twitter. “Last night I discussed this subject with someone who had just spoken to some higher-ups at Twitter. He had also expressed his concerns, and relayed their semi-official reply to me. They argued that they were happy being number three, behind Google and runner-up Facebook. And that’s fine with them. Twitter feels it has enough data and usage to stay relevant and generate revenue. According to my source, they spoke with confidence and told him they weren’t worried. And that worries me even more.” Good morning, Internet…

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