afternoonbuzz

Andrew Jackson, Ireland Farming, Google Image Search, More: Saturday Buzz, April 15, 2017

I apologize for this being so late. I was watching April the Giraffe have her baby.

NEW RESOURCES

National Library of Medicine: Digitizing Material Culture: Handwritten Recipe Books, 1600-1900. “Cookery, alchemy, and medicine were closely intertwined in pre-modern Europe up to the 1800s. Recipes and advice for food preparation and preservation, animal husbandry, preparing useful household concoctions, and allopathic medicines and treatments for maintaining personal health were available in books via a growing publication industry and shared between friends, family, and neighbors. The head of a household would often record these in ‘receipt’ books, of which the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection holds a good number and has recently embarked on a project to digitize and make available in NLM Digital Collections.”

A wonderful man in Ireland has built up a huge Flickr archive of farm machinery pictures. Like, 11,000 images. “For anyone with a keen interest in machinery, it provides an opportunity to see an incredibly wide and diverse range of tractors and machinery working in Irish fields – against the backdrop of uniquely-Irish landscapes. There are thousands of high-quality pictures of modern machines tackling tillage tasks and grappling with grassland activities. There are also vast swaths of shots of ‘classic’ tractors, combines and even loading shovels, busy toiling away at all manner of jobs.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Blog: Now Image Search can jump-start your search for style. “Image Search is full of pics to help you find inspiration—whether it’s places to travel, items to purchase or shots of your favorite celebs, art and memes. But when it comes to fashion, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why today, we’re introducing a new feature called ‘style ideas’ in the Google app for Android and mobile web, which will surely help boost your search style IQ. Now while perusing fashion product images, Image Search will surface a grid of inspirational lifestyle images and outfits that showcase how the product can be worn in real life.” Style: one of the few things I’ve never searched for.

CNBC: Western content is heading to Chinese social media feeds. “Chinese social media users will soon benefit from a flood of new international content entering their feeds.That’s thanks to recent tie-ups between local social media platforms and digital content distributor network Yoola to bring selected content, primarily from the United States and Russia, into the Chinese market.”

New York Times: White House to Keep Its Visitor Logs Secret. “The White House announced Friday that it would cut off public access to visitor logs revealing who is entering the White House complex and which officials they are meeting, breaking with the Obama administration’s practice and returning a cloak of secrecy over the basic day-to-day workings of the government.”

USEFUL STUFF

From the always-excellent Amit Agarwal: Using WhatsApp as a Private Store for your Documents and Notes. “WhatsApp is more than just a messaging app. Use the app to quick transfer files between computer and phone. Or make it a private storehouse for your notes, voice memos, documents and more.”

The Next Web: Glitch wants to take you back to the first website you ever made. “Aspirant developers are told they have to learn HAML, LESS, CoffeeScript, React and whatever else fly-by-night bullshit Hacker News is spruiking. Honestly, I don’t care. I’ve tuned out at this point, and I’m not alone. Which is why I love Glitch, from Fog Creek. We’ve written about this site before. Essentially, it’s a playground where you can remix other people’s code in a safe and self-contained environment.” The first site I ever made – which was called ONGIR for Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research – was done in Microsoft FrontPage. And I have zero interest in going back. XD

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Iowa State University needs some help transcribing its yearbook collection. “A six-year effort to digitize the entire ‘Bomb’ collection (1894 to 1994, minus 1902) concluded in 2016. Unfortunately, the digital versions are difficult to search, primarily because the software used to transcribe the yearbooks’ pages into digital and searchable text had problems recognizing pre-1920s fonts. For example, a capital O is often seen as @, and a capital C is usually, but not always, listed as <t. Hand-drawn graphics, unique layouts and lists of students' names also posed issues for the transcription software. In addition to search difficulties, the digitized version's quirky typos and incomplete information hinder people who require accessible computing for visual, auditory, physical or other kinds of disabilities. "

The Saturday Paper: Restoring the National Film and Sound Archive. “Today, federal budget cuts mean film preservation – as well as digitisation of rapidly deteriorating television shows on defunct 20th-century magnetic tape formats – is in competition for funding with provision of public access to existing screen works. Ninety years on from Norman Dawn’s cavalier indulgence on Sydney Harbour, Milliken and others argue, Australia’s modern film preservation bureaucracy lacks vision.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

The Intercept: Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World. “The ShadowBrokers, an entity previously confirmed by The Intercept to have leaked authentic malware used by the NSA to attack computers around the world, today released another cache of what appears to be extremely potent (and previously unknown) software capable of breaking into systems running Windows. The software could give nearly anyone with sufficient technical knowledge the ability to wreak havoc on millions of Microsoft users.” Read the update at the end for a few interesting – and eyebrow-raising – bits.

RESEARCH & OPINION

Wave3 News: Study: Ask a stranger before choosing a social media profile picture. “You’ve heard the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well when it comes to choosing the perfect one for social media, you may want to ask a stranger.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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