Iran Cinema, FOIA, Armenian Genocide, More: Monday Buzz, March 12, 2018


MEHR News Agency: FIFF36 to launch Cicinema, new digital encyclopedia on Iranian Cinema. “A new digital encyclopedia on Iranian Cinema called ‘Cicinema’ will be launched concurrent with the start of the 36th edition of Fajr International Film Festival (FIFF36) in April. The announcement was made by the creator of the website Iraj Taghipour… ‘We collected and archived data on 4,000 feature films which is roughly the total number of films produced in Iran thus far. We also collected and archived information on 6,500 short films. The website now has a comprehensive database on about 10,500 Iranian movies in total.'”

FCW: DOJ launches one-stop shop for FOIA requests. “The Department of Justice launched its one-stop shop for users to submit online Freedom of Information Act requests across government. The FOIA process has long been criticized as frustrating and even broken, and the number of FOIA requests spiked during fiscal year 2016 before reaching an all-time high in fiscal year 2017.”

PR Newswire: USC Shoah Foundation Adds Large Collection of Armenian Genocide Testimony to its Archive (PRESS RELEASE). “USC Shoah Foundation has received one of the largest collections of testimonies from survivors of the Armenian Genocide that were recorded over decades by Dr. Richard Hovannisian, a leading scholar on the World War I-era genocide. The Richard G. Hovannisian Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection will officially be announced as a part of the Visual History Archive at a ceremony on Friday. The more than 1,000 interviews will constitute the largest non-Holocaust-related collection to be integrated into the Institute’s Visual History Archive. It will also be the Archive’s first audio-only collection.” Only ten are available at the moment. The rest need to be digitized and indexed.

New-to-me: “Kodrinsky,” on Flickr, has created an online album of over 1100 NBA court designs. Wow. Hover your mouse over the image to get a line of information about a particular court design – you don’t have to click through to get that information.


State Scoop: Washington, D.C., launches ‘Crime Cards’ search tool. “Washington, D.C., has released a new tool for exploring the its crime data, city officials announced in a presentation before the press on Friday. The new tool is called Crime Cards and replaces a crime map originally developed by the city in 2006. The new tool was developed as responsive website to be more easily accessible on mobile devices and uses a fill-in-the-blanks format for finding the wanted information.”

TechCrunch: Facebook launches AR effects tied to real-world tracking markers. “Facebook’s augmented reality camera is evolving beyond selfie masks and randomly placed 3D objects to using location markers in the real world that trigger AR experiences in a precise location. Spotted today, Facebook confirms to TechCrunch that it’s testing the feature in closed beta with promotions for the upcoming Ready Player One and Wrinkle In Time films. And in April, it plans to add tracker-based AR to its AR Studio tool open to all developers.”

Music Week: Google puts artists centre stage on search. “Google has made an update to its search functionality that increases the presence of artists with a wide range of updates including from social channels. When fans search for artists with a Google Knowledge Panel, the results will include updates directly from official social media accounts.”


Business Insider: How the photographers behind the Women’s March are capturing and archiving history. “‘To learn from history, you must learn from the photos,’ said Sarah Matheson, a documentary photographer and volunteer digital asset management strategist for Women’s March Chicago. Today, the organization is determined to raise voices for marginalized women across the city. It’s Matheson’s job to not only photograph and document every moment, but also to make sure photos and videos are stored properly and safely so that history is preserved.”

The Stranger: Facebook Discloses Hundreds of Ads Aimed at Seattle’s Last Election. “Today, two weeks after Google moved to comply with Seattle’s unique law on political ad transparency, Facebook delivered what it’s calling ‘supplemental information’ to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission. ‘Supplemental,’ because back on February 2, the company, in its first attempt at complying with local law, offered the Ethics and Elections Commission a seriously flawed and far-too-minimalist spreadsheet relating to Facebook ads that targeted this city’s 2017 municipal elections.”


Lovin Malta: It’s Official: You Can Now Get Your Online Court Judgments Deleted [Malta]. “Pandora’s Box risks getting opened now that Justice Minister Owen Bonnici has confirmed people are allowed to request the deletion of their court records from the online database. This tool only became public today after it was successfully applied by a newly minted lawyer to delete a 2010 criminal sentence that conditionally discharged her for stealing a credit card. However, Bonnici said the tool has actually been in place since he was appointed minister 2014 and has been successfully applied around 12 times.” Just to be clear: this is MALTA, not the US.


Universitat Oberta de Catalunya: Crisis Management through Twitter: The Case of the Barcelona Attacks. “This article explores how the Government of Catalonia managed the emergency scenario during terrorists attacks of August 2017 (from 17th to 22nd ) in Barcelona. Twitter was used for public services, Mossos d’Esquadra (the police force of Catalonia) and the Government of Catalonia Civil Defence, as an essential tool to broadcast information, secure people’s security and drive the investigation. We gathered the network of Twitter posts and interactions, with tens of thousands of users, who helped spreading the information, and applied a social network analysis (SNA) methodology to conclude how those users contribute on the crisis management. In this investigation, we have focused on two questions: How does information diffusion spread during this crisis? And who are the actors that contribute to the expansion? This article aims to inform and explore how public services can use social media to handle crisis of any kind, taking advantage of citizens for spreading information that could contribute to a safer and quicker crisis resolution.” The article is a PDF and is in English.

SFGate: After using Facebook and Twitter for more than 10 years, I quit both — here’s why. “Twitter’s chronological timeline was an excellent way of presenting the world as an ongoing stream of mass consciousness. Was it messy? Sure! Was it occasionally hard to navigate? Absolutely. But changing the feed wasn’t intended to fix those things, but to surface content to keep you more interested and make you less likely to bounce off and check a different app. Never mind that it undercuts the entire premise of Twitter — what matters is that you’re staying longer. That the experience is worse is beside the point.” Good morning, Internet…

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