Hollywood Photographs, Drone Specifications, Bowdoins Plaquettes, More: Wednesday Buzz, February 1, 2017

NEW RESOURCES has launched a new photo site/archive. I’m bad on popular culture past about 1976, so I this isn’t a site I can assess well. “From paparazzi photos of your favorite celebs to movie premieres, get lost in this glorious world of photos. The Photo Archive contains over 10 million hi-res photos, updated in real time, and the library is fully searchable by keyword.”

New-to-me: a database of drone specifications. And when I say drone, I don’t mean “fly it around in your backyard” drone, I mean drones that should probably still be called UAVs – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Countries from Afghanistan to the US are included in this database.

In development: a digital archive of medals and plaquettes. “Modeled after ancient precedents, medals and plaquettes, which emerged during the Renaissance, celebrated political, religious, and cultural leaders, as well as commemorating transformative events. The Molinari collection, one of the most distinguished in the United States, features masterpieces designed by leading Renaissance, Rococo, and Neoclassical artists, including Pisanello, Matteo de Pasti, Francesco da Sangallo, Guillaume Dupré, Nicolas Marie Gatteaux, and David d’Angers.” The archive is expected to launch this spring.


Congratulations to GovTrack for reaching its $3000 a month goal on Patreon. I hope it’s not too partisan to opine that any administration, no matter what letters its representatives have after their names, serves its citizenry better when it’s as transparent as possible.

Facebook just can’t stop picking at its timeline algorithm. “Facebook today announced changes to the News Feed to better display relevant stories. As part of the change, Facebook is rolling out new signals to ‘better identify and rank authentic content’ as well as a new real-time prediction algorithm to spot stories faster that might be relevant to you.”

Mashable: Snapchat update lets you create ‘Snapcodes’ for any website, including porn. “A new Snapchat update rolled out to iOS users Tuesday makes it much easier to share online content within the app. It allows users to create so-called Snapcodes for any link, which is as simple as manually entering a URL into an entry field.” The article also includes an overview of how it works.

TechCrunch: . “Facebook today announced a laundry list of updates regarding its measurement partnership program, including expanded partnerships with Nielsen and comScore, and the addition of a new partner, DoubleVerify. The company also offered details on the status of current integrations, and the launch of a new online portal to help marketers see how their Facebook ads perform, in comparison with other platforms, like TV or print.”


For all you sneakies (or people, who, you know, like their privacy), from How-To Geek: How to Keep People From Knowing You Read Their Message on Facebook. “Facebook is the most popular social network on the internet, and as a result, its messaging service is a very common way for people to privately communicate with one another. However, Facebook also tells you when your recipient has read your message—something not everyone enjoys.”

Medium: Twitter Activist Security. “Many people are starting to get politically active in ways they fear might have negative repercussions for their job, career or life. It is important to realise that these fears are real, but that public overt resistance is critical for political legitimacy. This guide hopes to help reduce the personal risks to individuals while empowering their ability to act safely.” This is very hardcore stuff. Not illegal or anything like that, but extensive. In light of some of the threatening behavior that happens on Twitter, you might want to adopt a few of these ideas for your regular account.


The Guardian: Whatever happened to the DeepMind AI ethics board Google promised? “Three years ago, artificial intelligence research firm DeepMind was acquired by Google for a reported £400m. As part of the acquisition, Google agreed to set up an ethics and safety board to ensure that its AI technology is not abused. The existence of the ethics board wasn’t confirmed at the time of the acquisition announcement, and the public only became aware of it through a leak to industry news site The Information. But in the years since, senior members of DeepMind have publicly confirmed the board’s existence, arguing that it is one of the ways that the company is trying to ‘lead the way’ on ethical issues in AI.”


From the National Library of Medicine blog: We’re Witnessing a Health Data Explosion. “From a public health perspective, I am interested in how NLM can foster new approaches to interpreting and using information so individuals can have more productive health care interactions and improved health decision-making. Along that bench-to-bedside continuum, I’m focused on the end, on what happens bedside, in the doctor’s office, or at the kitchen table as patients decide what to do.”

StateTech: Transparency Requires Government Data to Be Available and Accessible. “Government transparency means financial and public information is readily understandable and readily found. It means taxpayers can see how public funds are used and hold their elected officials accountable. When a government participates in social media and other technology, including a multitude of websites, that does not necessarily mean that it has implemented a transparency strategy. IT professionals should understand the importance of tracing needed privacy and transparency requirements when developing new systems, and take into account specific design and architectural considerations to achieve greater transparency.” Good morning, Internet…

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