Urban Sounds, Presidential Addresses, DeviantArt, More: Monday Buzz, February 27, 2017


I think I remember hearing about this, I can’t find it in the firehose, so here it is, new-to-me (or at least newly remembered): a database of urban sounds. “Since the late 1990s, the London artist Stanza has been mapping sounds from cities across the globe—from New York to Berlin to Tokyo—and asking the public to contribute. ‘I realized that the whole value of putting it online is sharing it with everybody, so I made the database open sourced,’ he says. His online database, Soundcities, launched in the early 2000s; now, it includes thousands of sounds from dozens of cities.”


CNET: Twitter, PBS team up to stream Trump’s address to Congress. “Twitter will be live-streaming President Donald Trump’s upcoming address to a joint session of Congress. The social network said Thursday it’s again partnering with PBS NewsHour to broadcast the Feb. 28 speech in Washington, DC. The coverage will be anchored by Judy Woodruff and feature several correspondents and analysts commenting on Trump’s first major speech to Republicans and Democrats in the same room.”

Did not see this coming: Wix has purchased DeviantArt. I really like both sites – Wix is excellent for making cheap digital signage, and DeviantArt has some brilliant, talented people. “Get ready for some changes, deviants. Website builder Wix has bought online art gallery DeviantArt for $36 million. The 16-year-old art site and the freemium site builder closed the deal on February 22. Wix said in a statement that it intends to improve DeviantArt’s platform, especially the mobile app.”

South China Morning Post: Baidu’s Q4 sales dips as search engine struggles to regain traction. “Baidu, China’s largest online search operator, reported a second straight quarter of sales decline, as it struggles to regain traction after last year’s public backlash from the death of a medical student linked to an advertising fiasco. Sales dipped 2.6 per cent to 18.21 billion yuan (US$2.65 billion) in the fourth quarter, better than the 18.17 billion yuan consensus estimate of 16 analysts polled by Bloomberg.” Please do note that Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post, and that Alibaba does compete with Baidu in the area of online advertising.


If you know any under-18 victims of the 2015 Anthem insurance company hack, let them know about this offer from Anthem, which Anthem apparently released last night at 8pm on BusinessWire, because when you want to inform your customers there’s no time like 8pm on Friday night. This is a PRESS RELEASE. “Anthem is offering a special minor credit freeze program to parents and legal guardians of minors whose information was involved in the 2015 cyber attack against the company…. Working closely with the three nationwide consumer credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, Anthem is offering a program to allow a credit freeze for children across all three bureaus. Anthem will cover the cost of the credit freeze for this program as well as the cost of removing the credit freeze at a later date. As part of this program, Anthem will also offer to reimburse parents or legal guardians who paid for a credit freeze for their child after the announcement of Anthem’s cyber attack. In addition, for those children who became adults after January 27, 2015, Anthem will provide reimbursements for setting an adult credit freeze now.”


From Columbia Journalism Review, with a thanks to Wallace S. for the heads-up: ‘It does not feel like transparency’: Atlanta dumps 1.47 million pages of public records. “The scene [in Black Orpheus] draws an eerie portrait of the impossibility of finding information or human value in a bureaucracy bloated with paper. It came to mind recently after a singular decision by the City of Atlanta to release 1.47 million pages of documents to the press and public—on paper. Mayor Kasim Reed announced the release in a February 9 press conference, after weeks of dithering over open records requests by local media regarding a federal investigation into more than $1 million in bribes for city contracts.” Obstructive, mean-spirited, or ignorant of digital redacting techniques?

Jim Stroud: LinkedIn can relax about Facebook Jobs (at least, for now). “There has been a lot of controversy over the new jobs on Facebook initiative and how it will seriously impede LinkedIn’s recruiting business. To which I would say, umm… no it won’t. At least, not anytime soon. With all of its ease of use and audience size, Facebook still has some major hurdles to conquer before displacing LinkedIn. If you would indulge me, step into my mind as I ruminate Facebook jobs and its pending impact on the recruitment industry.” Some editorial but it’s also a good overview of how the Facebook Jobs function works.

Yahoo Beauty: Instagram Star Calls Out Company for Faking Photos. “YouTube celebrity and Instagram personality Pia Muehlenbeck says SkinnyMint Teatox doctored her personal photos to include its products and then reposted them without her permission or knowledge. ‘Honestly, I laughed when I found out — sometimes you just have to, right?’ Muehlenbeck tells Yahoo Beauty, adding that her followers alerted her to the images.”


From Techdirt, which is not into word-mincing: Google Report: 99.95 Percent Of DMCA Takedown Notices Are Bot-Generated Bullshit Buckshot. “…Google noted that more than half the takedown notices it was receiving in 2009 were mere attempts by one business targeting a competitor, while over a third of the notices contained nothing in the way of a valid copyright dispute. But if those numbers were striking in 2009, Google’s latest comment to the Copyright Office (see our own comment here) on what’s happening in the DMCA 512 notice-and-takedown world shows some stats for takedown notices received through its Trusted Copyright Removal Program… and makes the whole ordeal look completely silly.”

Internet Archive: The Internet Archive Pushes Back on “Notice and Staydown” in Recent Comments to the Copyright Office. “The US Copyright Office sought comments in its ongoing study of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Section 512 safe harbor study. They are generally looking to find out how well the notice and takedown system is working for everyone—Internet platforms and users, as well as creators and copyright holders. We think the 1998 statute struck the right balance and is generally working well, a view shared by nearly all Internet platforms and users. However, some incumbent rightsholders and their advocacy organizations disagree and think the system needs to be completely redone because it is too hard to police copyright infringement online. These complaints fail to account for the exceeding high statutory damages rightsholders can claim and other mechanisms in copyright law that favor certain categories of rightsholders over new media creators and consumers.”


Forbes: Are Web Archives Failing The Modern Web: Video, Social Media, Dynamic Pages and The Mobile Web. “For the most part, a web archiving crawler built 20 years ago could still largely function today, downloading a web page, extracting its links, crawling each of those links, extracting their links in turn, crawling those links and so on, while recording each page’s HTML and images into its archives. Styling like CSS might be missed by those early crawlers, though well-designed ones built for arbitrary resource identification would still function today, albeit not as efficiently. The problem is that the web is no longer built upon the simple premise of a collection of small static HTML and image files served up with a simple tag structure and readily parsed with a few lines of code. Today’s web is richly dynamic, multimedia and increasingly broken into walled gardens and device-specific parallel webs.”

PLOS: Twitter sentiment around the Earnings Announcement events. “We investigate the relationship between social media, Twitter in particular, and stock market. We provide an in-depth analysis of the Twitter volume and sentiment about the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, over a period of three years. We focus on Earnings Announcements and show that there is a considerable difference with respect to when the announcements are made: before the market opens or after the market closes. The two different timings of the Earnings Announcements were already investigated in the financial literature, but not yet in the social media.” Good morning, Internet…

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