Sniffle, Wheeze, Cough, Sneeze: Sunday Buzz, March 22, 2015

Thank goodness I can’t give you my cold cooties over the Internet.


Now available: a database of over 80,000 Mennonite photos.

Are you interested in the music that was SXSW? There’s a torrent for that. “Since 2005 the SXSW music festival has published thousands of DRM-free tracks from participating artists….In common with previous years, Ben Stolt has taken the time and effort to upload all of the MP3s onto BitTorrent with proper ID3 tags. The 2015 release is out now and comes in two torrents containing 1,291 tracks… All the tracks released for the previous editions are also still available for those people who want to fill up their MP3 players without having to invest thousands of dollars. The 2005 – 2015 archives now total more than 55 gigabytes.”

Analytics for some US Government Web sites are now available. “The analytics dashboard also offers an up-close look at what devices and operating systems people are using. Smartphones and tablets, for example, make up more than 30% of traffic from the last 90 days. This information, which is standard for web analytics, helps influence where the still-growing Digital Service focuses its attention.”


From Lifehacker: the simplest tools for common photo edits. As usual with Lifehacker, the comments are worth reading.

From Ubergizmo: a rundown of how to protect PDF files.


Fold 3 has some new content. “One new collection on Fold3 is the WWII Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, which contains membership cards of women who joined the corps. The Cadet Nursing Corps was created in 1943 under the U.S. Public Health Service to help fill a growing need for nurses that had been compounded by World War II. Between 1943 and 1948 (the years the program ran), about 179,000 students between the ages of 17 and 35 joined the corps, with roughly 124,000 of them graduating.”

Rhapsody is letting users make songs available over Twitter for free.

Google Street View is getting views of 31 Indian sites and monuments.

The Wikimedia Foundation has adopted an open-access policy. “The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to making knowledge of all forms freely available to the world. Beginning today, our new Open Access Policy will ensure that all research work produced with support from the Wikimedia Foundation will be openly available to the public and reusable on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites.”


A Senate Bill proposes to create an online database of asbestos products.

Is Mall of America using Facebook to keep tabs on local activists? “It seems that in order to prevent or better prepare for future disruptions if and when they might take place, a report from The Intercept revealed that the mall actually had a fake Facebook profile setup in which they allegedly use it to monitor activists on social network. To be fair the profile was said to have been created back in 2009, but recent activity saw the fake profile like pages like Black Lives Matter and also friended 817 other people, most of whom are reported to have ties to the local Minnesota political activism groups.”

Apparently some states will reject FOIA requests if they’re not from residents of that state, as Deadspin found out when it tried to make an FOIA request in Tennessee. So Deadspin is asking its readers to do it a solid and make the FOIA request on its behalf.

Google is “starting over” in its drone war with Amazon. “The Project Wing delivery drone Google revealed to the world last August is no more. Instead of going head to head with Amazon’s drone initiative, the Google X team behind the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) decided to scrap its plans and pursue a different design.”

Wow: UC Davis live-tweeted lung cancer surgery. “To prepare for the live Twitter event, the public affairs staff prerecorded several short videos with Dr. Cooke and members of his surgical team. The experts covered the procedure itself, as well as surgical preparedness and challenges in recovery. They also discussed the role of pathology and the biospecimen repository for important diagnostic analysis and research. The videos, photographs, graphic illustrations and links to research and other helpful information about lung cancer were included and posted throughout the day of surgery, in addition to the live-action material collected and broadcast in real time.” Good evening, Internet…

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