Neolithic Stone Balls, Illuminated Manuscripts, Google, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, June 25, 2018


Live Science: Enigmatic Stone Balls from 5,000 Years Ago Continue to Baffle Archaeologists. “Archaeologists still don’t know the original purpose or meaning of the Neolithic stone balls, which are recognized as some of the finest examples of Neolithic art found anywhere in the world. But now, they’ve created virtual 3D models of the gorgeous balls, primarily to share with the public. In addition, the models have revealed some new details, including once-hidden patterns in the carvings on the balls.”


British Library: A midsummer milestone. “To mark midsummer, that most magical of days, we have another exciting update from The Polonsky Foundation England and France Project. In a ground-breaking collaboration, the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France have now digitised and published online 600 out of the selected 800 manuscripts. The remaining 200 manuscripts will be made available later this year. To get an idea of the range of manuscripts included so far, we have compiled a list (available in PDF and Excel formats) containing shelfmarks and titles, along with links to view the manuscripts in either Digitised Manuscripts at the BL or Archives et manuscrits at the BnF.”

Google Blog: Get verified to manage your presence on Google. “When you search for well-known people, organizations and things on Google, you’ll often come across a Knowledge Panel on the results page—a box with an overview of key information and links to resources to help you go deeper. Individuals and organizations with Knowledge Panels can use our verification process to claim their panels and provide authoritative feedback on the information and images presented. Now we’re updating that process as well as extending verification eligibility to more entities.”

TechCrunch: parent company acquires Atavist . “Atavist has been working on a content management system for independent bloggers and writers. With an Atavist website, you can easily write and publish stories with a ton of media. You might think that this isn’t particularly groundbreaking as anyone can create a website on or Squarespace and do the same thing. But the company also lets you create a paywall and build a subscription base.”


How-To Geek: How to Get Started Tracking Social Media Analytics with Free Tools. “If you’re looking to get started with social media analytics, finding a service that lets you get a feel for how it works without having to pay a monthly fee can be a challenge. Here are some options to get started.”

Lifehacker: How to Get Started in Google’s New Podcasts App. “Google Podcasts covers all the basics in a quick and compelling way. It’s nowhere near as full-featured as a podcast app like Pocket Casts, but it’s a great option if you don’t want to deal with a lot of setup or are just getting started in the magical world of podcasting. Also, it’s free; you can’t go wrong with free.”


The Guardian: How did some of cinema’s greatest films end up in an Iowa shed?. “Michael Zahs thinks of himself as a saver. ‘I like to save things,’ he says, ‘especially if it looks like they’re too far gone.’ This retired history teacher from Iowa, now in his 70s, has amassed quite a collection over the years: stray animals, farm implements, even a church steeple. He can trace the lineage of the peach trees in his yard back to 1800. Nothing he has saved, however, has been quite as remarkable as the Brinton Collection – a mammoth set of films, lantern slides, posters and projection equipment from the first years of cinema, and even earlier.”

CNBC: Meet the man whose job it is to reassure people that Google search isn’t evil. “The week Danny Sullivan started working at Google’s headquarters in Mountain, California, he felt like someone was going to throw him off campus. He noticed a handful of double takes as he walked around unattended and would half-jokingly start meetings by assuring other participants of his good intentions.”


Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Girlfriend cried, pleaded for end to fatal YouTube stunt, video and transcripts show. “A pregnant Monalisa Perez cried and pleaded with her boyfriend several times to put a stop to a YouTube stunt, but the man urged her on, eventually dying after she fired a gun at him as he held an encyclopedia in front of his chest.” … and she got six months in jail. Police DID NOT, of course, release the video of the shooting itself.


CNET: Adobe AI learns to spot the photo fakery Photoshop makes easy. “Photoshop fakery is getting more and more sophisticated, but Adobe Systems is using AI to detect when it’s happened. Plenty of photo editing is no big deal, but in some situations — for example, photojournalism, viral photos of politicians or celebrities and forensic evidence used by law enforcement — you might want a better idea of what’s true or not.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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