Luxembourg Photos, New Zealand Law, Podcasting Clips, More: Tuesday Buzz, August 2, 2016


New to me: I didn’t know the nation of Luxembourg had an online photo archive! “The 6,500-strong photo archive dating from the 1950s to the ’70s is freely accessible on the website of Luxembourg’s National Archives, where one would normally find administrative manuscripts pertaining to the State.”

A new site is publishing judicial decisions from the district courts of New Zealand. “About 200,000 criminal, family, youth and civil matters come before the District Courts every year, where 160 judges make about 25,000 decisions, sentences or orders. Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue says from now on, a Publications Unit working under an editorial board of senior judges, will select for online publication those decisions considered of high public or legal interest and which meet criteria for publication.”


WNYC is open sourcing its audiograms tool. “In addition to converting sound files to movie files fit for platforms like Instagram and Twitter, the Audiogram Generator also allows users to add their captions and choose background images behind a ‘dynamically generated waveform.'”

Congratulations to Europeana Sounds for hitting its 500,000 sounds milestone! “Our recordings range from the very earliest ever made from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Almost every recording format is represented: wax cylinders, shellac, quarter inch tape, compact discs, DATs and digital audio files. There are recordings made from all over the world: from Mongolia to Micronesia, from Uganda to the Urals – they’re not just recordings from the data providers’ own country of origin!”

Looks like Google Maps will be getting a competitor: Uber. “So critical are the new maps for the company that it is investing US$500 million in their development to remove its dependence on Google Maps that are used on the Uber app in most parts of the world, and pave the way for driverless cars, The Financial Times reported on Sunday, quoting a person familiar with the matter.”

Google wants to be your go-to for the Olympics. “In addition to Olympic-related search updates, YouTube will have event highlights by official broadcasters from more than 60 countries. Also, fifteen of YouTube’s top creators will be in Rio livestreaming events.” Sadly, I did not see mentions of The Slingshot Channel, the Slo-Mo Guys, or The Hydraulic Press Channel.

I don’t follow sports very much, but my Google Alerts have just lit up with news about a change in rules for social media and college recruiting. “Traditionally, coaches have been able to follow and private message recruits on social media. But because it was always against NCAA rules to publicize a recruit before signing (as in, a coach cannot publicize the school’s recruitment of the player), coaches could not share or ‘like’ a recruit’s posts. They had to pretend, online, that players didn’t exist. That’s all changed.”

The Obama Administration has released a new set of drone rules. “Drone flights will be approved for agriculture, research and development, educational and academic use, powerline, pipeline and antenna inspections. They also include aiding certain rescue operations, bridge inspections, aerial photography and wildlife nesting area evaluations.”


Ubergizmo has a roundup of what it calls the best news aggregators. I was going to give them a poke for this, as it looked it me like a roundup of the best RSS feed readers, but it does include Flipboard, News Republic, etc.


An enraging but important story from The Guardian: Can mythbusters like keep up in a post-truth era? “In the midst of terror attacks, policing protests, Brexit, and Trump’s run for president the need for accurate information has seldom felt more urgent – or forlorn. Here we are with the freest access to knowledge in history, troves of data and facts at our fingertips and HG Wells’s dream of a world brain a reality, yet a tide of truthiness, propaganda and nonsense surges ever higher. Bogus claims about Barack Obama’s citizenship, say, or Britain’s payments to the European Union, are exposed, yet the claim-pedlars breeze on, unimpeded – they win.”


Great read from the New York Times: make algorithms accountable. “The credit score is the lone algorithm in which consumers have a legal right to examine and challenge the underlying data used to generate it. In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It gave people the right to see the data in their credit reports and to challenge and delete data that was inaccurate. For most other algorithms, people are expected to read fine-print privacy policies, in the hopes of determining whether their data might be used against them in a way that they wouldn’t expect.”

Research: Social media and the transnationalization of mass activism: Twitter and the labour movement. “This paper explores the labour movement organization LabourStart, a digital initiative that, by various means such as e-mail campaigns and social media use, seeks to promote workers’ rights and to strengthen the labour movement on a global scale. The main aim of this study is to analyse a) how LabourStart employs Twitter for communication and organisation and b) how the Twitter-sphere that LabourStart constitutes — and is constituted by — is geographically structured.” Full paper available in HTML. Good morning, Internet…

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