LGBT Events, Apollo Theater, PACER, More: Wednesday Buzz, February 15, 2017


A new Web site provides information on LGBT events worldwide. “So far, the website has over 5,000 events listed for more than 45 countries and 700 cities. ProudOut is working its way toward becoming the go-to source for LGBT events and social groups worldwide.” When I looked it was just under 5000 events, and countries from Argentina to Viet Nam were represented. The site says it’s been online since 2016 so it might be just new-to-me.

The Smithsonian has started a new project to crowdsource the transcription of Apollo Theater cards. ” To manage the Theater, the Schiffmans kept a number of different types of records, including ‘booking cards,’ organized by the name of the artist, which detail the dates of performances; fees paid; and brief, but often quite candid, opinions on the quality of the performances, the performers and their drawing power (or lack of it). These helped the Schiffmans to determine future bookings and contracts.” This project just launched and already has 22 contributors!


Heh. The Internet Archive is offering to host PACER data. “On Tuesday, February 14, the U.S. Congress will hold the first hearings in over a decade examining the operation of the PACER system. The hearing will be before the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives. The Internet Archive was pleased to accept the committee’s invitation to submit a statement for the record and we have submitted the following, which includes an offer to host the PACER data now and forever to make the works of our federal courts more readily available to inform the citizenry and to further the effective and fair administration of justice.”

Mashable: Twitter launches, and then kills, an anti-abuse effort within hours . “Twitter is trying to listen to users when it comes to abuse, apparently. And that means rolling out a fix and killing it in short order.”

The Industry London: Google launches Fashion Week Search with Launchmetrics and GPS Radar. “Google has launched a new Fashion Week Search function this season to allow top designers and brands (including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and more) to post content directly to Google Search, before, during and after their shows.” I discovered that this works even if you inadvertently type fashion wek.


How to Use Google Forms for Your Business
. “When you need to create a form for your business, it is essential that you have an easy-to-use tool. This is where Google Forms can come in to help you. With useful templates, helpful features, and an intuitive interface, you can quickly build and customize the exact form you need.” Nice overview.


WIRED: Diehard Coders Just Rescued NASA’s Earth Science Data. “Groups like DataRefuge and the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, which organized the Berkeley hackathon to collect data from NASA’s earth sciences programs and the Department of Energy, are doing more than archiving. Diehard coders are building robust systems to monitor ongoing changes to government websites. And they’re keeping track of what’s already been removed—because yes, the pruning has already begun.”

MIT Technology Review: Imagining the Future of VR at Google. “Jessica Brillhart is the principal filmmaker for virtual reality at Google, where she enjoys one of the most creative jobs in Silicon Valley. She makes VR experiences (including World Tour, the first film made with Google’s Jump system, a circular 16-camera rig designed to capture VR films) and conventional movies (or ‘flatties,’ as she calls them), and she evaluates new VR technologies, such as Google’s own Cardboard, a cheap headset that works with smartphones. She spoke to MIT Technology Review’s editor in chief, Jason Pontin.”

TechCrunch: Facebook is pushing record labels to let you soundtrack your videos. “How can Facebook and Instagram make their amateur videos more interesting than those you see on Twitter or Snapchat? A killer soundtrack. That’s why Facebook is now pressing record labels even harder for a licensing deal.”


Network World: University attacked by its own vending machines, smart light bulbs & 5,000 IoT devices. “A university, attacked by its own malware-laced soda machines and other botnet-controlled IoT devices, was locked out of 5,000 systems.”

From the US Department of Justice: Snapchat Videos Lead To Gun Arrests And Charges. “Three men, including two former felons, were arrested and face criminal charges after posting videos on Snapchat of themselves illegally shooting firearms which included a stolen firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden of the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI Las Vegas field office.”


Ars Technica: Handful of “highly toxic” Wikipedia editors cause 9% of abuse on the site. “We’ve all heard anecdotes about trolling on Wikipedia and other social platforms, but rarely has anyone been able to quantify levels and origins of online abuse. That’s about to change. Researchers with Alphabet tech incubator Jigsaw worked with Wikimedia Foundation to analyze 100,000 comments left on English-language Wikipedia. They found predictable patterns behind who will launch personal attacks and when.” Good morning, Internet…

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