morningbuzz

Malta Elections, Bing Image Search, WordPress, More: Saturday Buzz, June 3, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

New-to-me: the country of Malta has an online elections database. “Over the coming days, a dedicated team at the University of Malta will be updating the Malta Elections database with the outcome of the general election but Josef Lauri, a maths professor, is keen to add even more functions to the site. The database is a goldmine of information which was started by an American professor of political science, John Lane, who came to Malta around 30 years ago for a sabbatical and was intrigued by the very rare ‘single transferable vote’ system.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Search Engine Land: Bing Visual Search lets you search specific objects within images. “Bing is expanding its image search toolset with a new product that lets users search for specific items shown within a larger image. They’re calling it Bing Visual Search, and it’s available now as part of the Bing’s existing image search tools. It’s pretty simple to use and pretty impressive, too.” Definitely got to play with this. Well done Bing.

WordPress 4.8 Release Candidate 2 is now available.

TechCrunch: Facebook lets you add any post to albums, not just photos. “Facebook is revamping its photo album feature with the ability to add videos, check-ins, text posts to albums, follow friends’ albums so you’re notified when they’re updated, and display ‘featured’ albums on your profile to highlight your favorite collections.”

USEFUL STUFF

Family Tree Magazine: How to Use the Library of Congress’ New Sanborn Maps for Genealogy. “Have you heard the news about the Library of Congress’ new digital Sanborn maps? Nearly 25,000 maps are now online, with more to be added over the next three years for a total of 500,000.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Fast Company: Why Is Access To Public Records Still So Frustratingly Complicated?. “The Freedom of Information Act, often known as FOIA, has been used by journalists, activists, and private citizens to get access to federal government records since it went into effect in 1967. And every state has passed similar laws that allow the public to get access to state and local records, generally with exemptions for files like records of ongoing investigations or personal medical records. (Florida’s are called the Sunshine Law.) The trouble, say transparency advocates and people who rely on open records laws for their day-to-day work, is that in an era when files can be searched, copied, and transmitted in minutes at minimal cost, many agencies still respond to requests with excessive delays, claims of high processing costs, and files produced in difficult-to-handle formats like scans of printed versions of digital documents.”

Washington Post: Facebook shareholders are not happy with how it’s handling fake news. “Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg faced sharp criticism Thursday during the company’s annual shareholders meeting about how the company operates, deals with violence and handles fake news. Shareholders submitted five proposals critical of the company’s top-heavy structure, as well as the way Facebook curates its content. All five were heard and rejected by majority vote; Zuckerberg controls more than 50 percent of Facebook’s shareholder votes.”

I can’t decide if this is brilliant PR or rock stupid. From The Telegraph: Swiss village bans tourists from taking pictures – prompting group to cancel photography trip. “A little known village in Switzerland has banned people from taking photos in an attempt, it says, to save jealous travellers around the world from a fear of missing out (or FOMO).”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

CNET: OneLogin breach means you need a password fix, stat. “OneLogin has suffered one big breach. The password management company announced Wednesday that its data centers in the US had been hacked.”

The Hill: White House approves social media checks for visa applicants: report. “The Trump administration has unveiled a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants that asks for social media handles from the last five years, Reuters reported Thursday. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the new measures — which also request applicants’ biographical information for the last 15 years — on May 23, the report said.”

Reuters: Exclusive – Google faces hefty EU fine in shopping case by August: sources . “EU antitrust regulators aim to slap a hefty fine on Alphabet (GOOGL.O) unit Google over its shopping service before the summer break in August, two people familiar with the matter said, setting the stage for two other cases involving the U.S. company.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

From Daring Fireball, and I apologize for censoring the swear word in the title but I’m afraid if I don’t the newsletter will get blocked: F*ck Facebook. “You might think it’s hyperbole for [Dave] Winer to say that Facebook is trying to kill the open web. But they are. I complain about Google AMP, but AMP is just a dangerous step toward a Google-owned walled garden — Facebook is designed from the ground up as an all-out attack on the open web.” Good morning, Internet…

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