A new project to archive the burial places of enslaved Americans is asking for data submissions. “The project started as The Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans (formerly based at Fordham University) and is now the National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans – a work of the Periwinkle Initiative.”
Distant Librarian (which has earned a spot in my RSS feed reader) pointed me toward a new tool to track changes in RSS feeds (mostly for the purpose of checking changes in news articles.) “So what diffengine does is really quite simple. First it subscribes to one or more RSS feeds, for example the Washington Post, and then it watches to see if any articles change their content over time. If a change is noticed a representation of the change, or a “diff” is generated, archived at the Internet Archive and (optionally) tweeted. We’ve been experimenting with an initial version of diffengine by having it track the Washington Post, the Guardian and Breitbart News which you can see on the following Twitter accounts: wapo_diff, guardian_diff and breitbart_diff.”
Now available: a digital archive chronicling hospice care in Ireland. “Famous people who feature in the archive as supporters and backers include Maeve Binchy, Seamus Heaney, Gabriel Byrne, Bono and Miriam O’Callaghan. It includes letters from Mother Teresa of Calcutta to Dr Redmond dealing with a proposal that her nuns might set up an Aids hospice in Dublin.”
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
Now China’s search engine giant Baidu is getting into mapping, with some pretty heavyweight partners. “Mapping company Here — owned by BMW, Audi and Daimler — is going to help Chinese tech giant Baidu expand its mapping service to Europe and the rest of the world, possibly taking on Google and Apple in the process. Here, which already powers Baidu Maps’ desktop and mobile services in South East Asia outside of China, will now support Baidu Maps in more than 150 countries worldwide.”
More Baidu: it has launched an augmented reality lab. “The institution is the fourth such lab to be established under the Baidu Research division, joining the company’s Big Data Lab, Silicon Valley Lab and the Institute of Deep Learning, which the AR Lab is spinning out from. In September, the company unveiled a $200 million venture fund focused on making investments in companies focusing on artificial intelligence and augmented reality.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
Ars Technica: Vivaldi is building “Opera as it should’ve been”. “Working in tight niches occupied by the behemoths of the Internet world is hard; doing it as a startup without external funding is even harder. The 35-strong team of Vivaldi, the spiritual successor to Opera, is doing exactly that: two years after the first public beta and eight months after the release of version 1.0, the Web browser has about 1 million users—but it still isn’t turning a profit.”
This is your regular reminder of just how enormous the Internet is. From Social Media Explorer: The Ultimate List of Internet Facts & Stats (it’s an infographic.) “Today, the impact of the Internet on everyday life is so great that it’s almost too easy to take its influence and efficacy for granted. While everyone knows how to ‘go live’ on Facebook or compare prices of their favorite products on leading eCommerce portals. What most people don’t know, however, is that the first website in the world — a simple text page with hyperlinked words to other pages — was published more than two decades ago by British engineer, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Did you also know that there are approximately 3.26 billion Internet users in the world today, of which Asia accounts for nearly 50% of that total?”
Very sad and very upsetting, from the Washington Post: A 12-year-old girl live-streamed her suicide. It took two weeks for Facebook to take the video down. “After a 12-year-old girl’s death was broadcast on social media, police could do little to keep the disturbing footage from spreading online. The video immediately appeared on various sites, including Facebook and YouTube, both of which have since made efforts to remove the footage. YouTube took the video down, saying it violated the website’s policy on violent or graphic content. But, according to media reports, the video lingered on Facebook for nearly two weeks before the social media giant started removing versions of the footage from its pages.” Meanwhile, Facebook will leap instantly to censor nude statues and cartoon breasts.
RESEARCH AND OPINION
The Distant Librarian: Sorry, the new Wayback Machine extension for Chrome sucks!. “The other day I saw a headline about a new extension for the Chrome browser from the Internet Archive, Wayback Machine. I had initially ignored this, assuming it was the same thing as Wayback Chrome, but upon further inspection, the latter, which has been around for quite some time, is from a third-party, not the IA itself. That said, I’m keeping them both installed, and here’s why.”
One in five young people lose sleep over social media. “1 in 5 young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research published today in the Journal of Youth Studies. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing.” Good afternoon, Internet…
OTHER STUFF I THINK IS COOL
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