Death Penalty, GIPHY, Chicago Art, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, May 2, 2017


The Daily Gazette: Massive UAlbany death penalty archive goes digital. “During his life, M. Watt Espy searched libraries and courthouses across the country gradually building what is widely considered the most comprehensive record of executions in the country. For decades the archive sat in stacks of boxes in his Alabama home. Next year the archive, which is now housed on the far shelves of the special collections library at the University at Albany, will be available digitally to researchers across the world.”

NBC News: GIPHY Launches GIF Project for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. “An online database that hosts animated images is commemorating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a collection of GIFs featuring Asian-American and Pacific Islander history makers, celebrities, and reactions.”

ArtNews: The Archives of American Art Launches Feature-Filled Online Research Guide to Chicago. “For those interested in American art history, there is arguably no site on the internet quite as juicy as the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. Want to look through a Charles Sheeler notebook and try out his recipe for shoofly pie? The AAA has got you covered…. And now I have some thrilling news: the AAA just got a great deal juicier, with the addition of a new mini-site aimed at facilitating research into Chicago art history.”


BetaKit: Canada And Us Gov’ts Launch Open Data Challenge To Better Understand Public Health. “The Healthy Behaviour Data Challenge, which is taking place in both Canada and the US, invites open data enthusiasts and healthtech innovators to submit ideas for technologies such as wearables and apps designed to improve the collection of health data. The challenge, which has a prize pool of $165,000 for Canadian entrepreneurs, is seeking innovators who can propose and test innovative ways to track, monitor, and gain insights on physical activity, sleep, and inactive behaviour in order to better understand and improve Canadian health.”

TechCrunch: Twitter announces new live shows from the WNBA, BuzzFeed, Viacom and more. “Looks like Twitter’s streaming video news deal with Bloomberg was just the first of more than a dozen content partnerships that it’s announcing today. The company unveiled the full slate at the NewFronts, where online publishers pitch their content to advertisers. (This was the first time Twitter’s held its own NewFronts presentation.)”

Engadget: Facebook tests in-app store loyalty programs. “Facebook doesn’t just want you to tap on ads — it wants you to head to the store. TechCrunch has learned that the social network is testing a Facebook Rewards loyalty program that offers perks when you scan a personal QR code (tucked within the Facebook mobile app, naturally) at an eligible store. It’s just a ‘small test,’ according to the company, and there’s no certainty that it’ll become widely available. However, there are more than a few incentives for Facebook to make Rewards widely available.”


Motherboard: Facebook Has to Keep Apologizing for Its Business Model. “Most of us have accepted that being online these days means trading our privacy for targeted services, like Google Maps or Amazon recommendations. But there’s been increasing concern that some of these companies, like Uber, are using their detailed insights in a way that disadvantages the user by trading on our cognitive deficiencies. Or, in the case of Facebook’s user insight presentation to a bank, our insecurities.”


I considered myself fairly jaded when it came to security stories, but this made my jaw drop. From Ars Technica: Meet, the site that doesn’t allow password changes. “When it comes to websites with bad password policies, there’s no shortage of bad actors. Sites—some operated by banks or other financial services—that allow eight- or even six-character passwords, sometimes even allowing letters to be entered in either upper- or lower-case? Yup. Sites that e-mail forgotten passwords in plaintext? Sadly, all the time. … But recently, I saw a site policy so bad I couldn’t stay quiet.”


Libraries+Network: On the Preservation of and Access to NOAA’s Open Data. “Recent articles in the popular press and across various social media platforms have raised concerns over the continued preservation and utilization of federal data holdings, particularly NOAA’s climate-related data. These concerns have produced a number of coordinated efforts to download and store significant volumes of NOAA’s data outside of the federal data systems. While I do not share those same concerns about preservation, as NOAA’s new Chief Data Officer I recognize that the essential idea that enables these efforts — easy public access to all of NOAA’s open data — is a laudable one that NOAA’s data stewards are striving to achieve. Let’s talk about open data access first, and I’ll come back to those concerns related to preservation later.”


Hyperallergic: Watch the British Library Digitize One of the World’s Largest Books. “The 1660 Klencke Atlas is among the world’s biggest books, measuring nearly six feet by seven and a half feet when open. So when the British Library digitized the towering tome, it required several people to maneuver it to a platform for its high-resolution photographs.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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