Telangana History, Political Activism, Miami Photography, More: Friday Buzz, September 1, 2017


Telangana Today: Nizam-era archives to go online. “A dream repository of archival material comprising 50 million odd historical documents and spanning centuries is all set to be available at the click of a mouse. The Telangana State Archives and Research Institute has come up with a proposal for a digital library placing online all its documents that include ‘farmans’ and gazettes issued by erstwhile rulers and also a rich collection of manuscripts. The proposal has already been submitted to the State government for approval.”

BusinessWire: Civic Action Network Launches Civi (PRESS RELEASE). “CAN summarizes three bills introduced in Congress per week. Members can either receive emails with these summaries or find them on CAN’s website. Once they form an opinion on an issue, members can submit their stance to Civi by favoring or opposing the bill. The service will then provide this information to a real person who will relentlessly call Congress on the members’ behalf until the message has been conveyed. Members will be notified once their call has been successfully delivered to Congress.” Civi will make up to five calls a month free- after that they have different levels of paid service.

Florida International University: Digital Collections breathes new life into old history. “Everyone knows ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ But some pictures need a little help in getting those thousand words into the open. The Greater North Miami Historical Society had a collection of just such images. Founded in 1997, the society works to preserve the history of North Miami and the surrounding areas, spanning Aventura, Biscayne Park, Miami Shores, North Miami and North Miami Beach. Its historical collection dates back to the 1930s and includes over 4,000 negatives, photographs and other items. As membership in the society declined over the years, however, so did maintenance and organization of the collection. While past volunteers had created an index, many of the items had never been digitized, and so were not only unavailable to the community at large but, stored in less-than-ideal conditions, had begun to degrade.” Only a fraction of the material has been put online and the project continues.

Oooooo. Digital Trends: Uber Movement Is A Newly Released Treasure Trove Of Data For City Officials . ” At the beginning of the year, the San Francisco-based company made available a tome of data based upon countless rides taken by its millions of customers each and every day. Uber Movement includes data that provides ‘detailed historical insights [that] make it possible to measure the impact of road improvements, major events, new transit lines, and more.’ Now, Uber has made this information available for residents of a number of cities, including Bogota, Colombia; Manila, The Philippines; Sydney, Australia; Boston, and Washington, D.C. If you check out the web app, you can look into average travel times between neighborhoods, and also take a closer look at ETAs depending on time of day and day of the week.”

Macau Daily Times: Chao To Launch Website For Candidates’ Social Media. “Project Just Macau will launch a new website tomorrow titled ‘What did they say?’ to provide the public with a convenient way to access electoral candidates’ past social media posts, so they can evaluate political figures’ records before casting ballots in the September 17 Legislative Assembly election.” What a terrific idea. “Thus far, the website has aggregated all public Facebook posts published by the first candidates. Only posts that were published or updated on or before September 2 will be available for search.”


CNET: Google wants to be your travel agent. “Google is doubling down on its price-tracking-for-travel features. The search giant said Tuesday that it’s expanding the information it gives travelers looking to book airline flights and hotels. The idea is to help people find the cheapest price.”


Amit Agarwal, of course: Get Email Alerts When New Employees Join a Company. “Most people use LinkedIn to get email alerts for new job postings that match their interests but did you know that LinkedIn can also help track new hires made by a company? You can easily keep an eye on new employees joining your own company or a competitor.”


Computer Weekly: UK libraries could get national online platform. “The British Library will lead an 18-month long project to investigate the possibility and demand for UK public libraries to get a joint online platform. The project, which is supported by more than £230,000 in funding from Arts Council England and £30,000 from the Carnegie UK Trust, will undertake a scoping exercise to look at what an online ‘single digital presence’ for UK libraries might look like.”

Ars Technica: Google is losing allies across the political spectrum. “With so many Googlers in government, Google had an outsized influence on policymaking during the Obama years. But today, Google is in a different situation. Most obviously, Schmidt worked hard to get Hillary Clinton elected president, and Clinton lost. The issues don’t end there. Given Silicon Valley’s liberal views on social issues and Schmidt’s love for Democratic politicians, it was probably inevitable that conservatives would sour on the search giant. But the larger problem for the search giant is that the company has been losing support among Democrats as well.”

Vanguard (Nigeria): Obaseki proposes Global Database for Victims of Enforced Disappearances. “The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has made a case for a global digital database that will have the information of victims of enforced disappearances across the world. Obaseki made the recommendation on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, observed on August 30, each year.” If you’re not familiar with the term “enforced disappearance,” Amnesty International can break it down for you..

SECURITY & LEGAL Text messages as public records emerges as new Montana issue. “Montana government leaders plan to create rules for when and how to preserve text messages after a news organization’s public-records request exposed the lack of a policy to retain the messages that have become a regular communication method for state business.”


TechCrunch: Salesforce is using AI to democratize SQL so anyone can query databases in natural language. “SQL is about as easy as it gets in the world of programming, and yet its learning curve is still steep enough to prevent many people from interacting with relational databases. Salesforce’s AI research team took it upon itself to explore how machine learning might be able to open doors for those without knowledge of SQL.” Good morning, Internet…

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