afternoonbuzz

Canada Politics, Broadway Reviews, National Recording Registry, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, March 21, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

PublicNow: Political Donations Database Allows Canadians To Follow The Money (PRESS RELEASE). “Postmedia Network Inc. (‘Postmedia’) today announced the launch of the Follow the Money project, a database of political donations that brings together records from all provinces and territories in one easy-to-search tool – a first of its kind in Canada. To bring real transparency to political financing, Postmedia’s 2017 Michelle Lang Fellow, reporter Zane Schwartz, spent a year tracking and gathering more than six million donation records that add up to a sum of about $2 billion. He then worked with data analytics experts at Qlik to develop simple apps to make the records searchable.”

Variety: Broadway Critics Launch New Site for Theater Reviews. “There’s a new place for New York theater reviews. Those aren’t words you expect to hear these days, not as traditional media outlets scale back their theater coverage and more and more critics lose their full-time posts. But now a group of longtime reviewers — all veterans of city papers — has banded together to create New York Stage Review, a website that’s pushing back against criticism’s demise.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Library of Congress: National Recording Registry Reaches 500. “Tony Bennett’s hit single, ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’; the Latin beat of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine’s 1987 ‘Rhythm is Gonna Get You’; the timeless soundtrack of ‘The Sound of Music’; Run-DMC’s 1986 crossover hit album ‘Raising Hell’; and radio coverage of the birth of the U.N. have been honored for their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the American soundscape. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today named these recordings and 20 other titles to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress as aural treasures worthy of preservation.” Including Chic’s LE FREAK. As an unashamed fan of disco, I am positively giddy.

LinkedIn: Introducing Ask for a Referral: Making It Easier to Find Your Way In. “If you’ve had your eye on a specific role or have always wanted to work for a particular company, referrals are one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. In fact, the #1 way that job seekers have reported first discovering a job, was through someone they knew. Not that surprising as nearly 50% of recruiters say referrals are the leading source of quality hires. And once you’ve asked for one and applied for the job, you’re 4X more likely to hear back from a recruiter at that company. Long story short – it’s important to know who in your network can help you find your next role – and how to reach out.”

The Next Web: YouTube now lets you livestream straight from your webcam. “YouTube is making it easier for you to broadcast a livestream right from your desktop with a handy new update to its site. Instead of fiddling with an encoder app, you’ll only need Chrome and a webcam. Simply visit youtube.com/webcam, or click on the ‘Go live’ button in the site’s header, and you’ll be able to fire up your stream in seconds.”

USEFUL STUFF

Moz: A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up and Growing Your YouTube Presence. “When was the last time you saw a video on YouTube? I bet you’ve seen one today. YouTube is too huge and too popular for marketers to ignore. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, now’s the time to start one. If you have a channel and you never got it off the ground, now’s the time to take action. This article will take you through the process of setting up your YouTube presence, listing steps, tools, and important tips to get you started and moving forward.” This is one of those great and maddening articles where you realize that you haven’t been thinking about everything you need to think about.

MakeUseOf: How to Cleanly Extract Text From Images on Your Computer Screen. “If you have any experience with computers, you’ve probably heard of Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This important procedure takes images that have text in them and extracts that text into an editable form. For instance, Google uses OCR to scan old books and make them available digitally through Google Books. But OCR can be useful to you as a home user too. Let’s take a quick look at an app that makes it easy.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Techdirt: Crowdfunded OpenSCHUFA Project Wants To Reverse-Engineer Germany’s Main Credit-Scoring Algorithm. “As well as asking people for monetary support, OpenSCHUFA wants German citizens to request a copy of their credit record, which they can obtain free of charge from SCHUFA. People can then send the main results — not the full record, and with identifiers removed — to OpenSCHUFA. The project will use the data to try to understand what real-life variables produce good and bad credit scores when fed into the SCHUFA system. Ultimately, the hope is that it will be possible to model, perhaps even reverse-engineer, the underlying algorithm.”

Washington Post: Calls for Facebook to testify to Congress are growing louder — and bipartisan. “Congressional calls for Facebook to testify on Capitol Hill grew louder and more bipartisan Monday, as lawmakers demanded that the tech giant explain how a data analytics firm that worked for President Trump’s campaign obtained names, ‘likes’ and other personal information on 50 million people.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Guardian: Facebook: is it time we all deleted our accounts?. “In a sense, Facebook’s defence to the Cambridge Analytica story was more damning than the story itself. Tracy Chou, a software engineer who has interned at Facebook and worked at a number of prominent Silicon Valley companies, agrees that there wasn’t a hack or breach of Facebook’s security. Rather, she explains, ‘this is the way that Facebook works’. The company’s business model is to collect, share and exploit as much user data as possible; all without informed consent. Cambridge Analytica may have violated Facebook’s terms of service, but Facebook had no safeguards in place to stop them.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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