Not cool, but nostalgic and a bit sad: The OCLC has printed its library card. “Catalog cards were once a key part of the company, with rows of printers running in a sunny second-floor observatory, hitting a peak output of 131 million cards in 1985. The company’s innovation was in compiling the information on the cards, which meant that libraries didn’t need to write the text themselves. As of last year, orders had fallen to less than 1 million.”
Fun Friday: if you’re like me, you are years and possibly decades behind on your television watching. If so, you’ll appreciate this spoiler-hiding Chrome extension. “IMDb Hide Episode Spoilers is a Chrome browser extension that hides potential spoilers from a television show’s Internet Movie Database (IMDb) listing by blacking out the number of episodes in which an actor appears.” Good morning, Internet…
Jason Scott and a bevy of valiant volunteers have have saved a huge collection of technical manuals. “A few of us tried to do a very rough, very hand-wavy job of determining what the total number of manuals was, because it sure as hell wasn’t 25,000. At the end we decided that it is definitely over 50,000 and it is probably as high as 75,000. So we rescued twice as many items as I was told the room contained. That’s fantastic.” So wonderful. What a great job.
Do you want to send your name to Mars? Here ya go. “Mars enthusiasts around the world can participate in NASA’s journey to Mars by adding their names to a silicon microchip headed to the Red Planet aboard NASA’s InSight Mars lander, scheduled to launch next year.”
Like Google’s Deep Dream, the AI that turns photos and videos into trippy, dogfaced art? Check out this Twitter bot for making glitch art. “After mentioning PixelSorter in a tweet with an uploaded image, it will then download the image, and begin segmenting an image into rows or columns according to their hue, brightness, luminance, etc. A few moments later, PixelSorter will @reply you with its own glitched-out version of the image you just uploaded.”
Fun Saturday: Create and explore a landscape from your Webcam. “Make sure you’re in a well-lit area, let your browser access the webcam, and then try pointing it around the room as you use standard controls to ‘walk around in’ the unique spaces that blossom before your eyes.”
What a great article from PC Magazine! How the NY Public Library Crowdsources Digital Innovation. It’s a quick read but inspiring.
From Smithsonian Science News: Digitized, Searchable Archives Help Revive ‘Sleeping’ Languages. “Like other kids at summer camp, a group of youngsters in the cities of Miami, Okla. and Fort Wayne, Ind. play games, work on crafts and spend lots of time outside. But for this particular collection of campers, there’s a twist: Much of their time is spent learning or speaking in Myaamia, the language of the Native American Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.”
There’s a Twitter bot dedicated to generating moths. Why? BECAUSE IT’S THE INTERNET, THAT’S WHY. “@mothergenerator, a new Twitter bot, adds to the diversity by generating spectacular digital moths, naming them, and tweeting them. The Moth Generator (or lepidoptera automata if you want to get scientific) is a joint venture between artist and poet Katie Rose Pipkin and artist and video game designer Loren Schmidt.” I like the “agreeable semicirus fumosa.”
I’m sorry, I can’t stop thinking about Google’s Deep Dream toy — erm, I mean neural network tool. Yeah, that’s what I mean. Anyway, now researchers are deep-dreaming maps. “Last week, Google released the ”DeepDream” code to the public, so that anyone with some programming skills could process their own images with a psychedelic glaze. Naturally, a couple of brave mapmakers stepped in and produced some geo-visualizations—now, the hills literally have eyes.”
A nice big timesink which I’m passing on to you. Evil grin. I’m not reading this because you may never see me again! How to recreate your childhood game library with the Internet Archive.
OH THE SILLY: Google Sheep View. “Google Sheep View is an amusing project by Ding Ren and Michael Karabinos that collects photos of sheep from Google Street View. The project also accepts submissions.” I had a dream four or five years ago that Google was handing out towels with cameras in them to fitness centers, so they could have Google Streak View.