Gospels of St. Augustine, New York City Landmarks, Russia Propaganda, More: Sunday Buzz, December 24, 2017


The Parker Library: Access to Matthew Parker’s library to be made widely accessible online in 2018!. “The oldest surviving illustrated Latin Gospel book, known as the Gospels of St. Augustine (MS 286) can soon be seen by anyone with an internet connection. On the 10th of January, 2018, this codex, along with a further 555 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts from the Parker Library will no longer require an institutional site license to access Parker on the Web.”

GCN: Mapping NYC’s historic landmarks. “For 52 years, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has worked to protect the city’s rich architectural and cultural heritage by designating historic districts and individual, scenic and interior landmarks. Through an update to the LPC’s interactive map, Discover NYC Landmarks, users will be able to view detailed information on nearly 34,000 historic buildings within the city’s 141 historic districts.”

Recode: Here’s how to check if you interacted with Russian propaganda on Facebook during the 2016 election. “Facebook has rolled out its new hub to help some users figure out if they interacted with Russian propaganda during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The social giant’s tool — available here, through its Help Center — specifically allows users to see if they followed or ‘Liked’ any pages and accounts set up by Kremlin-backed trolls on either Facebook or Instagram.” I would love to know the organic reach of the Russia-backed pages as compared to, say, a regular non-propaganda page. Wouldn’t you?


ZDNet: ​Opera just added a Bitcoin-mining blocker to its browser. “Norwegian browser maker Opera has launched the beta version of Opera 50, the first popular browser to integrate a built-in cryptocurrency-mining blocker. The feature offers a new defense against the rise of cryptojacking or browser-based cryptocurrency miners that use a site visitor’s CPU without gaining the owner’s consent.”

SEO Roundtable: SEO Snippets: Google Starts Up The Short Webmaster Videos Again. “I am so happy to see the announcement that Google is now starting up these short SEO/webmaster videos to answer one question at a time within a few minutes. Yes, they are similar to the style from ages ago when Matt Cutts and Michael Wyszomierski produced together. But these do seem a bit more polished, I guess time helps improve this stuff.”

TechCrunch: Amazon acquires connected camera and doorbell startup Blink. “Amazon has acquired Blink (via Slashgear), a startup founded in 2014 that builds connected Wi-Fi home security cameras, as well as a new video doorbell introduced earlier this week. The company got its start via a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $1 million for its totally wireless home monitoring system.” I’m mentioning this because it’s another way Amazon is positioning itself to go right up against Google.

AdAge: CNN Ends Its Snapchat Show. “CNN is ending its Snapchat daily news show come the end of the year. The news giant debuted ‘The Update’ in August – a daily show featuring news stories from CNN’s team around the world. But just four months after its debut, the show will go dark, according to a Snapchat spokeswoman, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.”


For a given value of useful, but hey, it’s almost Christmas Eve: How to track Santa Claus on Christmas Eve from any device. “The presents are wrapped, the tree is up, and the stockings will soon be hung by the chimney with care. There’s only one thing left to do: track Santa’s annual Christmas Eve voyage around the world from your PC, smartphone, or tablet. This year Santa’s departure time depends on which version of the Santa-tracking fun you’re following. Check out our explanations below for all the details.”


Justin O’Beirne: How far ahead of Apple Maps is Google Maps?. “Over the past year, we’ve been comparing Google Maps and Apple Maps in New York, San Francisco, and London—but some of the biggest differences are outside of large cities. Take my childhood neighborhood in rural Illinois.” This is crazy extensive. Well worth a read if you’re at all interested in Google Maps / Apple Maps.

Tennessean: How social media changes the way serpent handling pastors spread the gospel. “Social media can serve as a window into the lives of the latest generation of serpent handling pastors spreading the gospel throughout Appalachia. Author and journalist Julia C. Duin explores that idea in her newest book, ‘In the House of the Serpent Handler,’ which was published recently by The University of Tennessee Press.”


Quartz: What will happen now that net neutrality is gone? We asked the experts. “Quartz polled more than 20 academics, broadband companies, industry analysts, and non-profits to get their predictions for what the future will bring. Almost everyone agreed the full effects will take years to appear after the Dec. 14 party-line vote led by chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, to overturn the 2015 Open Internet Order, which codified net neutrality rules and asserted the FCC’s legal authority to regulate telecoms as common carriers under Title II.”


If I recall correctly, I have Wallace S to thank for the pointer to this editorial from Axios: How to fix Twitter’s verification problem. “Twitter’s approach to verified accounts deserves all the criticism it gets. Recent moves to halt new verifications — and even to remove previously granted blue check marks — will do little to reduce the hate speech, violent threats, and abuse that run rampant across the platform. Amid pressure to keep adding users, Twitter’s best approach can’t possibly be to eliminate rudimentary safeguards.” Quick but interesting. Good morning, Internet…

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