Philadelphia Trails, Searching How-To, Congressional Data Sets, More: Saturday Buzz, September 2, 2017


Philly Voice: Philly becomes first U.S. city to map urban trails on Google Street View. “After a yearlong process covering more than 400 miles, Philadelphia is officially the first city in the United States to have its urban trail system mapped on Google Street View, the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Parks & Recreation announced Wednesday.”

TechCrunch: Google reveals the top things people want to find out ‘How to’ do. “Google has a new website compiled using search data and built by its News Lab, working together with Xaquin G.V., an interactive visual data journalist. The site uses data related to searches made by users about ‘How To’ do things, which represents a massive amount of activity on Google, it turns out.”

VICE: You Can Now Download Information From Every Congressional Session Since 1973 . “Since 2009, developers have been able to use the ProPublica Congress API (first developed by The New York Times) to retrieve data about the thousands of bills introduced during every two-year session in the House of Representatives. Until now though, you had to download each piece of information separately, and you needed to know how to write API calls…. That’s no longer the case. Wednesday, ProPublica announced that you can now download all the information about all of the bills in each legislative session using its new bulk bill data set.”

Newstalk (Ireland): Central Bank opens its archives up to the public. “The Central Bank of Ireland has opened its archives to the public. The bank says the archives can now be used for public research purposes for the first time. They include a range of materials created and acquired by the bank – such as objects, documents and ledgers dating from 1786 to 1986.” The archives themselves are not online, but an online catalog is available.


NEH: NEH Commits $1 Million to Cultural Organizations Impacted by Hurricane Harvey. “The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will award up to $1 million in emergency grants to preserve humanities collections and help restore operations at libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and other cultural and historical institutions in the areas of Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey, Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede announced today.”

9to5Google: YouTube TV is now available in 12 more US cities, total count now up to 41. “Exactly two weeks ago, YouTube TV was expanded to 14 additional areas throughout the United States. This made the service available in 29 different markets throughout the US, and today, YouTube TV is being added to 12 more popular locations.”


How-To Geek: How to Find Old Versions of Your Favorite Desktop Programs. “Have you ever used one of your favorite programs on your desktop, only to find that in later updates, that program changes in ways you don’t particularly appreciate? It’s a common phenomenon: a single program, like a chat client, might break with your specific computer setup after a recent update. It’s easier (and less disruptive to your workflow) to switch to an older version of the program until the problem is resolved. You don’t want to use an out-of-date antivirus, of course, but for more mundane utilities, older versions of the program are fine (as long as you eventually update once the problems are fixed). Here’s how to find them, install them, and keep them handy so you don’t have to use the updated versions.”


Knight Foundation: Five Takeaways On How Museums Are Adapting To Digital Age Demands. “As part of my research, I interviewed more than a dozen art museum professionals from across the country including leaders of digital departments, directors of information technology, and museum technologists. In August, Knight Foundation hosted a round table discussion about museum technology. The convening brought together professionals from different parts of the arts and culture sector including artists, entrepreneurs, technologists, professors and museum directors. Like those I interviewed, the group met us with bright eyes and nuanced perspectives on the future of museums.” Not a huge article but some interesting links.

Chris Brogan: What Launching a Facebook Live Show Taught Me About Media. “I recently rolled out a Facebook Live news show that I create using a great Facebook Live for Mac software called Ecamm Live. I did the project because I wanted to get the word out about that software for the guys who create it, but something has really clicked with me. I’m really loving the process of creating the show. What’s really cool, though, is that it’s opening up new lines of communication and reconnecting people with my business and also bringing more people back in touch with me. I wanted to give you all the lessons I’ve gathered (so far) about creating my Facebook Live news show and maybe even encourage you to create your own show, too!” Pithy and thoughtful.


Oh, yuck. Ars Technica: Site sells Instagram users’ phone and e-mail details, $10 a search . “At first glance, the Instagram security bug that was exploited to obtain celebrities’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses appeared to be limited, possibly to a small number of celebrity accounts. Now a database of 10,000 credentials published online Thursday night suggests the breach is much bigger.”


Firstpost: Social media can influence suicidal behaviour, both negatively and positively: Study. “According to the American Public Health Association (APHA), a recent study points out how social media can influence suicide-related behaviour. In a study titled ‘Social media and suicide: A public health perspective’ the organisation mentions that social media has the power to influence individuals in both a positive and a negative way.”

Al Jazeera: Free Basics: Facebook’s failure at ‘digital equality’. “…while Free Basics may be ‘free’ in terms of money, it comes at another cost that Facebook is loathe to acknowledge, despite concerns raised by digital rights experts and activists. The app gives users access to only a tiny set of services, a clear violation of net neutrality. And it collects data about users and their activities on the app, without telling them how this data will be used.” Good morning, Internet…

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