Upstate New York, Google Kits, Endangered Historical Sites, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, April 17, 2018


North Country Public Radio: North Country at Work launches photo and story archive. “Have you ever seen a picture of a 600-pound sturgeon? How about an 1890s butter plant, or a mail boat making the rounds on Cranberry Lake? Those are the sorts of things you’ll find in our freshly launched North Country at Work website, a place built to explore the photos and stories we’ve been collecting from around the region for the last few years.” North Country in this case appears to be way way way upstate New York, not far from the Canadian border.


CNET: Google includes a Raspberry Pi in a DIY smart speaker kit. “Google wants to make it easier than ever to build your own smart home gadgets. The search giant’s latest kits hit Target stores this month and include everything you need to make either a smart speaker similar to a Google Home or a smart home camera that can recognize faces and expressions.”

The Verge: Google will help preserve endangered historical sites in virtual reality. “Google has partnered with 3D laser scanning nonprofit CyArk to help preserve historical sites around the world that are at risk of irreversible damage or total erasure due to human conflict and natural disasters. The joint effort, called the Open Heritage project, will use CyArk’s laser-scanning technology to capture all the relevant data at a historical site needed to re-create it virtually, so it can be preserved and explored online either on a computer, through a mobile device, or while wearing a virtual reality headset.”

ACRL TechConnect: Introducing Omeka S . “My library has used Omeka as part of our suite of platforms for creating digital collections and exhibits for many years now. It’s easy to administer and use, and many of our students, particularly in history or digital humanities, learn how to create exhibits with it in class or have experience with it from other institutions, which makes it a good solution for student projects. This creates challenges, however, since it’s been difficult to have multiple sites or distributed administration…. This problem goes away with Omeka S, which is the new and completely rebuilt Omeka.”


Reuters: Philippines complains Facebook fact-checkers are biased. “The Philippines government criticized on Monday Facebook’s (FB.O) choice of two independent online news platforms to help fight the spread of fake news, saying they are biased against President Rodrigo Duterte.”


Forbes: These Ex-Spies Are Harvesting Facebook Photos For A Massive Facial Recognition Database. “When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, he tried to describe the difference between ‘surveillance and what we do.’ … But not a single member of the committee pushed the billionaire CEO about surveillance companies who exploit the data on Facebook for profit. Forbes has uncovered one case that might shock them: over the last five years a secretive surveillance company founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer has been quietly building a massive facial recognition database consisting of faces acquired from the giant social network, YouTube and countless other websites. Privacy activists are suitably alarmed.”

Gizmodo: Cops in Wales Caught a Drug Dealer by IDing His Fingerprint from a WhatsApp Photo. “Police in Wales managed to arrest and convict a drug dealer by identifying his fingerprint from a photo posted on WhatsApp, a technique that the local law enforcement is calling ‘groundbreaking,’ according to the BBC.”

Mashable: TaskRabbit notifies users of ‘cybersecurity incident,’ shuts down service. “On Monday, TaskRabbit notified users about a ‘cybersecurity incident,’ and advised users to change their passwords. The crowdsourced chore company also took its app and service totally offline while working out the issue.”


Wired: How Russian Facebook Ads Divided And Targeted US Voters Before The 2016 Election. “WHEN YOUNG MIE Kim began studying political ads on Facebook in August of 2016—while Hillary Clinton was still leading the polls— few people had ever heard of the Russian propaganda group, Internet Research Agency. Not even Facebook itself understood how the group was manipulating the platform’s users to influence the election. For Kim, a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the goal was to document the way the usual dark money groups target divisive election ads online, the kind that would be more strictly regulated if they appeared on TV. She never knew then she was walking into a crime scene.

EurekAlert: Motivation for using fake Instagram (Finsta) is not to reveal inappropriate self . “As Instagram is viewed as a place for building the ideal self, some users have created fake Instagram (Finsta) accounts to buck this trend. But are these ‘fake’ accounts really there to express the real, sometimes ugly self, or is there a deeper motivation? A recent study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, found that users align their real Instagram accounts (Rinsta) with their actual self and to escape from reality, whereas Finsta to foster social bonding.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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