Craft Beer, Bing, Facebook Marketplace, More: Saturday Afternoon Buzz, August 19, 2017


KPBS: ‘Brewchive’ To Document San Diego’s Craft Beer Industry. “An online archive of documents related to the growth of San Diego’s craft brewing industry is scheduled to be launched Friday at Cal State San Marcos…. The region has around 125 licensed brewers, with about one-third in the North County near the CSUSM campus, said school Library Dean Jennifer Fabbi. She said it makes sense for the school to document their history.”


Ars Technica: “Bing is bigger than you think,” Microsoft boasts, at 33% of US searches. ” Via OnMSFT, Microsoft tweeted yesterday that it’s ‘bigger than you think’ and provided some numbers that will probably be a surprise to many. The company claims that fully one-third of searches in the US are powered by Bing, either directly or through Yahoo or AOL (both of which provide results generated by Microsoft). Other strong markets include Taiwan, at 24 or 26 percent, and the UK, at either 23 or 25 percent (depending on which tweet you read).” Wow.

Search Engine Land: Facebook expands Marketplace categories and content in new push for growth. “Considered by some as a ‘Craigslist clone’ or potentially a ‘Craigslist killer,’ the social site originally positioned Marketplace as a peer-to-peer selling platform, responding to the organic creation of specialized buy-and-sell groups on the site. Now it’s expanding participation to businesses and introducing content from a range of listings and data aggregators.”


History for All the People, from the State Archives of North Carolina, is doing a series on how to interpret handwriting. “Since beginning my work with digitizing the General Assembly Session Records collection at the State Archives, I have had to do a bit of research on how to effectively interpret 18th century manuscripts in order create the appropriate metadata for the records and improve discoverability of these records in our digital collection. The following sections include a brief history of writing during this time period, characteristics of 17th and 18th century British-American handwriting, and some tips on deciphering the text found within these records. This is the first blog post of a series on how to read handwritten colonial documents.”


CNET: Twitter to livestream the solar eclipse chase across the US. “Add Twitter as yet another way to catch Monday’s total solar eclipse, the first to cross the US from coast to coast in nearly 100 years, if you somehow miss it in person. The social network is partnering with the Weather Channel to livestream the ‘once-in-a-lifetime celestial event,’ when the moon blocks out the sun for up to a few minutes.”


American Library Association: Victory near in 20-year fight to provide public with CRS reports. “After nearly 20 years of advocacy by ALA, Congress has recently taken significant steps toward permanently assuring free public access to reports by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Taxpayers fund these reports but generally have not been able to read them. ”

Chicago Tribune: Info on 1.8M Chicago voters was publicly accessible, but now removed from cloud service. “A file containing the names, addresses, dates of birth and other information about Chicago’s 1.8 million registered voters was published online and publicly accessible for an unknown period of time, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said Thursday.”


Google Research Blog: Making Visible Watermarks More Effective. “It’s standard practice to use watermarks on the assumption that they prevent consumers from accessing the clean images, ensuring there will be no unauthorized or unlicensed use. However, in ‘On The Effectiveness Of Visible Watermarks’ recently presented at the 2017 Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR 2017), we show that a computer algorithm can get past this protection and remove watermarks automatically, giving users unobstructed access to the clean images the watermarks are intended to protect.”

The Next Web: Your social media use is helping scientists monitor the world’s ecosystems. “Smartphones and mobile internet connections have made it much easier for citizens to help gather scientific information. Examples of environmental monitoring apps include WilddogScan, Marine Debris Tracker, OakMapper and Journey North, which monitors the movements of Monarch butterflies. Meanwhile, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr host vast amounts of information. While not posted explicitly for environmental monitoring, social media posts from a place like the Great Barrier Reef can contain useful information about the health (or otherwise) of the environment there.”

EFF: Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression. “All fair-minded people must stand against the hateful violence and aggression that seems to be growing across our country. But we must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with. Those on the left face calls to characterize the Black Lives Matter movement as a hate group. In the Civil Rights Era cases that formed the basis of today’s protections of freedom of speech, the NAACP’s voice was the one attacked. Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one—not the government and not private commercial enterprises—should decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t.”


Washington Post: Now you can see what Donald Trump sees every time he opens Twitter. “Users of Twitter will understand…that it can be tricky to know what someone else sees when he or she fires up the application. Everyone follows a different group of people, and that colors the information they receive. To that end, we’ve created @trumps_feed, an account that checks whom Trump follows every five minutes and then retweets any new tweets from them over that period. The net result is a replication of what Trump would see on those occasions that he switches over from the Mentions tab.” I think this is fascinating because you can see what’s driving a person’s thinking and reactions (to a greater or lesser extent, of course). I would love to see a tool like this for all world leaders on Twitter. Good afternoon, Internet…

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