Contemporary Art, Mini-Comics, History, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, October 9, 2017


Google Blog: Exploring contemporary art with Google Arts & Culture. “Working with more than 180 partners all over the world, Google Arts & Culture is shining a light on contemporary art, with a new collection of online stories and rich digital content at”

New-to-me, from Jonathan B.: The Poopsheet Foundation. It is not what it sounds like. From the home page: “A virtual archive of mini-comics, fanzines, small press comics, newave comix and related items. The physical archive, housed at PF headquarters, is being built with personal acquisitions as well as generous donations from supporters. This project is most definitely a work in progress.”

NiemanLab: Bunk aims to set history free with a site that doesn’t feel like a textbook. “Bunk, which takes its name from the 1916 Henry Ford quote that ‘history is bunk,’ launched in beta earlier this month. “A big part of this project is amplifying what’s already out there online,” said Tony Field, the site’s editor. ‘There’s so much great work being done online by scholars already. That includes blogs, conversations on social media between historians — there’s a very active community of historians on Twitter — not to mention all of the great digital archives all over the place, and digital humanities work based at universities and elsewhere. We were very interested in what it would mean to try to harness all of that energy and make it accessible to a broader audience of people who aren’t, say, historians on Twitter.'”


Kazakh TV: 40% Of Books Of The National Library Of Kazakhstan Were Digitized In The Past Four Years. “Modern technologies are opening new opportunities for historians and literary critics. Preservation of unique documents and works for future generations is possible owing to new technologies. Ultra-modern scanners convert the hard copies of archival documents into soft copies. 40 % of books from the general fund of the national library of Kazakhstan were digitized in the past four years.” The article has both a video and a transcript. Both are in English.


MakeUseOf: Fix HTML Formatting Using Simple Shell Scripting . “If you often write HTML in an editor and then paste into WordPress, you’ll notice that sometimes annoying formatting tags (like tags) are added. Using simple shell scripts, you can automatically clean up that garbage HTML formatting with a few simple commands. Why use shell scripting? If you’re new to programming, it’s much, much better to start small. Not only are you less likely to give up, but you’ll have opportunities to stop and learn along the way. That said, your first programs can be really useful even if they’re also really simple.” A gentle introduction if you’re pretty computer savvy but don’t know a lot about shell scripting.


TechCrunch: Facebook security chief rants about misguided “algorithm” backlash. “‘I am seeing a ton of coverage of our recent issues driven by stereotypes of our employees and attacks against fantasy, strawman tech cos’ wrote Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos on Saturday in a reeling tweetstorm. He claims journalists misunderstand the complexity of attacking fake news, deride Facebook for thinking algorithms are neutral when the company knows they aren’t, and encourages reporters to talk to engineers who actually deal with these problems and their consequences. Yet this argument minimizes many of Facebook’s troubles.” I struggled with whether to put this in editorial or here, and it wound up here. But it’s really a mix. The comments, while a little rough, are worth reading at this time.

CBS News: How Facebook Ads Helped Elect Trump . “President Donald Trump talked on Twitter, but Facebook was the crucial tool that helped elect him, says the man who directed the digital aspects of the Trump campaign. Brad Parscale tells Lesley Stahl how he fine-tuned political ads posted on Facebook to directly reach voters with the exact messages they cared most about – infrastructure key among them — and had handpicked Republican Facebook employees to guide him.”

Live5News: Tyler heart surgeon petitions White House to create national medical volunteer database. “When an emergency strikes, medical professionals are the first to respond. Often, these emergency situations take weeks to manage patients to stable conditions, and medical staff get little to no relief. A Tyler Cardiothoracic surgeon is looking to change that.”


CEPA: What To Expect When You’re Expecting Bots. “Late last week, NATO’s Strategic Center of Excellence in Latvia released an illuminating report on ‘robotrolling.’ The findings are worth considering. Its authors report that two of every three Twitter users writing in the Russian language about NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe are ‘bot’ or robotic accounts. (Robotic trolling or ‘robotrolling’ is the coordinated use of fake accounts on social media). The high number is partially explained by the fact that Russian-language bots mostly repost traditional pro-Kremlin media content that is controlled by the state. ‘By implication, even automatically generated Russian news-spam echoes state-sanctioned content,’ said the report, which surveyed 32,000 tweets mentioning NATO and at least one of the following countries—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland—between 1 March and 30 August 2017.”

Wired: When YouTube Removes Violent Videos, It Impedes Justice. “When the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Mahmoud al-Werfelli in August for the war crime of murder in Libya, it marked a watershed moment for open-source investigations. For those of us who embrace the promise of the digital landscape for justice and accountability, it came as welcome validation that content found on Facebook and YouTube form a good deal of the evidence before the Court. But this relatively new path to justice is at risk of becoming a dead-end.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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