Tag Archives: cryptocurrency

What Information Should we be Preserving in Filecoin?

The folks at Protocol Labs love their rockets. And outerspace. And exploration.

So when Filecoin, their cryptocurrency-fueled decentralized storage network launched recently, it was no surprise they called it Filecoin Liftoff. In the payload of that Filecoin rocket are treasures from the Internet Archive:

For 15 years, LibriVox has harnessed a global army of volunteers, creating 14,200 free public domain audiobook projects in 100 different languages. Where else can you listen to Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in French, Spanish, English, German or Dutch…for free? Now, phrases of Shakespeare, Poe, Joyce and Dante will be stored across the Filecoin mainnet, broken into packets to be reconstituted when needed—perhaps in a new century.

The same destiny awaits the home movies, stock footage, educational and amateur films in the public domain, lovingly curated by the Prelinger Archives founder, Rick Prelinger. He encourages creatives to download and reuse these videos, creating countless new works like this one by musician Jordan Paul:

Now filmmakers and connoisseurs can sleep easier, knowing that a new, distributed copy of those films lives in the Filecoin network, (along with the main copy and multiple backups in the Internet Archive’s repositories.)

So what’s next Filecoin explorers?

Today, Protocol Labs and the Internet Archive are happy to announce the Filecoin Archives, a new community project to curate, disseminate and preserve important open access information often at risk of being lost. You can get involved in so many ways: by nominating information to be stored, uploading it to the Internet Archive, preserving the data as a Filecoin node while earning Filecoin for sharing your storage capacity.

What information should we be preserving? Please tell us!

How about 166,000 public domain books (60 terabytes) from the Library of Congress? Including 2100 texts about Abraham Lincoln and slavery?

Or Open Access Journal articles? (The Internet Archive has collected 9.1 million of them.)

It takes a host of global voices with diverse viewpoints to ensure that humanity’s most precious knowledge is represented online and preserved. So we need to hear from you. What open access information or datasets are you interested in preserving?

Between now and November 5, please send us your ideas and vote on the others. We will gather your suggestions, add our own, and publish the list from which we will select information to preserve across a global network of Filecoin nodes.

How to send us your suggestions 

Look for the tweet from @JuanBenet– reply to it with:

  • The Name of the Dataset.
  • The size in GB or TB.
  • An HTTP or @IPFS link to the data.
  • Why it matters.
  • #FilecoinArchives

Bonus points if the data is already stored in the Internet Archive or if you upload it there. Vote for ideas by retweeting them and please help us spread the word!

Juan Benet presents his early vision at the 2016 Decentralized Web Summit at the Internet Archive in San Francisco.

In 2015, a young developer named Juan Benet wandered into the Internet Archive headquarters. He painted a picture of a decentralized stack, something he now calls Web3, where the storage, transport and other layers would be distributed across many machines. Together with the DWeb community, we have imagined a web with our values written into the code: values such as privacy, security, reliability, and control over one’s own identity.  With the launch of Filecoin’s mainnet, a piece of that new web is perhaps within reach. 

Now it’s up to us to make sure the payload includes humanity’s most important knowledge.

CRYPTO CHALLENGE: 3 Donors will match any Crypto Donation this week, 3-to-1!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…

Opening line from “A Tale of Two Cities”  by Charles Dickens


For those deeply engaged in cryptocurrencies, the words of Charles Dickens, written 160 years ago, have the ring of prophecy. 2018 was the best and worst of times for those holding bitcoin, ether, OMG or XRP. And yet, for some savvy community members who donated their currencies for good, 2018 was also a “season of light.”  This year Ripple founder, Chris Larsen, donated $29 million in XRP to fulfill the wishes of every classroom teacher on DonorsChoose.org. In March, OmiseGO and Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin donated $1 million in crypto to help refugees in Uganda. The anonymous philanthropist behind the Pineapple Fund gave away 5,104 bitcoins to 60 charities, including us. Pine writes, “I consider this project a success. If you’re ever blessed with crypto fortune, consider supporting what you aspire our world to be :).”

Now, to close out the year, three generous supporters of the Internet Archive are offering to match any cryptocurrency donation up to a total of $25,000, made before the end of 2018. For the next few days, you can quadruple your impact for good. What better way to put your cryptocurrencies to work this year than by ensuring everyone will have access to world’s knowledge, for free and with complete reader privacy on archive.org?

DONATE CRYPTO NOW & QUADRUPLE YOUR IMPACT

So why should crypto communities support the Internet Archive? Well, we’ve been experimenting alongside crypto founders, developers and dreamers since 2011. Five years ago, the Internet Archive’s founder, Brewster Kahle, wrote this reflection on Dreams Reflected in Bitcoin.  Back then, Kahle wrote about early bitcoiners, “Love the dreamers– they make life worth living.”  

The first bitcoin “ATM” in the Internet Archive offices.  Honor system only. 

Who else but the Internet Archive would set up its own Bitcoin-to-cash converter box in the middle of its office? We convinced the sushi joint next door, Sake Zone, to accept bitcoin. (The owners closed down the sushi restaurant a few years ago, but when we reconnected last year the owner had hodled and said he was starting a bitcoin business!) Meanwhile, we will accept your cryptocurrencies in exchange for Internet Archive beanies and t-shirts.  And back in 2013, a reporter for Bitcoin Magazine wrote an Op-Ed about us paying our employees in BTC, urging others to donate to the Archive. His name was Vitalik Buterin.

Bitcoin Magazine Op-Ed by Vitalik Buterin from February 22, 2013

Back in 2013, Buterin wrote:

When asked why he is so interested in accepting and promoting Bitcoin, Kahle’s response is one that many people in the Bitcoin community can relate to. “I think that at the Internet Archive,” Kahle said in a phone interview, “we see ourselves as coming from the net. As an organization we exist because of the internet, and I think of Bitcoin as a creature of the net. It’s a fantastically interesting idea, and to the extent that we’re all trying to build a new future, a better future, let’s try and round it out.”

So as we wind down our 2018 fundraising campaign, we ask our friends in the crypto community to help the Internet Archive “round it out.”  We’re about $460,000 from reaching our year-end goal. And right now your crypto donation will be matched 3-to-1. We accept dozens of altcoins now, thanks to a partnership with Changelly. Your support will go to building a new and better future on the net. We promise you, it will be crypto well spent.


TV News Record: Television Explorer 2.0, shooting coverage & more

A round up on what’s happening at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman. 

Explore Television Explorer 2.0

Television Explorer, a tool to search closed captions from the TV News Archive, keeps getting better. Last week GDELT’s Kalev Leetaru added new and improved features:

  • 163 channels are now available to search, from C-Span to Al Jazeera to Spanish language content from Univision and Telemundo.
  • Results now come as a percentage of 15 second clips, making comparisons between simpler.
  • The context word function for searches is similarly redesigned, counting a matching 15-second clip as well searching the 15 second clips immediately before and after, helping to alleviate some previous issues with overcounting.
  • You can now see normalization timelines on the site, with newly available data about the total number of 15-second clips monitored each day and hour included in your query.

Take the revamped Television Explorer for a spin.

Here’s what we found when we used the new tools to track the use of the term, “cryptocurrency.” The rapid ascent, and sometimes fall, of the value of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have led to rises and dips in TV news coverage as well. In May 2017, international TV news channels began to run stories featuring the term, rapidly increasing in November and peaking just last week with BBC News. Television Explorer shows that Deutsche Welle led the pack ahead of BBC News and Al Jazeera in covering cryptocurrency. Among US networks, Bloomberg uses the term more than twice as often as Deutsche Welle. A search of the term bitcoin shows a similar trajectory, with CNBC coverage spiking December 11, 2017, a few days before bitcoin hit its historic peak in value to date.

Florida high school shooting TV news coverage shows familiar pattern

Within a broader analysis of how responses to the most recent school shooting compare with others, The Washington Post’s Philip Bump used TV News Archive closed caption data using GDELT’s Television Explorer to examine the pattern of use of the term “gun control” on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. “After the mass shooting in Las Vegas last October, a political discussion about banning ‘bump stocks’ — devices that allowed the shooter to increase his rate of fire — soon collapsed.” “So far, the conversation after Parkland looks similar to past patterns.”

Washington Post graphic

Fact-check: Trump never said Russia didn’t meddle in election (Pants on Fire!)

“I never said Russia did not meddle in the election”

Reacting to the indictments of Russian nationals by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump wrote, “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said, ‘It may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!”

Fact-checkers moved quickly to investigate this claim.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler: “According to The Fact Checker’s database of Trump claims, Trump in his first year as president then 44 more times denounced the Russian probe as a hoax or witch hunt perpetuated by Democrats. For instance, here’s a tweet from the president after reports emerged about the use of Facebook by Russian operatives, a key part of the indictment: ‘The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?’”

PolitiFact’s Jon Greenberg:  “Pants on Fire!” The president “called the matter a ‘made-up story,’ and a ‘hoax.’ He has said that he believes Russian President Putin’s denial of any Russian involvement. He told Time, ‘I don’t believe they (Russia) interfered.’”

Vox on Fox (& CNN & MSNBC): Mueller indictment, Florida shooting

In an analysis of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC during the 72 hours following the announcement of the indictment of 13 Russians, Vox’s Alvin Chang used TV News Archive closed captioning data and the GDELT Project’s Television Explorer to show “how Fox News spun the Mueller indictment and Florida shooting into a defense of the president.” Chang uses the data to show that “[I]nstead of focusing on the details of the indictment itself, pundits on Fox News spent a good chunk of their airtime pointing out that this isn’t proof of the Trump administration colluding with Russia.”


TV news coverage and analysis in one place

Scholars, pundits, and reporters have used the data we’ve created here in the TV News Archive in ways that continue to inspire us, adding much-needed context to our chaotic public discourse as seen on TV.  All that content is now in one place, showcasing the work of these researchers and reporters who turned TV news data into something meaningful.

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