DPLA, Google Earth, Internet Archive, More: Wednesday Buzz, November 30, 2016


Great news: the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and the Library of Congress are teaming up. “The Library of Congress today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Digital Public Library of America to become a ‘content hub partner’ and will ultimately share a significant portion of its rich digital resources with DPLA’s database of digital content records.”

Google has updated Google Earth Timelapse. “In 2013, we released Google Earth Timelapse, our most comprehensive picture of the Earth’s changing surface. This interactive experience enabled people to explore these changes like never before—to watch the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, and the impressive urban expansion of Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, we’re making our largest update to Timelapse yet, with four additional years of imagery, petabytes of new data, and a sharper view of the Earth from 1984 to 2016. We’ve even teamed up again with our friends at TIME to give you an updated take on compelling locations. ”

The Internet Archive is crowdfunding to build a copy of its archive in Canada. “On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions. It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase.”

Google Expeditions is getting 50 new tours! “Students can now travel back in time to visit the famous warship Mary Rose, discover Viking settlements and even try to solve one of the greatest mysteries of all time, Richard III’s death. As well as covering Science, Art, English and History, the launch of this new content will also include several Expeditions that explore a variety of careers. These will invite students to experience a day in the life of those who work as an app developer, surgeon, chef, outdoors activity instructor and many more. Teachers will also be able to take students on a tour to explore the early life of Robert Burns, experience the Aurora Borealis and learn how magnetic forces create such magical skies, or even go inside a plant to see how photosynthesis happens.”

Do you have a Google My Business page? You need this. “Google quietly added a new features to Google My Business Settings at that let’s you configure when and how you’d like to get notifications about changes or additions to your business listings on Google.” Google My Business has been awful ever since Google mushed it up with Google+, IMHO. So much better when it was just Google Local.


Quartz: Inside Google Jigsaw, the powerful tech incubator that could reshape geopolitics. “Google has never wanted to be an ordinary company. From its original motto, ‘Don’t be evil,’ to last year’s updated mantra ‘Do the right thing,’ it’s always styled itself as an organization with goals that are both more ambitious and more altruistic than the usual profit-focused corporate motivations. Among the strongest indicators of this mindset is its tech incubator, Jigsaw—launched earlier this year, in conjunction with the company’s reorganization into Alphabet, with the goal of tackling ‘geopolitical challenges.'”

The Guardian: How to solve Facebook’s fake news problem: experts pitch their ideas. “The impact of fake news, propaganda and misinformation has been widely scrutinized since the US election. Fake news actually outperformed real news on Facebook during the final weeks of the election campaign, according to an analysis by Buzzfeed, and even outgoing president Barack Obama has expressed his concerns. But a growing cadre of technologists, academics and media experts are now beginning the quixotic process of trying to think up solutions to the problem, starting with a rambling 100+ page open Google document set up by Upworthy founder Eli Pariser.”

KICKSTARTER CORNER: A new crowdfunding campaign is attempting to raise $265K for a network of GMO-free businesses. It’s an interesting project but that’s a heck of a lot of money.


From the Check Point Software blog: More Than 1 Million Google Accounts Breached by Gooligan. “As a result of a lot of hard work done by our security research teams, we revealed today a new and alarming malware campaign. The attack campaign, named Gooligan, breached the security of over one million Google accounts. The number continues to rise at an additional 13,000 breached devices each day.”

From the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi: Google Faces Legal Hurdles Under Brazilian Internet Law. “The Brazilian Federal Prosecution Ministry has brought civil proceedings against Google for flouting its data protection law. The suit challenges Google’s access to the content of emails exchanged by Gmail users on multiple grounds, including Google’s failure to obtain express consent.” The article also looks at similar challenges and/or privacy rules in Italy and the EU.


MIT Technology Review: Social Media Is Killing Discourse Because It’s Too Much Like TV. “If I say that social media aided Donald Trump’s election, you might think of fake news on Facebook. But even if Facebook fixes the algorithms that elevate inaccurate stories, there’s something else going on: social media represents the ultimate ascendance of television over other media.”

CNET: Dr. Google may check your eyes in the future. “Dr. Google might be your next ophthalmologist. The search giant said Tuesday it had trained a deep-learning algorithm to spot signs of diabetic retinopathy in patients. It does this in a manner similar to eye specialists by checking pictures of the back of the eye for signs of the disease.” Good morning, Internet…

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