Virtual Card Catalog, Photography Darkrooms, Irish News, More: Sunday Buzz, January 28, 2018


A big thanks to Paul J who sent me a heads-up on this. From the Library of Congress: Virtual Card Catalog Available Online . “As a child growing up in the 1970s, one of my most prized possessions was a Luke Skywalker action figure. He was the hero of my youth, and I was surprised to learn recently that Luke wasn’t always a Skywalker. He was originally a Starkiller. I found this shocking (to me) information while browsing the card catalog in the Copyright Reading Room that’s located in a large room in Washington, DC. Starting today, though, I can see that card from anywhere in the world. With the public release of the Virtual Card Catalog proof of concept, I can browse full-color scans of the cards in indexes from 1955–1970 and 1971–1977. That’s almost 18 million images.”

New-to-me: a list of public darkrooms for photograph development. So far this is a very tiny list. But I’m including it because a) photography is important and b) I’m sure these are difficult to find. The site also links to a more general list of darkrooms which includes private darkrooms and sharing requests.

Irish Times: From Dolores O’Riordan to Ground Zero: TG4 releases news archive. “An interview as Gaeilge with the late Dolores O’Riordan, reports from Ground Zero following the 2001 September 11th attacks and numerous local stories from around the country are among an extensive online digital archive of TG4 news bulletins launched in Dublin on Wednesday. Some 1,500 hours of broadcasting were digitised as part of the project including every news bulletin broadcast by TG4 from the date of its launch on October 31st 1996 to December 31st 2004.” TG4 is an Irish-language program and the video included with this story was all clips in Irish.


Digital Library of Georgia: African American Funeral Programs from the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System Collection Expanded. “Georgia HomePLACE, the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG), and the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System are pleased to announce the addition of over 10,000 digitized pages of African American funeral programs to the Augusta Public Library’s Eula M. Ramsey Johnson Memorial Funeral Program Collection. Spanning 1933-2017 and consisting of over 3,000 programs, the digital collection provides both a rich source of genealogical information and local history about the African American community. Programs are freely available online through the DLG.”


Hongkiat: How to Promote Your YouTube Channel at Zero Budget. “You may be producing awesome video content and running a great YouTube channel, but if you don’t go an extra mile to promote it, gaining new subscribers becomes a challenge. Think of it as a funnel. To become your subscriber, one has to find your video via YouTube search or through a referral link, they would watch it, and then if they find it interesting enough, they would subscribe to your channel.” Far more thorough and thoughtful than most articles like this (which is why I’m linking to it.)

Library of Congress: Digital Scholarship Resource Guide: Text analysis (part 4 of 7). “Clean OCR, good metadata, and richly encoded text open up the possibility for different kinds of computer-assisted text analysis. With instructions from humans (“code”), computers can identify information and patterns across large sets of texts that human researchers would be hard-pressed to discover unaided. For example, computers can find out which words in a corpus are used most and least frequently, which words occur near each other often, what linguistic features are typical of a particular author or genre, or how the mood of a plot changes throughout a novel. Franco Moretti describes this kind of analysis as ‘distant reading’, a play on the traditional critical method ‘close reading’. Distant reading implies not the page-by-page study of a few texts, but the aggregation and analysis of large amounts of data.”

Cosmopolitan: How to Stream the 2018 State of the Union Address Online. “President Donald Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address from the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. The televised speech will be simulcast on networks and cable stations across the country, but in the age of tablets and mobile phones, news outlets have also figured out several ways in which people can tune in online.”


ARTNews: Art Historian Sarah Lewis Is Helming the New Yorker’s Photo Instagram Account at the Moment. “Truth be told, that headline just about sums it up. But to expand a bit: for the next few days, art historian Sarah Lewis is posting images on the Instagram account of the New Yorker’s photo department that she uses in the class she teaches at Harvard University on ‘art, race, and justice.’ Lewis writes, ‘What I’ve done is forced myself to answer this question: What are 15 images that chronicle America’s journey toward a more inclusive level of citizenship?'”

Washington Post: Russians got tens of thousands of Americans to RSVP for their phony political events on Facebook. “Russian operatives used Facebook to publicize 129 phony event announcements during the 2016 presidential campaign, drawing the attention of nearly 340,000 users — many of whom said they were planning to attend — according to a company document released by the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday.”

Bloomberg Quint: Google in Race to Deflect More Fines as Shopping Foes Cry Foul. “Google faces a Sunday deadline to defend changes to its shopping service that left old foes clamoring for a new wave of European Union antitrust fines. Still smarting from last year’s record 2.4 billion euro ($3 billion) penalty, Google must submit the first report to the EU on how it has met a strict demand from regulators to give smaller competitors a fairer deal.”


Ars Technica: Now even YouTube serves ads with CPU-draining cryptocurrency miners. “YouTube was recently caught displaying ads that covertly leach off visitors’ CPUs and electricity to generate digital currency on behalf of anonymous attackers, it was widely reported. Word of the abusive ads started no later than Tuesday, as people took to social media sites to complain their antivirus programs were detecting cryptocurrency mining code when they visited YouTube. The warnings came even when people changed the browser they were using, and the warnings seemed to be limited to times when users were on YouTube.”


Digital Trends: Facial recognition has a race problem — here’s how Gyfcat is fixing that. “A couple years back, Google was embarrassed when its algorithms incorrectly labeled a black couple as ‘gorillas.’ Unable to stop its image-recognition algorithms working in this way, Google recently ‘fixed’ its them by removing ‘gorilla’ as a classification altogether. The maker of smart GIF search engine Gfycat recently took on a similar problem — but unlike Google, it did it in a way that didn’t just remove the image identification feature to pretend there was no problem.” Good morning, Internet…

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