Benjamin Franklin, BBC Sound Effects, Rolling Down a Hill, More: Thursday Buzz, April 19, 2018


Library of Congress: New Online: Benjamin Franklin Papers. “The papers of Benjamin Franklin at the Library of Congress have had almost as adventurous a life as Franklin had himself. They have been abandoned and recovered, cut up by a dressmaker to make patterns and used as collateral for debt. After surviving all of that, they narrowly escaped fiery destruction on a New York pier (more on this later). Now, in a technological development that would have fascinated Franklin, the Manuscript Division is pleased to announce that the papers have been digitized and made available on the Library of Congress website.”

Boing Boing: BBC sound effect archive posted online. “The BBC posted an online archive of many of its sound effects. The nature scenes and peculiar things of historical interests are wonderful, though the broad focus seems to be components for radio plays and the like: footsteps, actions, incidental moments.”

New Zealand Herald: Rotorua OGO downhill ball rolling track added to Google Street View. “Anyone can now get a taste of Rotorua’s famous OGO track before stepping foot into one of the attraction’s giant inflatable balls. This week, 360-degree panoramic images of the 250m double-lane straight track are being launched on Google Street View. The images were collected using the Google Street View Trekker – designed for use in locations only accessible by foot.” This is the deal where you get in something that looks like a hamster ball and get rolled down a hill.


Gulf Times: QNL, British Library sign agreement for digitisation. “Qatar Foundation vice chairperson and CEO HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani and the British Library chief executive Roly Keating on Tuesday signed an agreement that will see Qatar National Library (QNL) begin Phase 3 of its partnership with the British Library. The next phase, which will begin in January 2019, will allow QNL to continue digitising the British Library’s historical collections on the Arabian Gulf region.”

BetaNews: Password manager RememBear exits beta with official launch. “After around six months in beta — and two years in the making — the team behind the TunnelBear VPN tool has officially launched its password manager, RememBear. Vying for attention in an already somewhat crowded marketplace, RememBear takes a leaf out of TunnelBear’s book, and concentrates on offering functionality that’s simple to use.”

Neowin: Facebook is testing third-party news fact checking in India. “Facebook has come under fire for the spread of fake news enabled by its platform in recent months. The firm had announced a series of initiatives around the world to promote more accurate journalism. Today, the company is working on improving the accuracy of news shared on its platform in India. The firm will be partnering with BOOM, an independent third-party agency verified by the International Fact-Checking network which will be reviewing English articles and rating their accuracy.”


IrishCentral: The Great Famine Voices Roadshow breaking the silence over the Irish famine. “A million dead, a million fled was the old saying, but concern over igniting further strife in the present (a particular concern during the Troubles) kept a lid on most discussions of it. But now a new roadshow coming to the USA and Canada plans to give voice to the descendants of famine era Irish immigrants, many for the first time. Left glaringly unaddressed in many quarters, the wound stayed raw for decades after the disaster – which was the worst episode of mass starvation in 19 century Europe – traumatized all who lived through it.” Some of the information from this initiative will be stored in an online archive.

Tubefilter: People Are Paying As Much As $200 For Shoutouts From Social Media Stars . “Cameo offers a roster of more than 1,400 notable people, all of whom deliver custom messages to specified recipients. Each individual star sets the price of his or her own shoutouts. The Australian YouTube channel Ozzy Man Reviews, for example, has his messages available for $30 a pop, while big-time YouTube star Guava Juice is requesting $200 for his how-do-you-dos.”


TechCrunch: Facebook, Microsoft and others sign anti-cyberattack pledge . “Microsoft, Facebook and Cloudflare are among a group of technology firms that have signed a joint pledge committing publicly not to assist offensive government cyberattacks. The pledge also commits them to work together to enhance security awareness and the resilience of the global tech ecosystem.”

Mashable: Civil servant fired for criticising government on Twitter wins case. “Civil servants in Australia can criticise the country’s government on Twitter, so long as they do it under a fake name and outside of work. That’s the latest result in the case of a former employee of Australia’s immigration department, Michaela Banerji, who was sacked for misconduct in 2013 after posting anonymous tweets that were highly critical of her department and the government’s refugee policy.”

JD Supra: Pennsylvania Superior Court Adopts New Standard for Social Media Evidence. “In Commonwealth v. Mangel, 2018 WL 1322179 (March 15, 2018), the Pennsylvania Superior Court adopted a standard for authenticating social media posts under Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence 901. The Court held that ‘the proponent of social media evidence must present direct or circumstantial evidence that tends to corroborate the identity of the author of the communication in question, such as testimony from the person who sent or received the communication, or contextual clues in the communication tending to reveal the identity of the sender.'”


Monday Note: Mark Zuckerberg’s long game: the next billion. “Unbeknownst to those who grilled Mark Zuckerberg for ten hours last week, in building N°20 at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, any visitor could see large posters bearing three words that sound like a rallying cry: The Next Billion. It is both a rallying cry and a slogan. In large part, it sums up Facebook’s long-term strategy.” Good morning, Internet…

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