B&W Pictures, African-American Art, Movies, More: Wednesday Buzz, July 20, 2016


Oooh, genealogists, you might love this. A new tool instantly colorizes black and white photos. I played with it for a while and your mileage varies (and if your original image is sepia, forget it) but when it works, it’s really impressive. It’s free, at least the version I was playing with is. I just tried desaturating a sepia tone image to black and white and colorizing that, and my poor Aunt Rhett ended up with a purple chin…

The Hammer Museum has launched a digital archive for the exhibit Now Dig This!. “The exhibition Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980 chronicled the vital legacy of the city’s African American artists. The work of these practitioners was animated to an extent by the civil rights and Black Power movements, reflecting the changing sense of what constituted African American identity and American culture. … The exhibition presented 140 artworks by these artists and the friends who influenced and supported them during this period and explored the significant contributions of African Americans to the canon of Los Angeles–based art.” When scrolling through the exhibit, be sure to click “See All” to get all the artwork. Betye Saar. John T. Riddle Jr. Wow.

A new Web site aggregates movie information from every single corner of the Web. “If you tend to waste hours surfing the Web before you eventually give up and settle for a movie you’ve already seen because there’s nothing better to watch, Cinesift is about to change your life. Built by Redditor yombato, it’s a massive film database that sources information from popular websites like Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb and Metacritic to help you quickly and effortlessly pick a movie to watch.”

World War I historians, you’re going to like this. DigitalNC has added 53 issues of Trench and Camp to its online archives. “The Trench and Camp newspaper was published for soldiers living in the 32 domestic cantonments during World War I…These editions are excellent resources for those interested in communication during war time, as these papers were seen as direct communication between the President and those serving their country.”

WOW! Apparently this has been in the works for a year, but I just read about it yesterday. The University of Minnesota is building a metasearch engine for African-American archives. “It has launched an ambitious project, called Umbra Search, to make it easy to search not only its own collection, but hundreds of African-American archives across the country. All at once. So far, Umbra has made a dramatic, if spotty, start, with links to more than 400,000 pieces of history — photos, videos, letters and manuscripts — from 500 libraries and museums, including the Smithsonian Institution.”


Snapchat is making it easier for users to suggest accounts to follow. “If you go into the Stories list, then tap and hold on someone’s name, a new option appears. Tap the blue arrow on the right, and you can send the account to other people. They’ll receive it as a private Chat message. From there, the recipient can see the suggested account’s name, handle, profile GIF, and a button to Add them.”


MakeUseOf: 13 Best Chrome Extensions and Apps to Work Offline. “No Internet on the go? Don’t worry, you can still have a productive day on your laptop if you do a little prep work. Chromebook user or not, as long as you’re a Chrome user, you can install offline extensions (and apps) for common tasks like note taking and editing PDFs.”

First Draft News: How to get started in online investigations with open-source intelligence. “Myself and others at First Draft frequently receive emails from a whole range of people asking how they can start doing the sort of online open-source investigation and verification that they’ve seen us doing. The skills and methodologies used are all something that can be learnt through a little persistence, but here are a few pieces of advice to get you started.”


It’s 2016, so of course the presidential election includes shade-throwing Snapchat filters. “The Clinton campaign is trolling Hillary Clinton’s likely White House rival during this week’s Republican National Committee convention, buying anti-Trump filters for Snapchat images captured in downtown Cleveland. Geofilters are those tiny pieces of art that Snapchatters can use to overlay images captured in a certain location. During the 2016 race for the White House, politicians have employed these sponsored filters to playfully knock their opponents and attract the attention of college-age voters.” “Playfully”? What planet are you on?


A new service will let you know when someone uses your social security number. “Civic, which bills itself as an ‘identity protection network’ and launches in beta today, hinges on a simple enough premise: If your Social Security number is used, you’ll get a push notification. That’s about it. ‘We think the way you secure information is not by keeping information private, it’s about being able to follow its use,’ says Civic co-founder and CEO Vinny Lingham.” Like the idea in theory, worried would would happen if the service itself got hacked…

A court in India is issuing a notice to Google, but this time it’s not about taxes or taxation. “An Allahabad court on Tuesday issued notices to Google, its Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai and India head Rajan Anandan for supposedly listing Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the top 10 criminals in the world.”

The High Court of Paris has ruled that Google and Bing do not have to scrub torrent-related results from their search results. “Google and Bing are not required to automatically filter ‘torrent’ related searches to prevent piracy, the High Court of Paris has decided…. More specifically, the court notes that the word ‘torrent’ has many legitimate uses, as does the BitTorrent protocol, which is a neutral communication technology. This means that blocking everything ‘torrent’ related is likely to censor legal content as well.” Good. Would have been a terrible precedent. Good morning, Internet…

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