Ghent Altarpiece, Catholic Register, Holocaust Histories, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, April 21, 2017


Google Blog: The Ghent Altarpiece: how we digitized one of the most influential artworks of all time. “Some 600 years ago, the Van Eyck brothers created one of the first large-scale oil paintings: ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.’ Due to its pioneering attention to detail and realistic portrayal of people, the ‘Ghent Altarpiece’ is renowned as one of the most influential paintings ever made and a defining artwork that represents the start of the Northern Renaissance…. Now, the freshly renovated exterior panels of the Altarpiece can be explored in ultra-high resolution on Google Arts & Culture. Thanks to a partnership with the online image library of Flemish art heritage Lukas – Art in Flanders and the Cathedral of Saint-Bavo, we’ve digitized this masterpiece for future generations to explore in unprecedented detail.”

The Catholic Register has launched the first phase of its digital archive. “…the first phase of the historical archive was officially launched on April 19. It comprises every issue of the paper since January 1951. That’s 66 years of history from more than 3,000 issues. And that’s just the beginning. Work will soon be underway to digitize and archive the first 58 years of The Register going back to the debut edition on Jan. 5, 1893.”

A new Web site has archived oral histories of Holocaust survivors in the Rochester, New York area. “The website is now live, though is undergoing some changes before a public ceremony with its official unveiling on Sunday at the annual Holocaust remembrance program, known in Hebrew as Yom HaShoah…. The online archive includes the stories of more than 200 Holocaust survivors, some who are now deceased but whose accounts were earlier preserved.”

CityLab: The Ultimate Photo Map of the 1906 San Francisco Quake. “Thanks to detective work from [Woody] LaBounty’s organization, which is devoted to preserving local history, modern audiences can experience the horror of the 1906 quake from a galaxy of perspectives. The group has sifted through thousands of photographs provided by an anonymous private collector and pegged them on an interactive map as to where they likely were taken. Thus a denizen of the Castro can see what the destruction downtown looked like from, say, the nearby, lofty Corona Heights, whereas a kayak enthusiast can witness the city’s hellish burning from over the cold waters of the Bay.”

Fast Company: Learn The Facts Of Homelessness In The U.S. With These Data Visualizations. “On a single night in January 2015, when volunteers across the U.S. visited homeless shelters and city streets to take a census of the number of people living without housing for a HUD survey, they counted 546,580 people (though the number may well be much higher, given the limitations of counting by hand). The map shows their locations, and also overlays data about other factors such as unemployment rates and the cost of rent.”


CNET: How to add multiple accounts to Google Home. “One of the biggest gripes with the Google Home has been its lack of support for multiple accounts. Living in a house with multiple people meant you either had to share things like calendar and music accounts or get multiple Google Home speakers. Today, Google fixed that. The Google Home now supports multiple accounts with personalization and neural network voice recognition. In other words, it can recognize who is talking to it and respond with that account’s information. Here’s how to set it up.”


The St. Augustine Record: New digital archive to put worldwide focus on the state’s early history. “The names, occupations, ages and origins of many colonial Floridians, including St. Augustinians, will be a key part of a new online archive and database slated to launch this fall. ‘The overall goal here is to create a biographical dictionary of anyone who ever set foot in Spanish Florida between Ponce de Leon in 1513 and 1821 (when Spanish rule ended),’ said J. Michael Francis, Ph.D., of The University of South Florida. ‘That could quite easily be 20,000 to 25,000 people when it is done,’ he said.”

UT-Austin: Archive Acquired of Theatre and Film Actor Peter O’Toole. ” The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin has obtained the archive of British theatre and film actor Peter O’Toole (1932–2013)…. The extensive archive contains theatre and film scripts along with O’Toole’s writings, including drafts, notes and working material for his multivolume memoir ‘Loitering with Intent.'”


Techdirt: The Weird Antitrust Questions Of A Google Chrome Ad Blocker. “There have been all sorts of reactions to the news of a built-in Chrome ad blocker, but a lot of people are raising the antitrust questions. Obviously, Google is unlikely to consider its own ads to be the ‘bad ads.’ And thus, an official Google ad blocker — especially one that allows its own ads through and is default on its very popular browser — at least raises eyebrows about antitrust issues. There’s a strong argument to be made (and I’m pretty sure that some ad firms would raise this with a court within a day or so of such an ad blocker being released) that this is an anti-competitive move to suppress competing ad firms.”


Johns Hopkins: Technology could allow Facebook users to type 100 words per minute—using only their thoughts. “The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab is working on new technology to support a Facebook project focused on developing a silent speech interface that will allow users to type 100 words per minute—five times faster than typing on a smartphone—using only their thoughts.”

University of Waterloo: Researchers developing a system to access government-censored websites. “People living in countries where the Internet is censored will be able to use a new tool to access websites their governments restrict. Researchers at the University of Waterloo are developing technology called Slitheen — after aliens on Doctor Who that disguise themselves as humans to evade detection.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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