Indonesian Music, Image Glitching, Canadian Medical Journals, More: Sunday Buzz, November 27, 2016


New to me: an online archive of Lokananta Records. “Archivists and sound engineers at Lokananta have performed a commendable job of remastering music preserved on wax and turned them into a digital format in clear and pristine audio quality. With an expensive-looking website full of smart graphic design which is easy to navigate, the website could be a reliable source for anybody interested in digging deeper into Indonesia’s glorious musical part. While the online archive website of Irama Nusantara focuses more on the genre of rock and pop, Lokananta’s archive boasts an impressive amount of Indonesian traditional and folk music as well as a more exotic genre like Middle Eastern music, performed by a full-fledged orchestra made up of all-Indonesian instrumentalists. The digital version of the old songs are now also available on streaming services like Spotify and Deezer.” Please read the whole article. Please read especially about these archives being instrumental (SEE WHAT I DID THERE) in proving the origin of a song Malaysia claimed as its own. Remarkable. The URL in the article did not work for me; I found the site at .


Fun Sunday: a suite of image-glitching tools. “Mosh offers 21 different glitching tools to apply to uploaded images, from polar pixelation to Bad Television and barrel blur. Best of all, the results are animated!”


Hang on while I throw everything in the room. From The National Post: New owner of two Canadian medical journals is publishing fake research for cash, and pretending it’s genuine. “The new owner of two prominent chains of Canadian medical journals is publishing fake research for cash, and pretending it is genuine. OMICS International, based in Hyderabad, India, had a reputation as a ‘predatory publisher’ when it bought Pulsus Group and Andrew John Publishing, two Canadian publishers of medical journals, earlier this year. Predatory journals print fake or incompetent studies to help unqualified academics pad their CVs and advance their careers.”

From the Harvard Business Review, an excerpt from a book but still interesting read: Better Questions to Ask Your Data Scientists. “The intersection of big data and business is growing daily. Although enterprises have been studying analytics for decades, data science is a relatively new capability. And interacting in a new data-driven culture can be difficult, particularly for those who aren’t data experts. One particular challenge that many of these individuals face is how to request new data or analytics from data scientists. They don’t know the right questions to ask, the correct terms to use, or the range of factors to consider to get the information they need. In the end, analysts are left uncertain about how to proceed, and managers are frustrated when the information they get isn’t what they intended.”

Is Amazon going to be the next player in video chat? “Amazon’s purchases of Twitch and Elemental Technologies appear to be only two parts of a bigger strategy at the company to move deeper into video services through acquisition. Last year, the marketplace and cloud computing giant also quietly acquired a startup out of San Francisco called Biba Systems, which develops and operates video messaging apps aimed at business users. Sources say that Amazon has been working on its own video messaging service, which it plans to unveil during its re:Invent AWS conference later this month.”

Quartz: Eric Schmidt struggled to answer a Google interview question. “Google is notorious for its fiendishly difficult and somewhat bizarre interview questions. But failed applicants should take heart: even Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent, struggled to answer the brainteaser once put to Google interviewees.”


Ransomware is spreading via images on Web sites. “‘Locky’ ransomware was first discovered earlier this year. As the name implies, it locks up a victim’s computer by encrypting their files and demanding a ransom of .5 bitcoins (about $365) in exchange for a key. Earlier this week, Hacker News reported that a Facebook spam campaign was spreading Locky through image files in the SVG format. At the time, Facebook denied that this was happening. Now, security firm Check Point says that Locky is being embedded into several graphic formats and spread through ‘social media applications such as Facebook and LinkedIn.'”

Valuable according to whom? From the Hong Kong Free Press: Only documents without historical value will be approved for destruction, says Chief Sec. “Chief Secretary Carrie Lam has said that the reason the current administration is destroying more documents than previous governments is because of the accumulation of outdated files. Lam said that the potential historical value of documents are decided upon when their disposal schedules are compiled.” Apparently Hong Kong has no archive laws?

I $1 billion claim against Getty has been dismissed after an out-of-court settlement. (And would I love to have been a fly on the wall for THAT one.) “Three weeks after a federal judge gutted photographer Carol Highsmith’s $1 billion copyright claim against Getty Images, the two sides have ended their dispute with a settlement of the remaining claims. The terms of the settlement, over minor state law claims, were not disclosed.”


What a cool thesis: Examining twitter engagement in newspaper sports beat reporters’ live-game coverage. “Using retweets and likes as measures of engagement, this study found that sports information consumers are more responsive to newspaper sports beat reporters’ Twitter content during live-game coverage when it includes analysis, opinion, entertainment, and visual content. This study suggests that newspaper sports beat reporters should capitalize on their exclusivity and insider access to create Twitter content beyond mere play-by-play results that are typically available to those following the game through more traditional means such as television, radio, or in person. These strategies could distinguish newspaper sports beat reporters in an increasingly crowded sports media landscape.” Click on the “Research” link on the left side to read the full thesis.

Points: Fake News Is Not the Only Problem. “In an era of post-truth politics, driven by the 24-hour news cycle, diminishing trust in institutions, rich visual media, and the ubiquity and velocity of social networked spaces, how do we identify information that is tinted  — information that is incomplete, that may help affirm our existing beliefs or support someone’s agenda, or that may be manipulative — effectively driving a form of propaganda?”

TechCrunch: Machine learning can fix Twitter, Facebook, and maybe even America. “A lot of people, especially in San Francisco, think that open communities are great and that social media should be all about connecting people. But not everybody should be connected. Umberto Eco said that television gave us the village idiot so that we could feel superior, while the Internet gave us the village idiot as a source of truth. Nobody wants to argue with the village idiot, let alone millions of them.” Good morning, Internet…

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