Building Materials, Neil Young, Arabic Manuscripts, More: Monday Buzz, November 13, 2017


Perkins+Will: Perkins+Will Launches Revamped Material Transparency Website and ‘Precautionary List’ of Hazardous Building Materials. “Perkins+Will, the global architecture and design firm that ignited the industry movement toward healthier building materials with its 2008 Precautionary List and 2011 Transparency website, unveiled today updated and improved versions of both tools. The enhanced Precautionary List—a compilation of the most prolific and problematic substances that people encounter every day in the built environment—now functions more like a user-friendly digital database than a static list. It allows design professionals to search for key substances and chemicals of concern using filters like project type, product type, and health and environmental impacts.”


Musician Neil Young is opening his archive on December 1. (This link is to a Facebook Page post.) “My archive will open on that same day, a place you can visit and experience every song I have ever released in the highest quality your machine will allow. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. In the beginning, everything is free.”

MENAFN: National Archives, NYU Abu Dhabi create online library of historic Arabic-language materials. The National Archives in this case are for the United Arab Emirates; that is not immediately clear upon reading the story. “The National Archives has joined NYU Abu Dhabi, NYUAD, and six other major universities, to digitise its holdings of historic Arabic-language materials to be included in a digital library available to the public. Arabic Collections Online, ACO, is an open-access initiative sponsored by NYUAD, and has set a goal of reaching 20,000 digitised Arabic books provided free of cost to a global audience. ACO is sponsored by NYUAD in partnership with Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, American University in Beirut, American University in Cairo, and, now, the National Archives, who will support with the digitisation of materials.”


Lifehacker: Keep Tweets in Your Timeline to 140 Characters With This Chrome Extension . “I liked Twitter better when everyone got 140 characters. That’s the whole point of Twitter: brevity, concision, a strong editorial hand on the tiller. So I was not at all pleased to see the company’s announcement that all users now get 280 characters, which I believe will encourage a certain sloppiness in expression—a slippery slope straight down into logorrhea.”

Art+Marketing (Craig Cannon): Here’s an Easier Way to Edit Your Podcasts. “Ramon Recuero and I made a thing called SpeechBoard that will transcribe your podcasts and allow you to cut anything from the audio by deleting the text from the transcript.”


Center for Cooperative Media: We’re building a database of journalism collaborations. We need your help.. “Over the past year, we’ve been collecting information about dozens of collaborative reporting projects involving hundreds of newsrooms around the world. We used that information to identify six distinct models of collaborative journalism, which are based on how long newsroom and information organizations worked together, and how they integrated their work and workflows. Now, we’re creating a comprehensive database with the information we’ve collected about both those projects and others we don’t know about yet. In the coming weeks, we’re planning to gather as much information as we can about all kinds of collaborative journalism projects from around the world.”

Quartz: Somaliland is blocking social media to keep its election free of “fake news”. “Somaliland, the self-declared republic in northwestern Somalia, has announced it will restrict access to social media sites during its upcoming presidential elections. The electoral commission has asked phone companies to block more than a dozen social media outlets in order to limit hate speech and ‘fake news’. It includes Facebook, Twitter,WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Duo, Google Plus, among others.”

Nieman Lab: The Washington Post on Reddit surprises users with its non-promotional, ultra helpful presence. “Democracy dies in dankness. That’s not a typo in the Washington Post’s Reddit profile: The Washington Post account is an avid poster of some pretty good memes and gifs. It’s got jokes. It’s also a sharer of everything from polling stories to breaking national security stories to lifestyle columns to geeky features to fact-checks, and a facilitator of, and participant in, AMAs. The official publisher account has been live since April of this year, shortly after the platform began allowing public profiles, and appears to have broken through Reddit’s tough anti-brand, anti-paywall shell.”

The Next Web: Twitter games are the best use of the new 280 character limit. “Some genius Twitter users are already using the expanded 280 character limit on Twitter in the best way: by playing games using emoji. Bryan Menegus of Gizmodo and Jack Crosbie played what might be one of the first full games of chess entirely on Twitter (Menegus won with a checkmate). The grid and pieces were represented by Unicode characters roughly analogous to a grid board.”


The Telegraph: EU closes in on Google as it prepares second antitrust fine. “The EU is preparing to fine Google over its multi-billion dollar advertising empire as a high-profile investigation into its Android operating system is pushed back to next year. Europe’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager is gearing up to hit the web giant with an antitrust penalty over AdSense, its powerful advertising network, with a decision expected in the next few weeks.”


MIT Technology Review: AI Could Help Reporters Dig Into Grassroots Issues Once More. “Last year’s divisive American presidential race highlighted the extent to which mainstream media outlets were out of touch with the political pulse of the country. Deb Roy, the director of the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab, says part of the problem is that many local news operations are being closed or hollowed out because of economic pressures, depriving national newsrooms of valuable grassroots insights.”

Lauren Weinstein: Facebook’s Staggeringly Stupid and Dangerous Plan to Fight Revenge Porn. “I’m old enough to have seen a lot of seriously stupid ideas involving the Internet. But no matter how incredibly asinine, shortsighted, and nonsensical any given concept may be, there’s always room for somebody to come up with something new that drives the needle even further into the red zone of utterly moronic senselessness. And the happy gang over at Facebook has now pushed that poor needle so hard that it’s bent and quivering in total despair.” Good morning, Internet…

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