Patents, Mosaics, BP, More: Skinny Friday Buzz, April 24th, 2015


An art group is archiving Soviet-era wall mosaics around Ukraine into an online archive. “Photos from Kyiv, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Poltava and several smaller cities are already on the website. The group running the project is working to create a complete and definitive digital archive of the mosaic works.”

Center for Civic Media at MIT has launched a new publishing platform. “Stories on FOLD have a trunk and leaves. The trunk is text, with a novel form of hyperlinks – instead of linking out, they link to cards that appear to the right of the trunk and show images, videos, maps, data visualizations. They can also contain other text or links to the web. This has the effect of encouraging massive linking within stories – rather than a link potentially leading someone away from your webpage, it builds a stronger and richer story on the site.”

Google’s ad-blocking service has launched in beta. “Contributor, first announced in November, is not an ad-free service. The subscriber chooses a monthly contribution and sets up a payment through Google Wallet. The service only works when Web browser in their Google account. The $2 fee reduces the number of ads on average a subscriber sees between 5% and 15%; $5, between 15% and 25%; and $10, between $25% and 50%.”

A new database is tracking all the BP oil spill restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico. “The Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker provides viewers with a map showing the location of 300 active and planned projects, with most in the five Gulf Coast states and a few in several other states.”

A database of Texas A&M yearbooks has been put online. “The digital collection contains all Texas A&M yearbooks produced, with the exception of the four most recent years, starting with the first yearbook published in 1895, the Olio. No yearbooks would be published again until 1903, which donned a new name: The Long Horn. In 1949 the student body elected to rename the yearbook to the Aggieland.”

A new tool provides application publication alerts on US patents.
“This system provides customized, email alerts to the public for free when patent applications of interest are published. Additionally, the system offers direct access to the published applications that meet your search criteria.”


Woo-hoo! Emoji are now showing up in Google desktop search results. I did a quick search for poop emoji because I’m immature, but instead of the emoji I saw those little squaremoji that you see when you can’t see the regular emoji. This may be a Linux thing.

Looks like Apple will be adding public transit routing to Maps.


Yahoo’s earnings were up, but so were operating costs. “The company recorded revenue of $1.2 billion, up 8% from the same period last year, with big gains in mobile revenue, a key metric indicating future growth. But traffic acquisition costs were nearly four times larger, at $183.1 million. An increase in total expenses forced net earnings down, from $313.9 million to $22.1 million.” Good evening, Internet…

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