Whaling Expeditions, Photo Apps, New York Times, More: Thursday Buzz, July 28, 2016


Now available: an online database of men who went on whaling expeditions out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. That’s over 127,000 people and spans 1809-1927. “The searchable list includes the sailor’s name, age, job title, home state or country, and in some cases notes physical characteristics, including skin and hair color. It lists men from 33 states, two U.S. territories and more than 100 foreign nations.”

Microsoft has a new iOS app for taking pictures. And it uses AI. “The new iOS offering from Microsoft’s mobile team employs some artificial intelligence smarts to help make sure you take the best pictures, by eliminating human error through batch captures and by enhancing image color, exposure and other variables that can make the difference between drab and dramatic for your snapshots.” It’s free.


The New York Times: The Future of the Past: Modernizing the New York Times Archive “In 2014, we launched a redesign of our entire digital platform that gave readers a more modern, fluid, and mobile-friendly experience through improvements such as faster performance, responsive layouts, and dynamic page rendering. While our new design upgraded reader experience for new articles, engineering and resource challenges prevented us from migrating previously published articles into this new design…. Today we are thrilled to announce that, thanks to a cross-team migration effort, nearly every article published since 2004 is available to our readers in the new and improved design.” Lots of great “under the hood” stuff in this article.

Dropbox has added new sharing tools. “Dropbox is revamping the way teams and businesses work on its platform. It’s introducing a new team folder for making collaboration easier under a new set of ‘AdminX‘ tools. The main differences with team folders are their new set of granular controls…”


Nifty: 4 Effortless Screen Sharing Tools You Can Use Anytime. “The programs we’ve included in this article are intended to be used when you just need to share your screen as quickly as possible, with as little coordination as possible. They may not be the most powerful programs, the most secure programs, or the most beautiful programs, but they are quick and easy to use, and don’t require a substantial download – factors that sometimes trump all other qualities!” The “not the most secure” part worries me, but sometimes you need something quick and dirty and security is not a huge issue. Sometimes.


A number of groups in South Africa are looking for volunteers to help put the country on Google Maps. “Cape Town based travel company Drive South Africa has partnered with Google through the Google Street View camera loan program to capture 360-degree Street View imagery of South Africa’s top wilderness, cultural and historic sites for Google Maps…. But the Google capturing initiative has grown too big for Cape Town alone, and aims to expand over the rest of the country.”

Facebook had one heck of a quarter. “Coming off an all-time high stock price of $123.34, Facebook in Q2 2016 smashed earnings again. The social network continued steady growth just slightly slower at 3.63% compared to last quarter’s 3.77%, adding 60 million monthly users this quarter to reach 1.71 billion. It scored $6.44 billion in revenue and $0.97 EPS, blowing past estimates of $6.02 billion and $0.82 EPS.”


Password manager LastPass has had a couple of recent security issues, but it seems like they’ve already been fixed.

A photographer is suing Getty for licensing images she donated to the Library of Congress. “Photographer Carol M. Highsmith has sued Getty Images for copyright infringement, alleging ‘gross misuse’ of 18,755 of her photographs of Americana…. She has been providing the images to the Library of Congress since 1988 for use by the general public at no charge.” They’re not public domain but more like CC-BY; see the article.

The IRS says that Facebook has failed to show up for its SEVENTH tax summons. Where would you and I be after failing to show up for our seventh tax summons? “U.S. authorities are examining Facebook’s federal income tax liability for the period ending Dec. 31, 2010 and are looking at whether the company understated the value of global rights for many of its intangible assets outside the U.S. and Canada that it transferred to a subsidiary in low-tax Ireland. While Facebook has supplied some documents to the tax authority, it hasn’t provided books, records, papers and other data demanded in seven summonses, the IRS said in an amended petition filed Monday at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. These include a request to show up at an IRS office in San Jose on June 29.”


The Tyee: Why Canada’s E-Library is Barren. “Canada’s inability to adopt a cohesive national digitization strategy has been an ongoing source of frustration and the subject of multiple studies which concluded that the country is falling behind. While there have been no shortage of pilot projects and useful initiatives from university libraries, Canada has thus far failed to articulate an ambitious, national digitization vision.”

Study: getting academic research to business practitioners. “Academic researchers study many aspects of business, but business practitioners rarely make use of that research. A multi-university research team reports that researchers and practitioners share more interests than either group realizes and outlines ways that the two groups can collaborate more effectively to address shared challenges.” Good morning, Internet…

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