Wyoming, India, Japan, More: Afternoon Buzz, March 12th, 2015


Reuters is teaming up with ITN Source to digitize its video archives (PRESS RELEASE). “. The digitisation of the Reuters video archive is making hundreds of thousands of rare and largely unseen news clips digitally available for preview and licensing on, preserving this unique material for the benefit of future generations. To date, over 115,000 Reuters clips have been digitised and published on, expanding the Reuters digital archive to nearly half a million clips and counting. The project is set to finish in 2016.”

The state of Wyoming now has a geospatial hub. “The University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) recently launched the Wyoming Geospatial Hub (GeoHub), an Internet-based technological infrastructure for discovering, accessing and sharing publicly available geospatial data created and maintained by various Wyoming organizations and groups including state, local and tribal governments, federal agencies and the private industry…. Currently, the GeoHub provides near-24/7 access to more than 600 different geospatial datasets ranging from elevation and soils information to land management status and population demographics. Enhancements over the next year will include improved access to digital aerial photography and satellite imagery, as well as a contacts database of geospatial experts in the state.”

The state of Rhode Island is getting a Web-based budget tool. “With this tool, the state is able to publish budget and spending data dating back to 2008 in a quick, user-friendly way. Rather than wading through hundreds of pages of scanned documents of legal and financial information, Rhode Islanders can search the budget and spending information through charts and data. This web portal will be updated throughout the budget process and will be accessible from mobile devices.” It’s launching at 7pm EST today.


Google has released new Street View images of the Tohoku region of Japan. “The U.S. company posted pictures taken since November 2014 online as part of a project launched in 2011 with the aim of keeping the memories of the disaster from fading. New photographs included images of the ongoing reconstruction work in Iwate Prefecture with the cooperation of the Urban Renaissance Agency, a state-run housing development entity involved in rebuilding activities in the region.”

Facebook has shutting down FriendFeed on 9 April.


The government of India plans to digitize all books “of national importance”.

Facebook is facing a class-action lawsuit over purchases made by children. “The lawsuit was brought by two children and their parents. One child said his mother let him spend $20 on her credit card toward the game “Ninja Saga,” but was later charged several hundred dollars for purchases he thought he made with ‘virtual, in-game currency.’ The other said he took a debit card from his parents without permission and spent $1,059.”

A security firm has released a tool to hijack accounts on sites that use Facebook login. “The tool, dubbed Reconnect, was released last week by Egor Homakov, a researcher with security firm Sakurity. It takes advantage of a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) issue in Facebook Login, the service that allows users to log in on third-party sites using their Facebook accounts.”

Cory Doctorow takes a look at Twitter bots. The interesting thing is that every bot he linked to as an example has been suspended.

Germany wants end-to-end e-mail encryption. “The biggest webmail providers in Germany will soon encourage their customers to use full-blown end-to-end email encryption. The providers, including Deutsche Telekom and United Internet, will next month roll out a browser plugin that’s supposed to make traditionally laborious PGP technology easier to use …”

Someone built a Web site that self-destructed when Google’s bot found it and indexed it. It took Google 22 days.


We crowdsource everything else nowadays, why not the weather? “An app called Sunshine wants you to help it create more accurate, localized weather forecasts. The app, currently in a private beta test, combines data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with atmospheric pressure readings captured by a smartphone. The latest iPhones, and some Android smartphones, include barometers for measuring atmospheric pressure. These sensors are generally used to determine elevation for navigation, but changes in air pressure can also signal changes in the weather.”

According to Duke Medicine research, posting of public trial results to online databases is lagging. “Despite legal and ethical mandates for disclosure, results from most clinical trials of medical products are not reported promptly at, according to Duke Medicine researchers. Among all clinical trials of medical products, those funded by industry were the most likely to be publicly disclosed in a timely fashion, but even then, compliance was poor.”

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