1940s New York Architecture, Isle of Man Newspapers, Google Photos, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, August 27, 2020


Brooklyn Paper: Park Sloper Maps Old Tax Photos On ‘1940s Street View’ Website. “A new website maps Depression-era tax photos of every building in the city, making it easier for researchers and history buffs to navigate several hundred thousand snapshots of buildings from 1940s New York City, according to the site’s Brooklyn creator.”


BBC: Isle of Man online newspaper archive to remain free permanently . “Thousands of newspapers documenting more than 150 years on the Isle of Man will remain available online for free permanently. A subscription service to view the items, which date from 1792 to 1960, was temporarily suspended by Manx National Heritage (MNH) during the Covid-19 lockdown in April.”

TechCrunch: Many Canon cameras can now automatically back up pictures to Google Photos. “Canon and Google today announced a new software integration that enables automatic Google Photos backup of pictures taken with select Canon cameras — a full list is available here, but it’s most of their recent interchangeable lens cameras dating back basically to when they started getting Wi-Fi on board.”

The Peninsula: Google CEO Sundar Pichai rules out buying TikTok. “Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said the company has no plans to acquire TikTok. During an interview on the podcast show Pivot Schooled, Pichai was asked whether Google was going to buy the popular video app. ‘We are not,’ he replied.”


From The New Yorker, with a caveat that you might find yourself wanting to punch something: Confessions of a Trump Troll. “‘I like chaos. I thrive in it’: a Georgia lawyer with too much time on his hands and ties to the G.O.P. describes how he used twenty fake Twitter accounts to disseminate political disinformation.”

Politico: Report: ‘Superspreaders’ of bogus health news racked up billions of views on Facebook. “Groups and pages that spread misleading health news attracted an estimated 3.8 billion views on Facebook in the past year, an activist group said in a report Wednesday — adding that those networks pushing bogus claims drew far more traffic than authoritative sources on topics like Covid-19. The report, published by the nonprofit activist group Avaaz, drew immediate scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers about the tech giant’s efforts to combat phony coronavirus news.”


Smithsonian Magazine: The Inside Story Of The $8 Million Heist From The Carnegie Library. “There are two types of people who frequent special collections that are open to the public: scholars who want to study something in particular, and others who just want to see something interesting. Both groups are often drawn to incunables. Books printed at the dawn of European movable type, between 1450 and 1500, incunables are old, rare and historically important. In short, an incunable is so valued and usually such a prominent holding that any thief who wanted to avoid detection would not steal one. The Oliver Room thief stole ten.”

CNET: License plate tracking for police set to go nationwide. “Police often rely on automatic license plate readers to track the movement of cars in their jurisdiction. A surveillance company’s new initiative looks to expand those capabilities nationwide. On Tuesday, Flock Safety, which makes a license plate reader, announced the ‘Total Analytics Law Officers Network,’ or TALON. The network looks to connect the 400 law enforcement agencies using its cameras, allowing agencies that opt in to view camera data from other regions.”

Sydney Morning Herald: Google moves to block movie piracy loophole. “Google Australia has agreed to banish hundreds more websites involved in the illegal downloading of movies and programs after pirates were able to bypass its initial attempts to remove them from search results. The tech giant agreed to voluntarily pull down websites engaging in piracy last year to help stop the spread of illegally downloaded material, a move which allowed copyright holders to avoid fighting the tech giant for an injunction in court.”


Tufts Now: The Case of the Reappearing Art . “On the rolling plateau along the border between Turkey and Armenia stand the ruins of the Cathedral of Ani, a magnificent building constructed between 989 and 1001 AD, along with many other long-abandoned churches in Ani, which was once called the City of 1,001 churches. Now thousand-year-old paintings are coming to life again on the cathedral’s walls, thanks to Christina Maranci, Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Professor of Armenian Art and Architecture at Tufts.”

JSTOR Daily: How to Meme What You Say . “In a socially distant world, online life for many people has become normal life. How we express ourselves on the internet has become more important as we lose the social signals of body language and facial expressions. Without handshakes, hugs, and in-person social rituals, such as public gatherings and assemblies, how do we socialize and bond with each other? How can we convey emotionally what our lives have become in this pandemic era without having to explain it all through painstakingly literal language?”

First Draft News: Why we need a Google Trends for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Reddit. “When it comes to data voids, a distinction is usually drawn between search engines and social media platforms. Whereas the primary interface of search engines is the search bar, the primary interface of social media platforms is the feed: algorithmic encounters with posts based on general interest, not a specific question you’re searching to answer. It’s therefore easy to miss the fact that data voids exist here, too: Even though search isn’t the primary interface, it’s still a major feature. And with billions of users, they may be creating major social vulnerabilities.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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