Civic Engagement, Wisconsin Government, Philadelphia Fire Escapes, More: Wednesday Buzz, August 30, 2017


Tufts University: RAYSE index tracks youth civic engagement through data. “…with the help of a new tool created by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, civic organizations can be better equipped to engage youth in becoming active citizens in their community. The tool, known as the Reaching All Youth Strengthens Engagement (RAYSE) Index, was created in 2016 and provides organizations and other interested parties with data on factors affecting youth civic engagement, according to CIRCLE Director of Impact Abby Kiesa.”

News 8000: New website launches for Wisconsin public meeting notices. “A new state-run website has launched providing a central location for state agency public meeting notices and minutes.”

Metro: Fixing Philly: L&I looks to create database of safe fire escapes. “During a birthday party at an apartment in a Rittenhouse Square building in January of 2014, 22-year-old Albert Suh, of Leonia, N.J., and two female friends, both in their twenties, stepped out onto a fire escape on the fourth floor of the 108-year-old building. The rusty fire escape collapsed under the three, killing Suh and severely injuring the two women. According to Karen Guss, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections, this tragedy was wholly preventable if only the building’s fire escape had been inspected and was up to code.”


Google Blog: Put it in park with new features in Google Maps. “Finding a parking spot is always top of mind, so we’re rolling out an update to the parking difficulty icons feature we launched earlier this year, and introducing a brand new one. Starting today, people in 25 additional cities outside of the United States can use parking difficulty icons on Google Maps for Android and iOS.”

Mashable: Instagram won’t make you awkwardly crop photos in albums anymore. “Instagram is finally fixing one of the most frustrating parts about posting multiple photos at once. The app now allows you to add both portrait and landscape photos to albums.”

OCLC Next: Recalibrating the WorldCat odometer. “The 1,000,000,000 OCLC Control Number was recently created in WorldCat. It was for a digital image from the Chiba University Library (YA@) in Chiba, Japan. We knew this milestone was fast approaching, and we sent guidance to member libraries and to library vendors to prepare them for a tenth digit in the OCN.”

ACLU: ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody. “Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently asked the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA), which instructs federal agencies on how to maintain records, to approve its timetable for retaining or destroying records related to its detention operations. This may seem like a run-of-the-mill government request for record-keeping efficiency. It isn’t. An entire paper trail for a system rife with human rights and constitutional abuses is at stake.”


NARA: National Archives provides special access to records for veterans impacted by Hurricane Harvey. “While flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey continues to devastate Houston, Texas and other Gulf Coast communities, the National Personnel Records Center is providing special help to veterans impacted by the storm.”

The Next Web: The best online calendars for groups, families, and households. “Calendar apps by themselves are easy to find — throw a dart at the App Store or the Google Play and you’re likely to hit one. The trick is to find a calendar that you can share with other people. Whether you’re a busy family, a professional team, or just a house full of roommates, these calendars can help keep everyone on the same page.”


Ars Technica, and eventually I will stop laughing: Crowdsourced gaming of Google Translate dubs Kim Jung Un “Mr. Squidward”. “Google Translate—the Web and mobile tool that performs machine-learning-based translation of over 100 languages—has a small problem: to some degree, it depends on the kindness of strangers. And that dependence can be gamed for amusing (or enraging) result, as we discovered today while working on a story about North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches.”

Search Engine Land: Google says it will offer antitrust remedy to EU to avoid further penalties. “Google parent Alphabet is preparing to comply with EU regulators’ demand that it no longer ‘favor its own content’ in shopping search results. Google must propose a solution that will offer ‘equal treatment’ to Google’s shopping rivals by Tuesday at midnight.”

Boston Globe: What’s Trump’s think tank? Try internet message boards. “Understanding the ecosystem of non-mainstream, pro-Trump media is critical to a fuller understanding of the Trump presidency itself. This alternative media, nicknamed the ‘alt-media,’ can often be a sign post for where Trump is going, a predictor for a seemingly unpredictable president. No matter how true, misleading, or based in derogatory stereotypes its claims are, the information touted by the alt-media’s most prominent members has consistently bubbled up from anonymous Internet forums to the president’s speeches, policies, and tweets.” I think this is important because there are fewer and fewer search tools for Internet discussion forums, and the way they’re indexed by search engines is not often discussed. Good morning, Internet…

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