White House Finances, France Elections, English Herbal, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, April 5, 2017


From the Center for Public Integrity: New database details White House officials’ finances. “On Friday night, the White House began releasing financial disclosures for scores of key employees — including familiar names such as Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon…The Center for Public Integrity compiled data from those disclosures into a searchable, sortable database, which provide a window into the wealth, assets and business interests of many of the people closest to President Donald Trump.”

From Radio France Internationale: French presidential election: New tool helps to make sense of Twitter data. “Social networks have become an integral part of modern politics, with Twitter emerging as the favourite. Politicians the world over use the micro-messaging service to directly connect with the general public and to air their views on different topics. This interaction generates vast amount of data on a daily basis. With the French Presidential election just around the corner, a Paris-based institute has now launched a platform that enables internet users to make sense of the vast election-related data generated on the micro-blogging and messaging site.”

From the British Library: An illustrated Old English Herbal. “This manuscript (Cotton MS Vitellius C III) is the only surviving illustrated Old English herbal, or book describing plants and their uses. The text is an Old English translation of a text which used to be attributed to a 4th-century writer known as Pseudo-Apuleius, now recognised as several different Late Antique authors whose texts were subsequently combined. The manuscript also includes Old English translations of Late Antique texts on the medicinal properties of badgers and other animals. Together, the herbal and the text on four-legged animals are now known as part of the so-called ‘Pseudo-Apuleius Complex’ of texts.” Don’t miss the really weird looking elephant.


TechCrunch: Microsoft launches Sprinkles, a silly camera app powered by machine learning. “The gist with Sprinkles, clearly aimed at a teen audience, is to offer a variety of traditional photo decorating tools like stickers, emoji and captions, but leverages Microsoft’s machine learning and A.I. capabilities to do things like detect faces, determine the photo subject’s age and emotion, figure out your celebrity look-a-like, suggest captions, and more.”

Apple iOS 10.3.1 is now available. “Last week, Apple released a beta of iOS 10.3.2 a day after it offered 10.3 to the public, leading many to speculate that the company had skipped 10.3.1. As it turns out, it was working on a security fix for the OS, and iOS 10.3.1 was released to supported devices today.”

Recode: Twitter lost its NFL streaming deal but says it’s still committed to live TV. “Twitter will not stream the National Football League’s “Thursday Night Football” games this fall — Amazon will instead, announcing a new $50 million deal with the league late Tuesday night. That’s bad news for Twitter. Not necessarily because those NFL streams drove a lot of new users (they didn’t) or generated a lot of money (they didn’t), but because that NFL partnership was the cornerstone of Twitter’s livestreaming video strategy that it has been pushing to investors for almost a year.”


This Kickstarter sounds like it’d be interesting to libraries: The Archive of Missing Things . “The Archive of Missing Things is a new performance by Zuppa Theatre Co., created for public libraries. It’s an online scavenger hunt wrapped in an undercover live performance. Every audience member is a sleuth, trying to solve an online mystery while a show happens discreetly all around them.” With 29 days left, the project is already halfway towards its modest goal of about $3400.

The Verge: is an open-source Twitter competitor that’s growing like crazy. “Eugen Rochko was annoyed with Twitter. The company had made a series of changes that he thought eroded the value of the service: limiting how big third-party applications could grow, for example, and implementing an algorithm-driven timeline that made Twitter feel uncomfortably similar to Facebook. Most people in Rochko’s situation fired off an angry tweet or two and moved on. Rochko set about rebuilding Twitter from scratch.” I paid for an subscription, so I think I’ll just hang back and watch this one…


WRGB: Facebook loses search warrant challenge in New York court. “Facebook has lost a legal fight against a New York City prosecutor who sought search warrants for hundreds of user accounts. The New York state Court of Appeals on Tuesday sided with lower courts by ruling that the social media giant didn’t have the right to challenge the warrants.”


From the JMLA: Creating a web-based digital photographic archive: one hospital library’s experience. “Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is a nonprofit community hospital based in Los Angeles. Its history spans over 100 years, and its growth and development from the merging of 2 Jewish hospitals, Mount Sinai and Cedars of Lebanon, is also part of the history of Los Angeles. The medical library collects and maintains the hospital’s photographic archive, to which retiring physicians, nurses, and an active Community Relations Department have donated photographs over the years. The collection was growing rapidly, it was impossible to display all the materials, and much of the collection was inaccessible to patrons.” The full article is available and is licensed CC-BY. Good afternoon, Internet…

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