afternoonbuzz

Georgia Perimeter College, Antoni Gaudí, Slashdot, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, October 30, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

Georgia State University: New Digital Collection: Georgia Perimeter College Collection. “Georgia Perimeter College materials are now available online! The digital collection includes yearbooks, catalogs, and student newspapers from the 1960s to the 2010s. Perimeter College was founded by the DeKalb County Board of Education as DeKalb College in 1958 and offered its first classes in Clarkston, Georgia, in 1964.”

Ecns: Baidu to launch the world’s first digital museum. “Interested in examining every brick and curve of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família church and Casa Milà building without actually flying to Spain? The launch of the first ever Gaudí online museum may soon make this a reality. At a press conference held last week at the Gaudí-designed Episcopal Palace of Astorga in Spain, Baidu Baike, the online Chinese-language collaborative encyclopedia platform owned by China’s Internet giant Baidu Inc, announced that it would be launching the world’s first digital museum of Gaudí’s works in November. The project is being completed with the cooperation of the China-based Gaudí Asia-Pacific Research Institute and the Gaudí World Congress, the five-year-old annual session co-founded by the Gaudí Research Institute.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Slashdot is 20 years old, so an intrepid reader created a tool that finds a random story on Slashdot and displays it. I ran it three times and got: a story about Verizon and yet another fee (2016), a story on the world’s largest scavenger hunt (2002), and a story about Motorola phones from 2013. Nostalgia for days.

USEFUL STUFF

Motherboard: How to Scrub GPS Data from Your Photos. “So you want to help protect wildlife and scrub the GPS data that might be embedded in your photos? Great! First, know that when you upload an image to a majority of popular social media sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), the EXIF data (where location info can hide) is automatically deleted. ‘But Asia,’ you say, ‘Who knows if they’re actually deleting the data. I have to nuke the EXIF myself. It’s the only way to be sure.’ You’ve convinced me with that Aliens reference. Here’s a brief, non-comprehensive walkthrough to make sure your images are squeaky clean.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

TorrentFreak: The Pirate Bay is Hard to Find on Google in Some Countries. “Anyone entering the term ‘The Pirate Bay’ into a search engine should expect to get The Pirate Bay’s website as the top or close to top result, since that’s what the search demands. However, depending on where you are in the world and what variant of Google search you use, results can vary quite dramatically.”

BuzzFeed: Myspace Looked Like It Was Back. Actually, It Was A Pawn In An Ad Fraud Scheme. “Myspace — the iconic social network of the early 2000s — seemed to be experiencing a resurgence this summer when millions of visitors flocked to its new video page, potentially generating a wave of ad revenue for the site’s troubled parent company, Time Inc. But Myspace shut the page down this week after a BuzzFeed News investigation revealed that the surge in traffic came primarily from suspect sources that racked up fraudulent ad impressions. Myspace says it was completely unaware of and didn’t profit from any fraudulent traffic or impressions, and that the video page in question was hosted and managed by a partner and not by Myspace itself.”

TechCrunch: Why Snapchat Spectacles failed. “Snap did some things right with Spectacles. The fashion photo spread announcement felt classy and surprising despite clues and photos of CEO Evan Spiegel trickling out ahead. The initial launch was a marketing extravaganza, with multi-hour lines of cool kids waiting on the Venice Beach boardwalk to buy them. And the Snapbots being dropped in random locations was exciting and made people feel special if they got ahold of them. But once people put them on their face, the excitement died off. Here’s a breakdown of the major flaws that emerged with Spectacles in the year since their debut, with a focus on the stilted launch strategy…” Really thorough.

SECURITY & LEGAL

Cyberscoop: Massive voter registration database found to have major security flaws. “For several years, a nationwide voter-fraud prevention coalition has been using poor security methods in sending and storing millions of voter registration records, according to an advocacy group’s examination of official emails pertaining to the program. Officials running the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program have been using email to send state election officials usernames, passwords and decryption codes for databases containing records of all voters in about 30 states, reports Indivisible Chicago, a nonprofit progressive advocacy group.”

EFF: Portugal Bans Use of DRM to Limit Access to Public Domain Works. “At EFF, we’ve become all too accustomed to bad news on copyright coming out of Europe, so it’s refreshing to hear that Portugal has recently passed a law on copyright that helps to strike a fairer balance between users and copyright holders on DRM. The law doesn’t abolish legal protection for DRM altogether—unfortunately, that wouldn’t be possible for Portugal to do unilaterally, because it would be inconsistent with European Union law and with the WIPO Copyright Treaty to which the EU is a signatory. However, Law No. 36/2017 of June 2, 2017, which entered into force on June 3, 2017, does grant some important new exceptions to the law’s anti-circumvention provisions, which make it easier for users to exercise their rights to access content without being treated as criminals.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

MIT Technology Review: How Tweets Translate into Votes. “The role of Twitter in politics has never been more prominent. President Obama, sometimes called the first social-media president, clearly outperformed his rivals in terms of popularity and output. President Trump also uses Twitter, albeit more controversially, to drive debate, air grievances, and set policy. Clearly, social media plays a major role in political discourse. Many politicians send hundreds or thousands of messages during election campaigns and invest considerable resources into their social-media presence. And that raises an interesting question. Does this effort translate into votes?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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