Library of Congress, Six Day War, Stephen Wolfram, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, May 18, 2017


Library of Congress, and I’m doing cartwheels: Library Offers Largest Release of Digital Catalog Records in History. “The new, free service will operate in parallel with the Library’s fee-based MARC Distribution Service, which is used extensively by large commercial customers and libraries. All records use the MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging Records) format, which is the international standard maintained by the Library of Congress with participation and support of libraries and librarians worldwide for the representation and communication of bibliographic and related information in machine-readable form. The data covers a wide range of Library items including books, serials, computer files, manuscripts, maps, music and visual materials. The free data sets cover more than 45 years, ranging from 1968, during the early years of MARC, to 2014. Each record provides standardized information about an item, including the title, author, publication date, subject headings, genre, related names, summary and other notes.”

Israel National News: State archives makes material from Six Day War available. “Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, the Israel State Archives, a unit within the Prime Minister’s Office, is today (Thursday, 18 May 2017), making available material from the Six Day War. These include minutes of 36 meetings of the Ministerial Committee on National Security from January-July 1967, Cabinet protocols and documents pertaining to the war from various ministries (Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, Religious Affairs Ministry, Tourism Ministry, Justice Ministry, Housing Ministry and others), as well as sound and video files, still photographs and materials from the personal archives of Levy Eshkol, Yaakov Herzog, Aviad Yafe, Moshe Sasson and Rabbi Shlomo Goren.”

Stephen Wolfram on BackChannel: A New Kind of Science: A 15-Year View. “Starting now, in celebration of its 15th anniversary, A New Kind of Science will be freely available in its entirety, with high-resolution images, on the web or for download.”


Mashable: Google is making your smartphone camera way smarter. “CEO Sundar Pichai showed off Google Lens with an innocuous image of a little girl playing baseball, taken from behind a chainlink backstop. It was a cute pic — but the criss-crossing metal of the fence in the foreground was a bit of a bummer. That is, until Pichai activated the Lens image and erased the fence from the foreground, with no degradation of the image of the little girl at the plate.”

TechCrunch: Todoist launches a deep integration with Google Calendar. “Todoist is quite a powerful task manager, but it didn’t communicate with your calendar until now. If you’re a Google Calendar user and want to check your tasks and events for tomorrow, you currently have to check both Google Calendar and Todoist. This is about to change as Todoist is launching a deep two-way integration between Todoist and Google Calendar.”

Quartz: A new search engine from WeChat could change China’s internet. “Today the company publicly unveiled (link in Chinese) a feature—called ‘Search,’ simply enough—that lets users enter keywords and find relevant information. While WeChat has had a search feature in the past, this one is more powerful. It’s not quite a search engine in the style of Google or Baidu, the reigning search engine of China. Rather, it’s an alternate vision of search, one that’s uniquely suited to a social media app. And it could very well become huge in China.”


Recode: Twitter has a list of things it thinks you’re interested in — here’s how to see it. “…Wednesday’s update also included something else that we found interesting, and possibly even hilarious: You can now see what ‘interests’ Twitter thinks you have, and that it uses to decide which ads and content to show you in your timeline.” And demographic guesses. Twitter thinks I’m over 65. Guess again!


Radio Prague: Czechs Sign Up To Help Save Syrian Cultural Heritage. “The general director of the Czech National Museum has just signed an agreement committing the institution to helping Syria save, preserve and conserve much of its cultural and historical heritage damaged by six years of war.”

BBC: Iran’s Instagram election sees rivals battle on social media. “Rather than relying on state television channels to broadcast their campaign rallies, the two front-runners – President Hassan Rouhani and his hard line rival Ebrahim Raisi – have been live-streaming them on Instagram. At the touch of a button, anyone with a mobile device has been able to tune in, watch and show their support by adding to the blizzard of likes, hearts and smiley faces streaming across the screen.”


NBC News: Companies Stockpiling Bitcoin in Anticipation of Ransomware Attacks . “In the age of cyber threats, companies are stockpiling digital currency in preparation of future ‘ransomware’ attacks — which have grown exponentially over the past few years.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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