The Battle to Save Net Neutrality – Please Join Us

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality, the principle that broadband companies like Comcast and AT&T shouldn’t pick winners and losers on the Internet, is under attack in Washington, DC. The Trump Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing to repeal the strong 2015 net neutrality rules, which are overwhelmingly popular with Americans all across the country, regardless of political affiliation. At the same time, some members of Congress are pushing to put a weaker form of net neutrality into law and at the same time free broadband companies from FCC oversight.

Mozilla and the Internet Archive will host a discussion featuring former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler; Representative Ro Khanna; Mozilla Chief Legal and Business Officer Denelle Dixon; Amy Aniobi, Supervising Producer, Insecure (HBO); Luisa Leschin, Co-Executive Producer/Head Writer, Just Add Magic (Amazon); and Malkia Cyril, Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice. The panel will be moderated by Gigi Sohn, Mozilla Fellow and former Counselor to Chairman Wheeler, and will discuss how net neutrality promotes democratic values, social justice and economic opportunity, what the current threats are, and what the public can do to preserve it.

Doors open at 6:00pm. A reception will precede the discussion from 6:30-7:15, and the discussion (followed by audience Q&A) will run from 7:30-9:00.

Please RSVP here.

What: The Battle to Save Net Neutrality

When: Monday, September 18th, 2017
6:30pm Reception
7:30 pm Discussion & Q&A

Where: Internet Archive Headquarters
300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118

Posted in Announcements, Event, News | 3 Comments

TV News Record: Charlottesville edition

A weekly round up on what’s happening and what we’re seeing at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman. Additional research by Robin Chin.

It was an extraordinary week on TV news. Cable news hosts and guests are known for brawling, and there was plenty of that, but this week there were also tears, revulsion, and outright astonishment in response to President Donald Trump’s declaration at a press conference on August 15 that there were “very fine people on both sides” at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. We’ve preserved it all at the TV News Archive, and here present some highlights–or some might say lowlights–in public discourse.

Vice captured white supremacists chanting “Jews will not replace us”

When white supremacists carrying tiki torches marched at the University of Virginia on the evening of August 11 to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, Vice news was there recording their chants of “blood and soil,” “Jews will not replace us,” and “Whose streets, our streets.” CNN later aired this clip from the Vice video that shows the marchers chanting and counter protesters confronting them and yelling, “No Nazis, no KKK, no fascist USA.”

Trump responded by blaming “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville

The protest turned deadly on Saturday, August 14, when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters leaving dozens wounded and a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, dead. Trump came under criticism for making a public statement, saying: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

On Monday, Trump denounced the KKK and neo-Nazis

After a barrage of criticism, on Monday, Trump made a statement denouncing white supremacists by name: “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

On Tuesday, Trump was back to finding fault with “both sides”

On August 15, at a press conference in New York City on infrastructure policy, Trump lashed out at reporters asking about Charlottesville during the question and answer period and stated, “I think there’s blame on both sides… you had some bad people in that group, but you also had people who were very fine people on both sides.”



How top-rated cable TV news shows reported on Charlottesville

Source: TV News Archive; content hand-coded by coverage subject

As the Charlottesville controversy unfolded on Monday and Tuesday, the Nielsen top-rated shows on TV cable news revealed a sharp contrast in the editorial decisions made in covering it.

On Monday evening, MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” spent around 79 percent of the show on Charlottesville and its aftermath. Sixteen percent of the show was spent on ongoing investigations of Trump and his campaign and five percent on presidential pardons. Maddow’s guests included Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer and author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide Carol Anderson. Maddow began her show with a monologue detailing a history of criminal activity to financially support the neo-Nazi agenda, including a new civil war.

The same night, Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” devoted about one-third of the show’s time to Charlottesville; 14 percent on the Democratic National Committee email hack; 27 percent on a memo by a former Google employee about gender; 11 percent on U.S. “no-go” zones of Sharia law; 14 percent on North Korea, and three percent on a Georgia congressional race. His guests included former NYPD officer Dan Bongino, White House aide Omarosa Newman, former NSA technical director Bill Binney, fired Google employee James Damore, Breitbart London editor-in-chief Nigel Farage, and author and political commentator Charles Krauthammer.

On both Monday and Tuesday, Anderson Cooper devoted 100 percent of coverage to Charlottesville during the first hour of his show, “Anderson Cooper 360.” His guests on Monday included Susan Bro, the mother of slain counter protester, Heather Heyer; Harvard University’s Cornel West; former director of black outreach for George W. Bush, Paris Dennard; The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman; news commentator and author Van Jones; Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis; former Republican National Committee chief of staff Mike Shields; and photographer Ryan Kelly, who snapped the photograph of James Fields, Jr., plowing his car through a crowd of counter protesters.

Several Fox hosts and guests expressed emotion about Trump’s statements

While much of the Fox News coverage put a positive spin on Trump’s statements, what stuck out were the exceptions to that general rule on the conservative cable news channel.

Fox News host Kat Timpf, on air Tuesday when Trump gave his press conference, reacted by saying, “It shouldn’t be some kind of bold statement to say a gathering of white supremacists doesn’t have good people in it. Those are all bad people, period. The fact that’s controversial… I have too much eye makeup on now to start crying right now. It’s disgusting.”

Here is GOP strategist Gianno Caldwell, fighting tears on “Fox and Friends,” as he says, “I come today with a a very heavy heart… last night I couldn’t sleep at all, because President Trump, our president, has literally betrayed the conscience of our country… good people don’t pal around with Nazis and white supremacists.”



Fact-check: Trump’s Tuesday press conference (provides context and timeline)

FactCheck.org’s Eugene Kiely and Robert Farley quickly published a post after Trump’s Tuesday press conference putting several of his assertions in context and providing a timeline of events. For example, they noted that while Trump had said, “before I make a statement, I like to know the facts,” that “Trump hasn’t always waited for ‘the facts’ after a tragedy. For example, he speculated that ‘yet another terrorist attack’ was to blame for an EgyptAir plane that disappeared May 19, 2016. The cause is still unknown.”



Fact-check: Counter-protestors lacked a permit (four Pinocchios)

At his Tuesday press conference, Trump said, “You had a lot of people in that [white nationalist] group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know — I don’t know if you know — they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit.”

“[T]hey did have permits for rallies on Saturday — and they did not need one to go into or gather near Emancipation Park, where white nationalists scheduled their rally. No permits were needed to march on the U-Va. campus on Friday night,” wrote Glenn Kessler for The Washington Post’s Fact Checker. He gave the president’s claim “four Pinocchios.”

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TV News Record: North Korea plus Vox on Fox

A weekly round up on what’s happening and what we’re seeing at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman. Additional research by Robin Chin.

This week we look at how different cable networks explained newly inflamed U.S.-North Korea tensions. Which channel seemed to repeat a particular phrase, like “fire and fury” the most in the last few days?  What did fact-checking partners have to report on President Donald’s Trump’s tweeted threat against North Korea? Plus: a Vox analysis of Fox based on TV News Archive closed captioning data.

“Fire and fury” popular on CNN

Over a 72-hour-period, CNN mentioned President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury”  threat against North Korea more than other major cable networks, according to a search on the Television Explorer, a tool created by data scientist Kalev Leetaru and powered by TV News Archive data.

“fire and fury” search 819am MST 8.11.17


Morning show reactions day after “fire and fury” statement

While a Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade said President Trump was “right on target” with his threat against North Korea, a Fox Business Network morning show hosted Center for National Interest’s Harry Kazianis who blamed former President Barack Obama for the current U.S.-North Korea tensions. Meanwhile, host Lauren Simonetti and showed viewers a map of potential trajectories of missiles from North Korea to the continental U.S., saying “you can see they have the ability to strike major cities, including New York City and Washington, D.C..”

On a BBC morning show, the PC Agency CEO Paul Charles said President Trump “is talking like a dictator himself to some extent,” and offered his opinion on the geopolitical context, saying “it’s in their [China’s] own interest to try and find some territorial gain in the region, so I’m not convinced China can the answer.”

C-SPAN aired footage of an interview with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in which he said “I do not believe there is any imminent threat” and that though he was on his way to Guam which North Korea said it was targeting, he “never considered rerouting.”

A CNN morning show had a panel of guests from all over the world, giving them an opportunity to share perspectives from those locations, including CNN international correspondent Will Ripley reporting from Beijing that there is “increasing concern that an accidental war could break out on the Korean Peninsula,” CNN international correspondent Alexandria Fields reporting that people in South Korea “know that a war of words can lead to a mistake and that’s the fear; that’s the fear and that’s what can cause conflict… You’ve got more than 20 million people in the wider Seoul metropolitan area.” CNN military and diplomatic analyst Rear Admiral John Kirby offered his perspective that “when the president reacts the way he does, he reinforces Kim’s propaganda that it is about the United States and regime change. He’s actually working to isolate us rather than North Korea from the international community.”



Vox on Fox; used TV News Archive data used to reveal shift in “Fox & Friends”

Vox reporter Alvin Chang used closed captioning data of “Fox & Friends” from the TV News Archive for his analysis showing that “the program is in something of a feedback loop with the president.” He spoke about his work on CNN, saying hosts of the Fox show “seem to know that the president is listening” and “instruct or advise the president, and they’ve done it increasingly more since his election.”



Fact-check: US nuclear arsenal now stronger than ever before because of the president’s actions (false)

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted, “My first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.”

“False,” reported PolitiFact’s Louis Jacobson, writing, “[T]his wasn’t Trump’s first order as president” and his executive order was “not unusual.” He quoted Harvard nuclear-policy expert, Matthew Bunn: “There is a total of nothing that has changed substantially about the U.S. nuclear arsenal over the few months that Trump has been in office. We have the same missiles and bombers, with the same nuclear weapons, that we had before.”

Over at FactCheck.org, Eugene Kiely quoted Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists: “The renovation and modernization of the arsenal that is going on now is all the result of decisions that were made by the Obama administration,’ ”

Glenn Kessler reported for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker that the president’s tweet was “misleading Americans” and gave him “four Pinocchios.”

Fact-check: American workers were left behind after “buy American steel” bill failed (spins the facts)

In the Democratic weekly address, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D., Wis., said, “My Buy America reform passed the Senate with bipartisan support. But when it got to the House, the foreign steel companies bought Washington lobbyists to kill it. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell gave them what they wanted, and American workers were left behind again.”

“Baldwin’s bill would have required U.S. steel to be used on projects funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. It didn’t pass, but a separate provision in a water infrastructure bill that became law last year does exactly that for fiscal 2017. In fact, Congress has imposed the same buy American provision for drinking water projects every year since fiscal 2014,” reported Eugene Kiely for FactCheck.org.

Fact-checkers have been busy checking recent Trump comments, including these from W. Virginia and  Youngstown, OH rallies, and the speech he gave to the Boy Scouts.

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HyperCard On The Archive (Celebrating 30 Years of HyperCard)

On August 11, 1987, Bill Atkinson announced a new product from Apple for the Macintosh; a multimedia, easily programmed system called HyperCard. HyperCard brought into one sharp package the ability for a Macintosh to do interactive documents with calculation, sound, music and graphics. It was a popular package, and thousands of HyperCard “stacks” were created using the software.

Additionally, commercial products with HyperCard at their heart came to great prominence, including the original Myst program.

Flourishing for the next roughly ten years, HyperCard slowly fell by the wayside to the growing World Wide Web, and was officially discontinued as a product by Apple in 2004. It left behind a massive but quickly disappearing legacy of creative works that became harder and harder to experience.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Hypercard, we’re bringing it back.

After our addition of in-browser early Macintosh emulation earlier this year, the Internet Archive now has a lot of emulated Hypercard stacks available for perusal, and we encourage you to upload your own, easily and quickly.

If you have Hypercard stacks in .sit, .bin.hqx, and other formats, visit this contribution site to have your stack added quickly and easily to the Archive: http://hypercardonline.tk

This site, maintained by volunteer Andrew Ferguson, will do a mostly-automatic addition of your stack into the Archive, including adding your description and creating an automatic screenshot. Your cards shall live again!

Along with access to the original HyperCard software in the browser, the Archive’s goal of “Access to ALL Knowledge” means there’s many other related items to the Hypercard programs themselves, and depending on how far you want to dig, there’s a lot to discover.

There are entire books written about Hypercard, of course – for example, The Complete Hypercard Handbook (1988) and the Hypercard Developers’ Guide (1988), which walk through the context and goals of Hypercard, and then the efforts to program in it.

If you prefer to watch video about Hypercard, the Archive has you covered as well. Here’s an entire episode about Hypercard. As the description indicates: “Guests include Apple Fellow and Hypercard creator Bill Atkinson, Hypercard senior engineer Dan Winkler, author of “The Complete Hypercard Handbook” Danny Goodman, and Robert Stein, Publisher of Voyager Company. Demonstrations include Hypercard 1.0, Complete Car Cost Guide, Focal Point, Laserstacks, and National Galllery of Art.”

Our goal to bring historic software back to a living part of the landscape continues, so feel free to dig in, bring your stacks to life, and enjoy the often-forgotten stacks of yore.

Posted in News | 34 Comments

Statement and Questions Regarding an Indian Court’s Order to Block archive.org

After multiple attempts to contact the relevant authorities in the Indian government regarding the recent blocking of archive.org in that country, the Internet Archive received a response early this morning indicating that two court orders (here and here) were the source of the block. The orders identify a list of thousands of websites to be blocked for allegedly making available two separate films, “Lipstick Under my Burkha” and “Jab Harry Met Sejal”. Both orders come from the same judge of the High Court of Madras (civil jurisdiction). According to many reports, http://archive.org is blocked, but https is not.

Even beyond the fundamental and major problems with preemptively blocking a site for users’ submissions and content of which it is unaware, there are serious issues with these orders. We would like to know the following:

1. Is the Court aware of and did it consider the fact that the Internet Archive has a well-established and standard procedure for rights holders to submit take down requests and processes them expeditiously? We find several instances of take down requests submitted for one of the plaintiffs, Red Chillies Entertainments, throughout the past year, each of which were processed and responded to promptly.

2. After a preliminary review, we find no instance of our having been contacted by anyone at all about these films. Is there a specific claim that someone posted these films to archive.org? If so, we’d be eager to address it directly with the claimant.

3. Archive.org is included along with thousands of other websites in a list (entitled “Non-Compliant Sites”) to block for allegedly making available the two films of concern. The only URL the list identifies pertaining to us is “https://archive.org”. There are no specific URLs for alleged locations of films on the site, only the full domain. Was there any attempt to exercise any level of review or specificity beyond “archive.org”?

All in all, this is a very worrying development and is part of a harmful pattern of governments increasingly taking web content (and in many cases entire sites) offline in unpredictable and excessive ways. We have seen reports from scholars and academics that this block has disrupted their work. We hope full access to archive.org will be restored quickly.

UPDATE: the Indian news site MediaNama has analysis of the court orders and their legality here. That article also notes that the periods that the orders set for the blocks have both expired (the later one was to last through August 8). It’s unclear if it’s been lifted or is in the process of being lifted. We hope so and have inquired with the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Posted in Announcements, News | 18 Comments

McConnell, Schumer, Ryan, Pelosi fact-checked clips featured in new TV News Archive collections

Today the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive unveils growing TV news collections focused on congressional leadership and top Trump administration officials, expanding our experimental Trump Archive to other newsworthy government officials. Together, all of the collections include links to more than 1,200 fact-checked clips–and counting–by our national fact-checking partners, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker.

These experimental video clip collections, which contain more than 3,500 hours of video, include archives focused on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky.; Sen. Minority Leader Charles (“Chuck”) Schumer, D., N.Y.; House Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis.; and House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., as well as top Trump officials past and present such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Download a csv of fact-checked video statements or see all the fact-checked clips.

Visit the U.S. Congress archive.

Visit the Executive Branch archive.

Visit the Trump Archive.

We created these largely hand-curated collections as part of our experimentation in demonstrating how Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms could be harnessed to create useful, ethical, public resources for journalists and researchers in the months and years ahead. Other experiments include:

  • the Political TV Ad Archive, which tracked airings of political ads in the 2016 elections by using the Duplitron, an open source audio fingerprinting tool;
  • the Trump Archive, launched in January;
  • Face-O-Matic, an experimental Slack app created in partnership with Matroid that uses facial detection to find congressional leaders’ faces on TV news. Face-O-Matic has quickly proved its mettle by helping our researchers find clips suitable for inclusion in the U.S. Congress Archive; future plans include making data available in CSV and JSON formats.
  • in the works: TV Architect Tracey Jaquith is experimenting with detection of text in the chyrons that run on the bottom third of cable TV news channels. Stay tuned.

Red check mark shows there’s a fact-check in this footage featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif. Follow the link below the clip to see the fact-check, in this case by The Washington Post’s Fact Checker.

At present, our vast collection of TV news –1.4 million shows collected since 2009–is searchable via closed-captioning. But closed captions, while helpful, can’t help a user find clips of a particular person speaking; instead, when searching a name such as “Charles Schumer” it returns a mix of news stories about the congressman, as well as clips where he speaks at news conferences, on the Senate floor, or in other venues.

We are working towards a future in which AI enrichment of video metadata will more precisely identify for fact-checkers and researchers when a public official is actually speaking, or some other televised record of that official making an assertion of fact. This could include, for example, camera footage of tweets.

Such clips become a part of the historical record, with online links that don’t rot, a central part of the Internet Archive’s mission to preserve knowledge. And they can help fact-checkers decide where to concentrate their efforts, by finding on-the-record assertions of fact by public officials. Finally, these collections could prove useful for teachers, documentary makers, or anybody interested in exploring on-the-record statements by public officials.

For example, here are two dueling views of the minimum wage, brought to the public by McConnell and Schumer.

In this interview on Fox News in January 2014, McConnell says, “The minimum wage is mostly an entry-level wage for young people.” PolitiFact’s Steve Contorno rated this claim as “mostly true.” While government statistics do show that half of the people making the minimum wage are young, 20 percent are in their late 20s or early 30s and another 30 percent are 35 or older. Contorno also points out that it’s a stretch to call these jobs “entry-level,” but rather are “in the food or retail businesses or similar industries with little hope for career advancement.”

Schumer presents a different assertion on the minimum wage, saying on “Morning Joe” in May 2014 that with a rate of $10.10/hour “you get out of poverty.” PolitiFact’s Louis Jacobson rated this claim as “half true”: “Since the households helped by the $10.10 wage account for 46 percent of all impoverished households, Schumer is right slightly less than half the time.”

These new collections reflect the hard work of many at the Internet Archive, including Robin Chin, Katie Dahl, Tracey Jaquith, Roger MacDonald, Dan Schultz, and Nancy Watzman.

As we move forward, we would love to hear from you. Contact us with questions, ideas, and concerns at tvnews@archive.org. And to keep up-to-date with our experiments, sign up for our weekly TV News Archive newsletter.

 

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Canadian Library Consortia OCUL and COPPUL Join Forces with Archive-It to Expand Web Archiving in Canada

The Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL) and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) have joined forces in a multi-consortial offering of Archive-It, the web archiving service of the Internet Archive. Working together, COPPUL and OCUL are considering ways that they can significantly expand web archiving in Canada.

A coordinated subscription to Archive-It builds on the efforts of Canadian universities that have developed web archiving programs over the years, and the past work of Archive-It with both COPPUL and OCUL members.  With 12 COPPUL members and 12 OCUL members (more than half the total membership) now subscribing to Archive-It, there is an opportunity to build a foundation for further collaboration supporting research services and other digital library initiatives. In addition, participation by so many libraries helps lower the barrier of entry for additional member institutions to join in web archiving efforts across Canada.

“OCUL is very pleased to be able to offer Archive-It to our members,” said Ken Hernden, University Librarian at Algoma University and OCUL Chair. “Preservation of information and research is an important aspect of what libraries do to benefit scholars and communities. Preserving information for the future was challenging in a paper-and-print environment. It has become even more so in the digital information environment. We hope that enabling access to this tool will help build capacity for web archiving across Ontario, and beyond.”

“Tools like Archive-It enable libraries and archives of all sizes to build news kinds of collections to support their communities in an environment where more and more of our cultural memory has moved online. We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with our OCUL colleagues in this critically important area,” said Corey Davis, COPPUL Digital Preservation Network Coordinator.

“Archive-It is excited to ramp up its support for web archiving in Canada. The joint subscription is a strategic and cost-effective way to expand web archiving among Canadian universities and to encourage participation from smaller universities who may not have felt they had the institutional resources to develop a web archiving program without the support of the consortiums.” said Lori Donovan, Senior Program Manager for Archive-It.

OCUL is a consortium of Ontario’s 21 university libraries. OCUL provides a range of services to its members, including collection purchasing and a shared digital information infrastructure, in order to support to support high quality education and research in Ontario’s universities. In 2017, OCUL commemorates its 50th anniversary.

Working together, COPPUL members leverage their collective expertise, resources, and influence, increasing capacity and infrastructure, to enhance learning, teaching, student experiences and research at our institutions. The consortium comprises 22 university libraries located in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, as well as 15 affiliate members across Canada. First deployed in 2006, Archive-It is a subscription web archiving service from the Internet Archive that helps organizations to harvest, build, and preserve collections of web-published digital content.

Additionally, the recently created Canadian Web Archiving Coalition (CWAC) will help build a community of practice for Canadian organizations engaging in web archiving and create a network for collaboration, support, and knowledge sharing. Under the auspices of Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada (LAC), the CWAC plans to hold an inaugural meeting in conjunction with the Internet Preservation Coalition General Assembly this September at LAC’s Preservation Centre in Gatineau, QC.  For more information about the CWAC, including how to join, please contact corey@coppul.ca.

For more information on the consortial subscription, contact carol@coppul.ca or jacqueline.cato@ocul.on.ca or lori@archive.org.

Posted in Announcements, News | 1 Comment

Using Kakadu JPEG2000 Compression to Meet FADGI Standards

The Internet Archive is grateful to the folks at Kakadu Software for contributing to Universal Access to Knowledge by providing the world’s leading implementation of the JPEG2000 standard, used in the Archive’s image processing systems.

Here at the Archive, we digitize over a thousand books a day. JPEG2000, an image coding system that uses compression techniques based on wavelet technology, is a preferred file format for storing these images efficiently, while also providing advantages for presentation quality and metadata richness. The Library of Congress has documented its adoption of the JPEG2000 file format for a number of digitization projects, including its text collections on archive.org.

Recently we started using their SDK to apply some color corrections to the images coming from our cameras. This has helped us achieve FADGI standards in our work with the Library of Congress.

Thank you, Kakadu, for helping make it possible for millions of books to be digitized, stored, and made available with high quality on archive.org!

If you are interested in finding out more about Kakadu Software’s powerful software toolkit for JPEG2000 developers, visit kakadusoftware.com or email info@kakadusoftware.com.

Posted in Technical | 1 Comment

TV News Record: McCain returns to vote, Spicer departs

A weekly round up on what’s happening and what we’re seeing at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman. Additional research by Robin Chin.

Last week, Sean Spicer left his White House post and Anthony Scaramucci, the new communications director, made his mark; Sen. John McCain, R., Ariz., returned to the Senate floor to debate–and cast a deciding vote on–health care reform; and fact-checkers examined claims about Trump’s off-the-record meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and more.

McCain shows up in D.C. – and on Face-O-Matic

Last week, after we launched Face-O-Matic, an experimental Slack app that recognizes the faces of top public officials when they appear on TV news, we received a request from an Arizona-based journalism organization to track Sen. John McCain, R., Ariz.. Soon after we added the senator’s visage to Face-O-Matic, we started getting the alerts.

News anchors talked about how McCain’s possible absence because of his brain cancer diagnosis could affect upcoming debates and votes on health care.

Reporters gave background on how the Senate has dealt with absences due to illness in the past.

Pundits discussed McCain’s character, and his daughter provided a “loving portrait.” Then coverage shifted to report the senator’s return to Washington, and late last night his key no vote on the “skinny” health care repeal.



White House: Spicer out, Scaramucci in 

After Sean Spicer resigned as White House communications director, Fox News and MSNBC offered reviews of his time at the podium.

On Fox News, Howard Kurtz introduced Spicer as someone “long known to reporters as an affable spokesman; he became the president’s pit bull,” and went on to give a run-down of his controversial relationship with the press. The conclusion, “He lasted exactly, six months.”

MSNBC offered a mashup of some of Spicer’s most famous statements. These include: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” and “But you had a – you know, someone who is as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

Late this week, Ryan Lizza published an article in The New Yorker based on a phone call he received from the new White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, in which the new White House communications director used profanity to describe other members of the White House staff he accused of leaking information. That article soon became fodder for cable TV.



Schumer, Ryan weigh in on Mueller

As Special Counsel Robert Mueller widens his investigation into Russian interference in U.S. elections, speculation is running high on TV news that President Donald Trump might fire him.

Fox News ran a clip of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D., NY., saying, “I think it would cause a cataclysm in Washington.”

MSNBC ran a radio clip from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis.:  “I don’t think many people are saying Bob Mueller is a person who is a biased partisan. We have an investigation in the House, an investigation in the Senate, and a special counsel which sort of depoliticizes this stuff and gets it out of the political theater.”



Fact-check: Transgender people in the military would lead to tremendous medical costs and disruption (lacks context)

In a series of tweets this week, President Trump wrote, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow… Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming… victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

For FactCheck.org, Eugene Kiely reported, “Although Trump described the cost as ‘tremendous,’ RAND estimated that providing transition-related health care would increase the military’s health care costs for active-duty members ‘by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually.’ That represents an increase of no more than 0.13 percent of the $6.27 billion spent on the health of active-duty members in fiscal 2014.”



Fact Check: Nixon held meetings with heads of state without an American interpreter (true)

Speaking on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, said:  “Apparently, President Nixon used to do it because he felt, didn’t really trust the State Department, at that point, providing the translators and didn’t necessarily want information getting out, leaking, that he would want to keep private.”

“True,” wrote Joshua Gillan for PolitiFact: “Presidential historians, historical accounts and Nixon’s own memoir show this was the case. But it’s notable that even in the example most comparable to Trump’s meeting with Putin, when Nixon used only a Soviet translator during two meetings with Brezhnev, official records of the meeting exist.”



Fact-check: Allowing insurers to sell plans across state lines will mean premiums go down 60-70% (no evidence)

Not long before the Senate took up health care reform, President Donald Trump said “We’re putting it [allowing insurers to sell plans across state lines] in a popular bill, and that will come. And that will come, and your premiums will be down 60 and 70 percent.”

FactCheck.org’s Lori Robertson reported the “National Association of Insurance Commissioners — a support organization established by the country’s state insurance regulators — said the idea that cross-state sales would bring about lower premiums was a ‘myth.’”



Fact-Check: When the price for oil goes up, it goes up, and never goes down (false)

In an interview Sunday about the new Democratic Party national agenda, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D., N.Y., said, “We have these huge companies buying up other big companies. It hurts workers and it hurts prices. The old Adam Smith idea of competition, it’s gone. So people hate it when their cable bills go up, their airline fees. They know that gas prices are sticky. You know … when the price for oil goes up on the markets, it goes right up, but it never goes down.”

For PolitiFact, Louis Jacobson reported, “This comment takes a well-known phenomenon and exaggerates it beyond recognition. While experts agree that prices tend to go up quickly after a market shock but usually come down more slowly once the shock is resolved, this phenomenon only occurs on a short-term basis – a couple of weeks in most cases.”

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You’re Invited to a Community Screening of PBS series, AMERICAN EPIC: Sunday July 30 & Aug 6

In celebration of the launch of the “Great 78 Project” the Internet Archive is sponsoring a Community Screening of the PBS documentary series “American Epic”, an inside look at one of the greatest-ever untold stories: how the ordinary people of America were given the opportunity to make 78 records for the first time.

“Without the recording lathe, Willie Nelson would have never heard the Carter Family sing. Neither would Merle Haggard or Johnny Cash. These portable machines toured the country in the 1920s, visiting rural communities like Poor Valley, West Virginia, and introducing musicians like the Carter Family to new audiences. This remarkable technology forever changed how people discover and share music, yet it was almost lost to history until music legend T Bone Burnett and a few friends decided to bring it back.” Charlie Locke – WIRED

The program will be introduced by Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive.

Please RSVP on our free Eventbrite page.

Date: Sunday July 30th  – “The Big Bang” (:54 min) & “Blood and Soil” (:54 min)

Date: Sunday August 6th  – “Out of the Many, the One” (1:24min) & “Sessions” (1:57min)

Time: Doors Open at 6:30 pm – Screening(s) at 7:00 pm

Cost: FREE and open to the public

Where: Internet Archive Headquarters 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA

“American Epic” Teaser: https://youtu.be/jcbATyomETw

Posted in 78rpm, Announcements, Event | 5 Comments