Alaska Photography, Ireland Housing, Los Angeles Property, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, August 7, 2017


State of Alaska: Geologic photos of Alaska available through searchable online tool. “The Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys has published more than 6,500 free public-use photographs taken during geologic field projects in its new database application, the Geologic Photos of Alaska … The photos document scenery, landforms, rock outcrops, geologic observations, vegetation, wildlife, and fieldwork activities conducted throughout Alaska, usually in remote locations that are difficult or expensive to revisit.”

Just launched in Ireland: a database of vacant housing. “Visitors to the website are asked to complete a form providing details of the property, its physical condition and any information about who owns it. None of this will be published for security reasons. Local councils will use the information to trace the owner with a view to getting the property back in use. The Government is offering grants of up to €40,000 to convert properties to social housing.”

Los Angeles Daily News: New searchable LA database lists city-owned properties. “The city of Los Angeles has opened a new online searchable database that will help it maximize the value of its property and aid in the creation of affordable housing and homeless services, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced this week.”

The Gazette (Iowa): Gazette archives now available in digital, searchable format thanks to partnership. “Millions of pages from past issues of The Gazette, dating back to 1883, are being made available to the public in a digital, searchable format thanks to a partnership between the newspaper, Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation, State Historical Society of Iowa and a local company that specializes in digitization.” The article made me think that this might be for Cedar Rapids residents / library card holders only, but I was able to access archival content with no problem.


Engadget: Facebook tries slipping more local politics into your News Feed. “Facebook isn’t shy about wanting to increase your involvement in politics, and that might soon include seeing posts from the politicians you don’t follow. A spokesperson has confirmed to Recode that the social network is testing a feature that slips the ‘top posts’ from local politicians into your News Feed, even when you don’t follow them.” While not showing me updates from pages I’ve actually liked?

TechCrunch: ‘Despacito’ is the new most-watched YouTube video ever with more than 3 billion views. “Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee’ is not only the most-streamed song of all time, it also is the most-watched YouTube video ever, surpassing more than 3 billion views on the Alphabet-owned video site.” This is how I know I am old: I have yet to hear this song.


The Verge: Inside Patreon, The Economic Engine Of Internet Culture. “Patreon isn’t simply a replacement for record labels or TV networks, though. Instead it’s the ideal incubator for niche internet subcultures, where a small but dedicated group of fans can directly support work they care about. That includes traditional arts and entertainment, but also YouTube celebrities, cultural figures, or even political actions — some inspiring, some troubling. The Patreon model encourages people to see themselves not as consumers, but as members of a private club, free from the constraints of mainstream gatekeepers or mass-market appeal. And in the process, it’s blurred the lines between art, artist, and audience in an unprecedented way.” I am on Patreon, as you may know, and I very much appreciate your support.

Bloomberg: Sohu Surges as Its Chinese Search Engine Prepares U.S. IPO. “ Inc. rose the most in almost five years after its chairman said the Chinese company’s search engine subsidiary Sogou is on a ‘very good trajectory’ as it prepares for a public listing in the U.S.”


Medium: So, about this Googler’s manifesto.. “Until about a week ago, you would have heard very little from me publicly about this, because (as a fairly senior Googler) my job would have been to deal with it internally, and confidentiality rules would have prevented me from saying much in public. But as it happens, (although this wasn’t the way I was planning on announcing it) I actually recently left Google — for entirely unrelated and actually really-good-news reasons which I’ll get into elsewhere…. And since I’m no longer on the inside, and have no confidential information about any of this, the thing which I would have posted internally I’ll instead say right here, because it’s relevant not just to Google, but to everyone else in tech.”


CNET: Beam a message into space for Voyager’s 40th anniversary. “To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Golden Record being sent into space, NASA is inviting space fans to send a short, positive message that could end up in space. After input from the Voyager team and a public vote, one of the submitted messages will be selected by NASA to ‘beam into interstellar space’ on Sept. 5 — the 40th anniversary of Voyager 1’s launch.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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