Digital Trends: SnowSearch wants to be your one-stop shop for booking ski trips. “Planning the perfect skiing or snowboarding trip can get very complicated. Not only do you need to organize transportation to and from the destination, but you also have to book accommodations at a resort, purchase lift tickets, and figure out how to get all of your gear safely to the hill. That can lead to a lot of moving parts to keep organized, making the entire process a bigger hassle than it needs to be. But a new website promises to make it easier than ever to plan your winter escapes this year, serving as a one-stop-shop for making the ultimate ski vacation a reality.”
Lifehacker: This iPhone App Tracks How Long You Spend on Social Media. “Over the past few months, a few of my friends have opted to delete Facebook and Twitter off their phones in an attempt to curb their social media use. It’s a strategy that has helped them cut down on how much they use both, but it’s also made them miss out on invites to events and other things because they’re not looking at it all. It would be better to find a medium of some sort.”
Make Tech Easier: 8 of the Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Visio. “Microsoft Visio is a powerful piece of software, allowing IT professionals, business people, engineers, and others working in highly technical fields to map out and display complex information in the form of flowcharts, site plans, floor plans, diagrams and more. Useful though all this is, the price point is well beyond what the average home user is willing to spend at $300 for the ‘Standard’ version and $590 for the Pro version.”
The Daring Librarian: 15 Librarians To Follow On Instagram +5 More! . “While reading this article, I discovered several new Librarians to follow- which is always exciting! Seeing how other Librarians share the amazing things that happen every day in their schools and world is always inspiring and invigorating. This list is great for that!”
AM NY: How to stream New Year’s Eve celebrations from home. “If you’re celebrating the end of 2017 from home but you don’t have cable, you can still join in on the festivities from your computer or phone. There are plenty of shows this year, including ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,’ ‘New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey’ and special New Year’s Eve-themed talk shows from Carson Daly and Seth Meyers.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
CBS News: The manuscripts saved by a monk . “City by city, page by page, Father Columba Stewart is preserving history. The Benedictine monk has spent more than a decade traveling to some of the world’s most dangerous regions to find and preserve ancient manuscripts before they are destroyed. The centuries-old works — historical manuscripts and antique religious books — are at risk for a few reasons. Sometimes it’s moisture eroding the hand-written pages; sometimes it’s a calculated attack to erase a cultural heritage.”
Atlas Obscura: The Most Amazing Archival Treasures That Were Digitized This Year. “In 2017 alone, the National Archives added 17.1 million digital files (texts, images, sound recordings, and films) to its online catalog. When Atlas Obscura asked Miriam Kleinman, their Program Director for Public Affairs, for a highlight from the year, the digitization team was spoiled for choice. ‘Having to pick one,’ they reported, ‘is like picking your favorite child.’ From these archives and others, Atlas Obscura has a selection of items that made their digital debuts this year.”
New York Times: At Vice, Cutting-Edge Media and Allegations of Old-School Sexual Harassment. “as Vice Media has built itself from a fringe Canadian magazine into a nearly $6 billion global media company, its boundary-pushing culture created a workplace that was degrading and uncomfortable for women, current and former employees say. An investigation by The New York Times has found four settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation against Vice employees, including its current president.” I have linked to Vice/Motherboard stories multiple times in the past, and therefore feel I should include this story.
The Guardian: Death of magazines ‘overplayed’ as titles bid to fight Facebook effect. “‘It is too early to call the death of magazines,’ said Adam Smith, a director at WPP-owned Group M. ‘The decline in ad investment is disproportionate to the loss of magazine circulation. This is regrettable and probably not based on the evidence. The single biggest factor [in magazine ad decline] is probably the growth of Facebook. Google and Facebook both continue to grow strongly, and Facebook has been remarkable and is affecting every medium.’ The Silicon Valley giants already account for 65% of the $6.5bn spent on digital display ads in the UK annually, according to eMarketer. This dominance is eating into a market that is the lifeblood for publishers seeking a digital future for their traditional print brands.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
Warning: this has an f-bomb in it. But it’s good information and a really good point. From The Next Web: Your bank is probably using phishing tactics on you. “Perhaps this doesn’t raise red flags for you. Perhaps this seems completely normal. Here I have a person from a totally unknown number calling me asking for my most secret information. This is a phishing scam, right? No, this is the FRAUD DEPARTMENT of my bank calling me. They’re just behaving exactly like a phishing scammer.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
Phys.org: Twitter + Citizen Science + AI = improved flood data collection . “Researchers from the University of Dundee are combining Twitter, citizen science and cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to develop an early-warning system for flood-prone communities. Dr. Roger Wang and his colleagues from the University’s School of Science and Engineering have shown how AI can be used to extract data from Twitter and crowdsourced information from mobile phone apps to build up hyper-resolution monitoring of urban flooding. They believe this is the first time that Computer Vision has been applied to flooding issues.”
Salon: How to save the internet . “In late October, Ajit Pai, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, proudly announced, ‘We’ve been energetic in advancing the public interest…over the past nine months, the Commission has voted on 63 items at our monthly meetings, compared to 103 in the preceding three years.’ It now surpasses 70. This certainly has been a busy year for the FCC. But Pai is dead wrong that this flurry of activity has been done to advance the public interest. Indeed, as one might expect from a man who once worked for telecom giant Verizon, Pai has directed an unprecedented abdication by the FCC of its responsibility to protect the public welfare.” Good morning, Internet…
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