Alberta Flora, Virginia Humanities, Snapchat, More: Wednesday Buzz, November 29, 2017


University of Calgary: Digital collection of Alberta flora launched at University of Calgary. “Understanding global change in living systems requires knowledge of baseline biodiversity. Thanks to a collaborative project between the University of Calgary’s herbarium and Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR), a new digital resource collection of every species in the flora of Alberta is now available to researchers and naturalists across the globe.”

The Zebra: VFH Announces The Launch Of Discovery Virginia. “On Monday, November 20, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) launched one of the nation’s first digital repositories created by a humanities council to preserve its own content. Titled Discovery Virginia, the digital archive contains more than 6,000 of VFH’s preserved assets and projects since the organization’s founding in 1974. ”


Ubergizmo: Snapchat Launches New Contextual Filters. “Snapchat’s eagerness to embrace augmented reality technology for use in their app is hardly a secret. In fact while AR tech isn’t exactly new, you could almost say that Snapchat help popularize it, leading to a rise in AR-based filters and apps that we see today. Just recently the company has launched a bunch of new filters that are pretty ‘smart’.”

TechCrunch: AWS launches Amazon Sumerian to build AR, VR and 3D apps quickly. “We’d heard months ago that Amazon would be using its Re:Invent AWS event to roll out some a new service related to building in mixed reality — augmented reality and virtual reality. And on the eve of the conference kicking off, it’s done just that. Today the company announced Amazon Sumerian, a new platform for developers to build and host VR, AR and 3D apps quickly and with minimal coding, for smartphones and tablets, head-based displays, digital signage and web browsers.”

CNET: Tumblr CEO and founder resigns from company. “David Karp, the founder and CEO of social network Tumblr, has resigned. The move comes in the aftermath of Verizon’s deal to buy Yahoo earlier this year, which resulted in the creation of Oath. Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013.”


Lifehacker: How to Filter Fake Evernote Spam Out of Your Gmail Inbox. “Evernote has a bit of a malware problem. For the past few years (starting in early 2014) spammers have been sending fake emails that claim to come from the note-organizing service but include links to install malicious software on your computer.” I didn’t even know Evernote malware email was a thing.

Practical Ecommerce: 13 New Video Tools in Social Media. “Social media platforms continue releasing tools to generate and distribute videos, to help users reach new followers and build their communities. Here is a list of new and updated video tools for social media. There are tools for live streaming, collaborating with others, distributing content, editing, and shooting 360 degree video.” Decent roundup.

Digital Trends: The best video chat apps to help you stay in touch. “With the introduction of smartphones touting front-facing cameras, a slew of tools for video chatting soon found their way to mobile devices. Many tech companies have even gone so far as to include their own proprietary chat clients in their products. Though, like any popular service, there also exists an array of third-party offerings available on both iOS and Android. Here are our favorite video-chat apps for streaming your beautiful mug.”


iWILL Radio: Like It Or Not: How Facebook Reshaped Political Campaigns In Illinois. “Facebook is facing tough questions in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. Did Russians use social media to sway the election? Why is there so much fake news? Why isn’t Facebook more transparent? Similar questions are being asked here in Illinois, where Facebook has already reshaped political campaigns by offering candidates a cheap way to get their message out. Facebook has also significantly increased its campaign contributions to Illinois lawmakers in 2017, doling out $92,000 to dozens of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle—almost all of it within the last two months.” Interesting read.

Quartz: Cameroon has restricted internet access for more than 150 days in 2017. “For almost two months now, Cameroon’s government has restricted access to social media and messaging apps in its Anglophone regions, adding to the already simmering tensions in the country.”

University of Pennsylvania: Tweeting the Medieval. “It began with a line from a medieval encyclopedia. Fewer than 140 characters typed into Twitter, it was an academic exercise to grapple with an overwhelmingly dense tome. Emily Steiner, a professor of English, was deeply skeptical of the social media site. But late that night nearly three years ago as she struggled with research for a book, her husband, also a professor, suggested she tweet out a few quotes from the manuscript and review them in the morning, saying he suspected there was a scholarly audience on Twitter that might support her in her research and writing.” Interesting, thoughtful story.


Popular Science: A psychologist explains why those Facebook product ads are so darn compelling . “You probably want to own a mattress you’ve seen advertised on Facebook. Or maybe it’s not a mattress you crave, maybe it’s that reinvented bra. It’s the wool shoes. It’s the super soft modal undies. It’s whatever ad (or 20) you’ve been targeted with for the past year. The product itself isn’t even relevant—it’s the marketing strategy that gets you.” Good morning, Internet…

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