Seafloors, Boolean Logic, AA, More: Thursday Morning Buzz, March 19th, 2015


A new search tool allows users to find AA meetings near them (PRESS RELEASE). “Finding Sobriety says that it has managed to integrate a number of new search technologies in the new tool. People will now be able to do a specific search and get even more specific results and this will simply make it far much easier for anyone to find the best AA meetings. In addition to this, the AA meeting finder is on offer for free and as such anyone in need of an AA meeting can easily log on to its website, search using the tool and find the perfect meeting.”

NASA has launched a free desktop application to help you help it to find asteroids. “During a panel Sunday at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, NASA representatives discussed how citizen scientists have made a difference in asteroid hunting. They also announced the release of a desktop software application developed by NASA in partnership with Planetary Resources, Inc., of Redmond, Washington. The application is based on an Asteroid Data Hunter-derived algorithm that analyzes images for potential asteroids. It’s a tool that can be used by amateur astronomers and citizen scientists….The desktop software application is free and can be used on any basic desktop or laptop computer. Amateur astronomers may take images from their telescopes and analyze them with the application. The application will tell the user whether a matching asteroid record exists and offer a way to report new findings to the Minor Planet Center, which then confirms and archives new discoveries.”

The US Geological Survey has released a new collection of coastal and seafloor images. “This portal contains coverage of the seafloor off California and Massachusetts, and aerial imagery of the coastline along the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic coasts. Additional video and photographs will be added as they are collected, and archived imagery will also be incorporated soon. Areas of future focus include data sets for Washington State’s Puget Sound, Hawaii and the Arctic. … In total, approximately 100,000 photographs and have been collected as well as 1,000 hours of trackline video covering almost 2,000 miles of coastline. Imagery was taken by video and still cameras towed by boat or from aerial flights.” has launched a Web site for searching Irish newspapers. “ works much like (another site, with mostly US content): You can enter a name or other search terms, then narrow your results to the most relevant dates, places and newspaper titles. You can run a search without subscribing, and the snippet views of your search results often provide enough context to tell whether a particular result might be relevant to your family history (and whether it’s worth subscribing).”


I’m not sure about useful, but this is fun. Send this Twitter ‘bot a tweet, and it will send you an animated GIF based on the words in your tweet.

This is a little far afield but I would definitely call it useful: how to use Boolean logic to analyze Excel data.


App submissions on Google Play will now be reviewed by human beings and isn’t it about time? “Additionally, Google announced the rollout of a new age-based ratings system for games and apps on Google Play, which will utilize the scales provided by a given region’s official ratings authority, like the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) here in the U.S.”


Do you have a four-digit PIN on your iPhone? It may not be that secure. “The team at MDSec has highlighted the availability for purchase of a hardware tool, called IP Box, that can brute force crack the four digit password that most users have protecting their iPhones.”

The US Department of Defense has released a “draft plan” for public access. “While the Department is careful to note that ‘the proposed plan is a draft,’ and is subject to further revision, it lays out a strong framework for the implementation of a DoD-maintained article repository, as well as a comprehensive approach to ensure access and productive reuse of DoD-funded research data. Of note: unlike the other U.S. agencies that have released plans to date, the DoD will initiate a further formal ‘rulemaking’ process – which will include an open public comment period – before finalizing its policies. ”

Yahoo is exiting China and laying off staff.

From MIT Technology Review: building 3D scans from drone photos. Good morning, Internet..


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