Tattoos in Japan, White House, Internet Archive, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, June 6, 2018


Japan Times: In tattoo-taboo Japan, new website offers helping hand for those with ink. “In tattoo-taboo Japan, those who are inked-up have received a helping hand — in both English and Japanese — with the launch of a new website that offers information about tattoo-friendly hot springs and other locations nationwide. Launched last week, the Tattoo Friendly website lists more than 600 hotels, ryokan (inns), onsen (hot springs), sentō (public baths), gyms, pools and beaches across the country, rating them by how open they are to those sporting tattoos.”

PR Newswire: “White House Experience” App Launches Today – Offers First Ever Tours of White House and President’s Neighborhood (PRESS RELEASE). “The White House Historical Association is pleased announce its new free mobile application for both iOS and Android which offers, for the first time ever, virtual educational tours of the White House and surrounding President’s Neighborhood. The app features three separate tour experiences for in-person visitors and those who want to learn about the White House from afar. The app also includes a Presidential Look-Alike feature that allows users to take a selfie to find out which president or first lady they most resemble based on portraits of presidents and first ladies in the White House collection.”


Internet Archive: Internet Archive, Code for Science and Society, and California Digital Library to Partner on a Data Sharing and Preservation Pilot Project. “Research and cultural heritage institutions are facing increasing costs to provide long-term public access to historically valuable collections of scientific data, born-digital records, and other digital artifacts. With many institutions moving data to cloud services, data sharing and access costs have become more complex. As leading institutions in decentralization and data preservation, the Internet Archive (IA), Code for Science & Society (CSS) and California Digital Library (CDL) will work together on a proof-of-concept pilot project to demonstrate how decentralized technology could bolster existing institutional infrastructure and provide new tools for efficient data management and preservation.”

TechCrunch: GitLab’s high-end plans are now free for open source projects and schools. “The fact that Microsoft is buying GitHub has left a lot of developers with a deep feeling of unease and a lot of them are now looking for alternatives. One of those is GitLab and that company has decided to strike the iron while it’s hot. To attract even more developers to its platform, GitLab today announced that its premium self-hosted GitLab Ultimate plan and its hosted Gold plan are now available for free to open source projects and educational institutions.”

Engadget: Google’s Lens AI camera is now a standalone app. “Google has made good on its promise to release a standalone Lens app in the Play Store. The feature is already integrated on most Android phones, and the app doesn’t come with any new features, so really it just serves as a quick launch for the platform. It’s only available on devices with Marshmallow and above, and already many users are reporting that it’s not working properly on some devices, but hey, it’s Lens.”


TechCo: 5 Tools to Help You Search the Archived Internet . “Anything that’s low tech is dismissed as ‘from the stone age,’ but stone is by far the most stable way to record information. Not only will the hard drives and networked routers of today never last a thousand years, but plenty of information online won’t even last the decade. As local newspapers or long-in-the-tooth startups go under, they all leave dead links scattered across the internet, constantly replaced with fresh links that will themselves eventually die. Wow, sorry, didn’t mean to get too dark there. My point is, memories that you might want to keep are increasingly likely to exist only on the internet — rambling G-Chat conversations with your best friend, say, or your first WordPress blog. If you want to preserve, protect, or search through your online footprint, read on to learn which five online tools can best help you comb through the archived internet.”


Chicago Magazine: How the Obsidian Collection Is Bringing Black Newspapers to Google. “Digitizing legacy. That’s the job of the curators behind The Obsidian Collection – archivists for The Chicago Defender, Baltimore Afro American and other historically black newspapers in the United States. Their task is massive: digitize every image and article from newspapers that played a central role in the Great Migration, Civil Rights and Jim Crow eras. But they won’t have to do it all alone. Google Arts & Culture is working with the Obsidian group on creating digital exhibits that can be free and searchable by anyone around the world.”

Museum-iD: Unpacking 263,000 visitor photos at the Royal Ontario Museum. “In a little over 4 years we have aggregated just over a quarter of a million photos shared by our visitors. 263,693 photos as of January 25th, 2018 to be exact. That is a lot user generated content (UGC) but is any of it meaningful? Can we use this as a data source to inform decision making? Are selfies really the scourge of the museum world like they are made out to be or are more people taking (collecting) photos of artifacts? Is there a benefit to encouraging visitors to share their photos? Do we need to incorporate digital engagement experiences into our exhibitions, or can we be more reactive? Below I’ll dig into these ideas and attempt to extract some meaningful information from this lot of UGC.”

Gizmodo: FCC Emails Show Agency Spread Lies to Bolster Dubious DDoS Attack Claims. “As it wrestled with accusations about a fake cyberattack last spring, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) purposely misled several news organizations, choosing to feed journalists false information, while at the same time discouraging them from challenging the agency’s official story.”


Facebook Research: All about that bass: exploring auditory perception using a meme. “We de-identified and aggregated public comment threads from people in English speaking countries from May 15th to the 18th that mentioned both ‘Laurel’ and ‘Yanny.’ The assumption is that if a thread includes both words, it’s probably discussing that audio file. We then looked at the percent of comments mentioning either ‘Laurel’ or ‘Yanny,’ but not both. Overall, most comments mention “Laurel” (which turns out to be the original word in that clip). But the story gets even more interesting when we segment by age and gender.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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