I really don't have anything substantial to say, but this is incredibly refreshing: No dark patterns, no marketing ploy, no signup, no bullshit. No licenses, no traps, no business interests!
I think this is gonna be my new example if someones says that commerce & ads are the backbone of the internet. If anyone of the responsible people happens to read HN, please continue to do good in the world!
If interested in the history of how it came to be, Mike Rowe tells the story well in "The Illegitimate Son-of-a-Smith" podcast: http://thewayiheardit.rsvmedia.com/episode-135-the-illegitim...
The Institution is 62% federally funded (a combination of the congressional appropriation and federal grants and contracts). ... the Smithsonian has trust or non-federal funds, which include contributions from private sources (endowments; donations from individuals, corporations and foundations; and memberships) and revenues from the Smithsonian Enterprises https://www.si.edu/newsdesk/factsheets/smithsonian-instituti...
created by Congress in 1846 to exercise the authority of the United States in carrying out the responsibilities Congress undertook when it accepted the bequest of James Smithson "to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men."...
...the Smithsonian is not an agency or authority of the Government...
...the Smithsonian is so "closely connected" to the federal government that it shares the immunity of the United States from state and local regulation...
I'm sorry, what? Everyone uses Wikipedia, and probably so much, that they don't consciously realize it...
Edit to add: I see that another reply (from jimmaswell) is still running the advertising 'business model' narrative.
A shopping website will want to do two things: Provide the customer with the most comfortable shopping experience while cutting down the cost of providing it. Advertising is a null-sum game in this case (cuts down costs by adding additional revenue, but makes user experience worse, thus leading to fewer customers), so it only makes sense if that's all you're selling.
How the internet nonetheless became "infested" with ads is obviously a mystery to me...
Further if "tracking" makes ads more relevant then all the better for everyone involved. Some electrons in a server in a rack on the other side of the country, that you'd never know existed if people didn't stir up a hysteria over, not even directly correlated to your real identity or containing anything more important than a preference for high end silverware, can't hurt you and have no just cause to be demonized.
Push advertising is deliberate mind pollution. You are pushing information onto people that they are not seeking and doing it in highly manipulative ways. It's fine to market your services or products in places that people go to to seek out that information; it's not fine to push it on them.
> and I doubt any significan fraction of users feel they're being abused when they see a banner ad for potato chips.
Victims (I use the term loosely) of the obesity epidemic may disagree. How dominant would junk foods like potato chips be in our diet today without the extensive advertising campaigns over the last 70+ years?
With regards to your second paragraph on user tracking, the fact that you use the word 'hysteria' to discount concerns indicates to me that it's not even worth engaging with you there.
Come on. Victims? They were forced to eat too much? Do people not have any agency at all? We still have junk food advertising and we have people that aren’t obese. So are they immune to the messages?
Or perhaps, is the “epidemic” one of a sedentary lifestyle? Perhaps the rise of the information economy and the lack of having to go plow a field?
Classing fat peoples as victims is ridiculous unless they were attacked by a spoon.
So the intention there is clearly a rhetorical one, that not being the point, but that advertising has managed to manipulate people against their better judgment. In that sense, yes, they are victims.
Besides, believing that people suffering from an ill that is destroying their lives are free to choose (when reality clearly shows they aren't) is a callous remark.
Eating disorders are very complicated. Eating is such a low level activity that easily supersedes any rationalisations. That's why it's a good example of how bad advertising can be. So again OP is right in calling those people victims.
At the same time, we have to assume that most individuals are capable of breaking this spell if necessary, for instance by making a conscious decision to read up on what unhealthy food does to us.
Otherwise, you would have a justification to take away any and all freedoms from everybody.
Commercial advertising is not the only form or motivation for trying to make people do things. "Manipulation" exists in personal relationships, it exists in religion, it exists in political messaging. We even call it dog whistle politics. And the motivations are not necessarily any more noble than those for running chocolate chip adverts.
We don't have an external all-knowing referee to decide what is good for us, what our priorities should be, and what we only do or believe because we are being manipulated. So if we put too much emphasis on this manipulation and victimisation narrative, we create a huge incentive for someone to assume that role.
So now you can manipulate (or nudge) people either towards behavior which is considered as beneficial (regular exercise, healthy food, etc.), or you can manipulate them towards unhealthy habits (e.g., smoking).
It is a good idea to limit the ability of actors to nudge people towards unhealthy habits. That will help everybody except a few people who will earn less money. It is also a good idea to foster nudging good behaviors, even if there is no commercial value behind it.
The dilemma only starts to occur if we try to put all things into either the good or the bad box. Probably most ads are in the large grey area in between these extremes. However, ads fostering smoking addiction or obesity should be called out as bad for all of us. There is no downside of this call-out.
If you're genuinely interested in the advertising industry's development the last 100 years or have a few hours to spare, check out the 4-part documentary "The Century of the Self" by the BBC made in the early-2000s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnPmg0R1M04
I just didn't want to leave that statement there and have people unconsciously take that statement about "commerce & ads" to heart without consciously realizing, that Wikipedia is probably our most popular counterexample.
Depending on your definition of 'backbone'... it's maybe not a truth humanity is particularly proud of, but I have this figure in my mind that 75% of the web's bandwidth is used by porn?
Was that ever true, is that still true, are those numbers accurate? Or is that just a common myth?
Apart from that, self-hosting is even cheaper, and easier, than ever.
I think a simple pager with a fixed number of images on each page would have been a much better experience. It would also let me link to specific pages so I could share the page I'm viewing.
EDIT: I'm leaving the post above but right after submitting it I felt regret because it sounds really harsh and I didn't mean it that way. I love the fact that the images were released and I hope government and private institutions continue to do this. I have very minor gripes about the ui but that shouldn't take away from the accomplishment.
Hitting enter searches for me. It shows results instantaneously. It says clearly at the top in big letters "7,636 results for cat" so you know that you can pretty much hit "show more" endlessly. Which instantly loads. And when I click on something yes there is a 2nd scrollbar (not 3) but it's only for the "object details" sidebar... it doesn't apply to the main page viewer part. And the back button works perfectly.
Honestly it sounds like you just have a terrible network connection maybe, or they had temporary traffic congestion? Or what browser are you using... perhaps it's one they haven't tested against? (I'm using Chrome on a MacBook.)
I was using firefox on a new mac. Some extensions like ublock installed. I just tried again now with a different browser (latest vivaldi, no extensions) and it behaves the same (search bar, but only if you have "collection images" highlighted, enter key works as expected if you have "all" highlighted). I am still experiencing the slowness and image "popping" when using the show more link. I'm still getting 3 layers of scroll bars on the image viewer. The back button is a little bit better but of course since it's some psuedo-infinite-scroll when I click back I'm landed back at the top of the list with all my "show more" clicks undone (so lost where I was in the results list as is common with infinite-scroll and SPA).
I can't dispute possibility of network issues, could be the site is being slammed, but speedtest.net says my connection is >300Mbps.
The site is definitely slow at the moment, but enter key worked for me and on the top of the page I see the number of results that were found...
The easy solution (if you trust the site) is to restart Firefox without add-ins:
Hamburger Menu > Help > Restart with add-ons disabled
You then get a dialog box, where you can restart in safe mode, or clean-up your Firefox installation.
Don't forget to restart with add-ons re-enabled (can also be done from the help menu.
This is cool, and reminds me of the book illustrations and images released last month - there seems to be a corner turned in opening up collections, in as GP implies, knocking holes in the walls of the gardens.
I am impressed by this too. Kudos to the big museum in DC.
As for your experience, well perhaps a cat was sitting on your keyboard while you searched? They can be annoying like that
Did you actually see all of them? Using Firefox Preview on Android, I got told that there were this many results, but I was only shown a handful before I had to tap on "view more".
* some sort of pagination, like a iterating "See more" button or the classic "Next page" stuff
* fancy JS in the background simulating that process making the page much heavier, ruining accessibility and most likely the back button
* instantly draining the clients monthly data, crashing the device, timeouting the server and making the infrastructure team cry, roughly in that order
> Welcome to Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.
I want this as a Jupyter plugin, very badly.
(where do I find more examples? The viewer is a work of art but did I miss the hyperlink to "more cool stuff"?)
(edit: https://3d.si.edu/ )
The tool suite also provides an authoring environment for annotating and editing scenes. Documentation: https://smithsonian.github.io/dpo-voyager. Contributions are very welcome!
Full disclosure: I'm the developer of the Voyager 3D suite.
This is so packed full of useful features, and at first glance a very thoughtful implementation and healthy ecosystem.
Hope that everyone is informed that they don't need a license to use the images.
https://polona.pl/ (change language on the bottom)
Edit: I can see now, both, Smithsonian and National Library of Poland are part of the IIIF Consortium.
All of it in hi-res as TIFS:
 Disclaimer: I didn't check them all, for the ones I one was involved with, the archive of historical buildings in Zurich that's definitely the case.
Everyone releasing large collections tends to use the protocol. You'll find all the biggest in that list plus many more.
I keep a list of 'High Quality Collections of Digitized Art and Archival Finds' and will add this one.
License there is CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
You are a true scholar.
Thanks to Creative Commons team for teaching the government how to do its job .
I typed in 'jazz' and got a page on Charlie Parker's saxophone, a King Super 20. It has 8 very high quality and nicely composed photos that you can download in TIFF format, some up to ~300MB in size. Each photo has a detailed description in text, as well as the dimensions of what's seen in the shot, info on when/where it was made and by whom and lots more! What a great project.
E: One of the images has already been added to the Wikipedia entry for Charlie Parker a couple of hours ago. How cool is this data set.
So, not actually "public domain," but about as close as we get in 2020.
That's the kind of guarantee that you will never get unless you pay for it.
That's not the intention of CC0:
In contrast to CC’s licenses that allow copyright holders to choose from a range of permissions while retaining their copyright, CC0 empowers yet another choice altogether – the choice to opt out of copyright and database protection, and the exclusive rights automatically granted to creators – the “no rights reserved” alternative to our licenses.
Dedicating works to the public domain is difficult if not impossible for those wanting to contribute their works for public use before applicable copyright or database protection terms expire
CC0 helps solve this problem by giving creators a way to waive all their copyright and related rights in their works to the fullest extent allowed by law.
In this case Smithsonian seems to have done the work to make sure they are out of copyright, and now they don't reserve any rights to the work.
In all these cases Royal monopoly power was curtailed, allowing more people the opportunity to profit from their efforts. And there were relative economic booms as a result. But we strangle growth when we reinforce monopoly power, or when we reinforce laws that keep money in the hands of people that didn’t earn it (and also strengthen the political power that money alone has).
When monopoly power is a temporary reward for innovators, it works. Anyone that seeks to extend the time limits of monopoly powers beyond the sweet spot is trying to restore one of those unfair capital systems that kill economic development. They generally don’t care because for them, it is about enriching themselves whatever the cost to society.
Looks like its part of the public dataset program so you can probably just ask for the bucket name and get full free access to everything.
Enjoy! I’m personally very excited about this dataset, and couldn’t be more impressed with the people, mission, and, well, everything at the Smithsonian.
Source: I work on the AWS Open Data team / had a small role in this (normal lawyerspeak caveats apply that my views and opinions are my own)
Jed or jeffbarr, what say ye?
aws query on the open dataset comes back with:
Total Objects: 4649789
Total Size: 312.5 TiB!
Arguably, such images should be mirrored onto Commons ASAP (if they plausibly have educational value and are PD in most of the world). It is unwise to rely on a single profit-oriented company like Flickr to keep hosting this sort of stuff for the foreseeable future, whereas Commons is independently supported and specifically intended as a host for permissively-licensed media content.
Would love if the URI would change after searching so I can share search result URLs.
1 LOC = 15 TB according to google
Their webpage says "Welcome to Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking." And everything's CC0-licensed.
It's nice to see the Smithsonian get over their distaste of the market economy in the US.
> the Smithsonian is featuring less than 2 percent of its total collections in this initial launch. Much of the rest may someday be headed for a similar fate. But Kapsalis stresses the existence of an important subset that won’t be candidates for the public domain in the foreseeable future, including location information on endangered species, exploitative images and artifacts from marginalized communities.
> “The way people have captured some cultures in the past has not always been respectful,” Kapsalis says. “We don’t feel we could ethically share [these items] as open access.”
If they don't trust you to think the right things about their artifacts, they're not letting you use those artifacts.
It's not about you or us, it's about anyone who might complain that the Smithsonian Institution is (as they see it) "endorsing" unethical practices by releasing that particular content (a minor part of what they currently hold, since "much" is in fact up for release) out in the open. Whether people "think the right things" about the Smithsonian's actions can have real consequences, so it makes sense for them to care quite a bit about that.