The Cervantes Institute has released a digital archive of materials related to Miguel de Cervantes. It’s free. The original article is in Spanish which I’m Google Translating – I apologize for butchering the quote. “This large file consists of five databases, texts, photographs, graphics and multimedia from different areas of the institution. Of the 10,000 documents, about half are texts and the rest is divided among other formats, explained to El Pais the head of Libraries and Documentation Cervantes, Yolanda of the Church, which highlights the momentum that has been given to these five collections were ready in 2016, the year the institution celebrates its 25th anniversary. It is a job ‘for 10 years, which began in 2006, and will continue in the future.'”
A new Web site tracks ultra-high Internet access launches around the world. “The new tracking service is based on publicly available data and excludes those service providers that market “up to 1 Gbps” speeds but do not explicitly advertise 1 Gbps services. According to the database, there are now at least 350 live gigabit deployments globally, with a further 164 announced or under construction, using wireline and wireless technologies including GPON, DOCSIS 3.1, G.fast, LTE-Advanced, 5G and 802.11ac.” I just tested my Internet access speed. You wanna guess the download speed? 2.8 MB. I’m not even kidding. I need a new Internet provider.
Harvard Art Museum has has released a new digital resource related to all things Bauhaus. “Conceived and edited by Robert Wiesenberger, the Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, the Bauhaus Special Collection gives users direct access to records for the more than 32,000 Bauhaus-related objects in the museums’ collections and archives. These include photographs, textiles, paintings, periodicals, and more.”
New-to-me: A Web site at UVA wants to map the world of William Faulkner. “With interactive maps and timelines, the website will eventually include links to places, characters and events in Yoknapatawpha, the fictional setting of 14 of Faulkner’s novels and 54 of his short stories written between 1926 and 1960. About two-thirds of the data have already been entered, making even the prototype usable right now as a resource for scholars, teachers and students.”
Google has announced Duo. “Today, we’re releasing Google Duo — a simple 1-to-1 video calling app available for Android and iOS. Duo takes the complexity out of video calling, so that you can be together in the moment wherever you are.” Does the world need another video calling app?
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
Is Google Fiber stumbling? “This morning’s WSJ article, ‘Google’s High-Speed Web Plans Hit Snags’ chronicles how Google Fiber has fallen way short of expectations and has experienced ongoing technology/deployment issues since its initial rollout 4 years ago. None of this surprises me and loyal VideoNuze readers will recall I was deeply skeptical from day 1, when I wrote, back in July, 2012, ‘Google Fiber is Out of Synch With Realities of Typical Consumer Technology Adoption.'” One thing I will give Google Fiber credit for, at least in this market: it scared competing companies enough to up their game and offer better service at a better price.
Blab has shut down kind of abruptly. “Co-founder Shaan Puri announced the shutdown late Friday, saying that the website and app would be shut down immediately. He touted some impressive numbers from the service’s first year — 3.9 million users and an average time-on-site of 65 minutes per day.”
Whaaaaat? Is Snapchat gonna buy Vurb? “Founded in 2011, Vurb has sought to take data from several different smartphone apps and give users a single hub to plan where to dine and party and how to entertain themselves.For example, Vurb can help people save time when choosing a movie to watch because it places reviewer scores from aggregator services IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes side by side.”
PC Magazine: The Best Data Visualization Tools of 2016. “We’ve recently reviewed 10 of the best self-service BI products—with nine of them being capable of varying degrees of advanced data visualization. But customers looking to really exploit data visualization should look at these tools carefully and exclusively through that lens before making a buying decision. After all, sometimes the right tool to parse your data may not be the right tool to visualize it; you may need to invest in a combination of tools to find the most effective solution for your organization.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
Wow, those food videos you see all over Facebook are insanely complicated. “Videos have become the Web’s central economy, and few genres win the Internet quite like food. It’s not just that pizza, cookies and ice cream are universal languages. Media giants increasingly see food as one of the Web’s most reliable star quantities: easily shared, eye-catching and designed to stand out in a distracting world. Tastemade’s attempts at virality appear easygoing, but the Web-video machine built to create and share them has never been more complex, as new-money start-ups and established media giants do battle over the Web’s dollars and attention spans.”
Nice roundup article from The Guardian: How open data helps citizens to know the law.
RESEARCH AND OPINION
The Verge: I lost my favorite YouTube channel because I trusted the internet to keep track of it. Putting aside the fact that YouTube’s search engine is just awful and the site itself has unbelievable amounts of spam, Lizzie Plaugic makes some good points. “…what these sites don’t account for is the ease with which the things we love can be lost within them. In the past, we came in contact with so few things that they could be uncovered with research and patience. Now, while everything is technically more searchable than ever before, the things we love are more likely than ever to be ‘lost.'” Good morning, Internet…
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(1) Google Duo: this feels a lot like the last episode of this year’s Silicon Valley. (I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the show or, if so, what you think of it.)
(2) Food and the Internet: I read something recently (and am quite willing to believe that it came from you) about the ways in which the Internet is changing the notion of “recipes,” especially in re: copyright. People share them SO promiscuously, and the sites which offer them so much want more eyeballs, that the tension is almost palpable. I’m glad I’m not a cookbook author.
Re: your last article on search. I really wish people would realize that algorithms are great, but are not the be all end all. They are losing librarians at an alarming rate.Law firms and corporations are downsizing their information centers and losing a lot of their business advantage as a result. Public libraries are being defunded because people think everything is available on the Internet. Librarians are the world’s first search engines and better than any search engines because human brains can make connections and remember what you said to them last week.