Taiwan Artworks, Google Drive, UK Banking, More: Friday Buzz, July 14, 2017


Taiwan Today: NPM offers free access to images of precious artworks. “A total of 71,640 images of precious artifacts in the National Palace Museum’s collections can be downloaded free of charge effective immediately, according to the Taipei City-based art institution July 7. The NPM said the first set of data available online comprises 1,640 medium-resolution images of famed artworks and 70,000 low-resolution images of artifacts, calligraphy and paintings in its holdings.”

Mashable: Google Drive’s full system backup and sync tool is finally available. “Google is doing all of us a solid and giving everyone the chance to use its free cloud storage to backup an entire computer’s system files. The new Backup and Sync feature will let you use Drive to automatically store files that you’ve already saved on your computer’s internal hard drive or other devices like memory cards in the same format.”

Bank Underground: A CAMEL ride: Retracing the history of UK banking through a new historical database. “Navigational aids are helpful when visibility is poor or when landmarks are unfamiliar, especially when journeying to new destinations. In a recent working paper, we introduce a new regulatory dataset, the ‘Historical Banking Regulatory Database’ (HBRD), that provides a clearer view of the UK banking sector and helps navigate issues difficult to explore with other datasets. This post describes the HBRD, its benefits for research and policy analyses, and what can be learned from it.”

Deseret News: New Missionary Database finds early Church missionaries in your family tree. “The Missionary Database is a new service from the Church History Department and FamilySearch that helps members of the Church discover early Church missionaries in their family tree. The experience is made up of two parts: Church History’s Early Mormon Missionaries database, which allows members to search through records of early missionaries, and the missionary campaign, which automatically matches missionaries from the database to the family trees of those who log in.”


IFTTT had so many updates in June it had to do a roundup blog post. “June was a very busy month at IFTTT HQ: we launched over thirty services on the same day with our Data Access Project; championed four non-profits; brought some heavily requested services, Google Photos and Songkick, to the platform; and had our typical stream of partners launching every other day. There’s now over 520 services on IFTTT! Here’s the rundown on everything new…”

The Next Web: Google Earth will soon let anyone share stories and photos on virtual globe. “Google Earth has always been about exploration. Always. Everyone, from pre-teen primary school kids, to bored office workers, has at some point used it to look up some faraway place, just to see what it looks like. So, it makes sense that Mountain View would introduce a social element, allowing individuals to enhance the blurry satellite imagery with their own text, photographs, and videos.”

TechCrunch: gives you more options to share your posts on social networks. “ is slowly but surely replacing all those clunky social sharing plugins that you use. With today’s update, you can now schedule tweets, Facebook posts or LinkedIn updates in’s admin interface.”

Formula One racing and Snapchat are teaming up. “Formula 1 continues to develop its social media network, announcing a new global partnership with video-sharing platform Snapchat. The deal will debut at this weekend’s British Grand Prix and will result in coverage on Snapchat’s breaking news and curated platform Discover, using the ‘Our Stories’ content type.”

USA Today: Uber to merge business in Russia with Yandex . “The new business will be valued at more than $3.7 billion when it closes in the fourth quarter of 2017. Yandex will own a 59% stake in the new company, which will be run by CEO Tigran Khudaverdyan. Uber will have a 36.6% stake.The new ride-sharing company will serve customers in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Georgia.”


WordHer: What is a Twitter Card?. “In the following video, I explain what a Twitter Card is, show you how different kinds of Twitter Cards are displayed, explain when Twitter Cards are seen, demonstrate how I add Twitter Cards to my sites (it’s super easy), and how to validate Twitter Card meta tags once they’re added to your site.” Transcript coming soon for those of you who are video-averse.

A wee bit outside my remit but I know there are GoT fans out there. From the gvSIG blog: “Learning GIS with Game of Thrones” free book. “Have you decided to learn to work with a Geographic Information System and you don’t know how to start? Now that the premiere of the new season of Game of Thrones series will be in a few days, we recommend you do it using the book that we have just published: ‘Learning GIS with Game of Thrones’. This book compiles a series of post with practical exercises that have been published in the gvSIG project blog previously. The objective is that anyone, without previous knowledge and through a series of practical exercises, learn to handle a GIS in an entertaining and funny way.”


Chris Aldrich: The Facebook Algorithm Mom Problem. “I can post about arcane areas like Lie algebras or statistical thermodynamics, and my mom, because she’s my mom, will like all of it–whether or not she understands what I’m talking about or not. And isn’t this what moms do?! What they’re supposed to do? Of course it is! She’s my mom, she’s supposed to love me unconditionally this way! The problem is: Facebook, despite the fact that they know she’s my mom, doesn’t take this fact into account in their algorithm.” Good morning, Internet…

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