Uganda, New Jersey, Chicago, More: Friday Buzz, July 10th, 2015


The government of Uganda has started a gender-based violence database. “NGBVD is an online management information system that is designed to collect, store and analyze Gender Based Violence (GBV) data in both humanitarian and non-humanitarian settings. The web based software, according the Ministry for Gender, Labour and Social Development will also make GBV incident reporting and response services more evidence based.”

The state of New Jersey is going to publish a database of teacher ratings, but not ratings for specific teachers. “The data, which will be released next week, will allow parents to see how many teachers in a school received each of the four possible ratings. It will not include performance ratings for specific teachers, the state said.”


Google has announced improvements to its mail spam filter. “Since the beginning, machine learning has helped make the Gmail spam filter more awesome. When you click the ‘Report spam’ and ‘Not spam’ buttons, you’re not only improving your Gmail experience right then and there, you’re also training Gmail’s filters to identify spam vs. wanted mail in the future. Now, we are bringing the same intelligence developed for Google Search and Google Now to make the spam filter smarter in a number of ways.”


Nice list from Medium: The 37 Best Websites to Learn Something New. Not much in the line of annotation, but lots of explore.

This is pretty cool: apparently the Chicago Tribune is upgrading its archives, and while it’s doing that access is free. There doesn’t appear to be any end time for the free access, so I’d check it out now if I were you.

I’m going to share this with you, and then with my husband, because phone spam drives him bonkers: How to Block Numbers that Haven’t Called or Texted You First.


Amazon is being taken to court over its search results. “Just like how Google has faced criticisms for the way it displays its search results, it seems that this is an issue that Amazon has run into as well, so much so that they’re being taken to court over the way the company displays its search results for products. The company taking Amazon to court is MTM, a watchmaker known for their ‘Military’ watches.” I had wondered about that, like sometimes when you search for certain authors, you’ll get book results that are not that author at all, aren’t anywhere close to the author’s name, etc.

Eeesh. There’s a new Flash zero-day out there — please make sure you’re all patched up! “Hacking Team specializes in surveillance software which it resells to various governments around the world, and in particular to some oppressive regimes, a major issue that has activists outraged. The data stolen from the firm contains several gigabytes worth of exploits, malware and other very sensitive information. Among them, a new Flash Player zero day affecting Flash Player up to version was found and is making headlines.”


Less trippy, but potentially more useful: Google’s Deep Learning Machine is learning to synthesize images. “Give Google’s DeepStereo algorithm two images of a scene and it will synthesize a third image from a different point of view.”

But speaking of trippy. I have kind of nerd crush on Deep Dreaming. I find the images and videos mostly fascinating, occasionally disturbing. There’s just something about them that’s so otherworldly and yet, so… familiar. Right? (Or does nobody else feel that way and I have just admitted to being a huge weirdo?) Anyway, many efforts are underway to gather these images up and share them.

The LA Times has hired a reporter to cover Black Twitter – that is to say, the culture of people of color and how that culture uses Twitter. “Dexter Thomas joins us today to cover Black Twitter (which really is so much more complicated than that). He will work closely with the newsroom and #EmergingUS to find communities online (Black Medium to Latino Tumblr to Line in Japan) and both create stories with and pull stories from those worlds. Dexter is from San Bernardino and is a doctoral candidate in East Asian studies at Cornell University. He has taught media studies and Japanese and is writing a book about Japanese hip-hop.”


A group of universities are working with Google to develop a platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). “Carnegie Mellon researchers will work with colleagues at Cornell, Stanford, Illinois and Google to create GIoTTO, a new platform to support IoT applications. Initial plans for GIoTTO include sensors that are inexpensive and easy to deploy, new middleware to facilitate app development and manage privacy and security, and new tools that enable end users to develop their own IoT experiences.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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