MOMA, SC, CDC, More: Friday Buzz, July 31st, 2015


The Detroit Jewish Chronicle is getting digitized. “The Detroit Jewish News Foundation is currently digitizing every issue of the Detroit Jewish Chronicle, which was published from March 1916 until July 1951. Come this fall, those pages will be added to the more than 270,000 pages of Detroit Jewish history from the Detroit Jewish News already contained in the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History…”

South Carolina is putting its business filings online (PRESS RELEASE). “More than 20,000 document and certificate requests will be handled by the new online solution annually. The new service is also estimated to save Secretary Hammond’s staff thousands of hours, as well as benefit the citizens and businesses of South Carolina. Before the new online service, most requests took approximately a week to fulfill due to the post office handling time. With this new online service it is anticipated that requests will be completed in 24-48 hours.”

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) has released a huge amount of collection data to the general public. Under Creative Commons Zero. “This data release includes all of the works that have been both accessioned into MoMA’s collection and cataloged in our database. It includes basic data for each work, including title, artist, date made, medium, dimensions, and date acquired by the Museum. The data will be updated periodically with new acquisitions and research.”


IFTTT now has an NPR channel. It’s pretty basic; the trigger is a new NPR story.


I can’t wait to get rid of a couple of the Windows 8 machines in my charge. From How-To Geek: How to clean install Windows 10. “When you upgrade a Windows 7 or 8.1 system to Windows 10, the installer confirms that you have a ‘genuine Windows’ system installed and activates your computer for use with Windows 10. Note that you don’t actually get a Windows 10 product key — instead, your computer’s hardware is registered with Microsoft’s servers. When you install Windows 10 on that PC again in the future, it will check in with Microsoft’s servers, confirm it’s installed on a registered PC, and automatically activate itself.”


Google’s low-wage contract workers may unionize. “Labor organizers with the Teamsters union announced Monday that they’re holding an election to unionize workers for Google Express, the shopping service that delivers everything from toothpaste to televisions purchased by online consumers. The union is seeking to represent about 140 Google Express warehouse workers employed by Adecco, a temp agency that provides much of the delivery service’s Bay Area staff.”

Are major labels going to yank music videos from YouTube? “Unless the world’s number one content distributor loosens its grip, labels could remove their tunes from the site, according to a NY Post report. Unnamed execs from the big three — Universal, Sony, and Warner — told the NY Post that YouTube is one of the music industry’s worst distribution partners as it pays creators very little revenue, and lacks transparency, which could force a major lock down of the content.” And the labels’ videos would go… where? It’d be quite a coup for Facebook.

Google’s Project Loon is now covering Sri Lanka. “In the case of Google’s Project Loon, we are talking about a literal taking off, as Project Loon involves the release of balloons into the sky in order to deliver a semblance of Internet infrastructure to various locations that are difficult to have them wired. Having said that, Sri Lanka is the very first country in the world to obtain universal Internet access via Project Loon.”

Spain’s attempt to “tax” Google News ended up being a huge mess, as could only be expected. “Here’s the history: the Spanish Newspaper Publishers Association successfully convinced Spanish lawmakers in late 2014 to pass a strict “anti-piracy” law, which mandated compensation for the appearance of newspaper publishers’ content on news aggregation sites as of January 1, 2015. It was effectively directed at Google but applied broadly to all news/content aggregators. In response, Google shuttered Google News in Spain, though it has continued to present Spanish news sites on its main search engine results page (SERP) and in other ways. The Spanish publishers then tried unsuccessfully to get the government to force Google to keep Google News alive in Spain (to collect the tax).”

That didn’t take long: there’s already a guy who’s Periscoping full time. “Jon Jacques, a 20-year-old who worked at a video marketing company in New York City, has been spending his free time after work and on the weekends showcasing his street magic performances on the live-streaming app, Periscope. After a while, he realized he could turn his hobby into his dream job. In June, Jacques gained the courage to quit his high-paying job so he could Periscope full-time.”


Google has published a Chrome fix for a VPN security hole. “Google has published an extension for its Chrome browser that fixes a serious security hole that can reveal a user’s real IP address even though they’re using a VPN. The vulnerability was made headlines in early 2015 and caused a wave of panic but Chrome users can now mitigate the problem with few clicks.”

Yet another Android security bug can render your phone silent. “By either installing a malicious app on an Android device, or directing users to a nefarious website, hackers can cause an Android device to become ‘apparently dead — silent, unable to make calls, with a lifeless screen,’ Trend Micro explained. If the exploit is installed through an app, it can auto-start whenever the device boots, causing Android to crash every time the device is powered on.” From what I’m reading on other sites, if the bug is activated by just visiting a malicious site, you can reboot the phone and you’ll be fine. I’m reading a lot of different takes, though – I think this is still developing.


Research from the CDC: Hookah-Related Twitter Chatter (say THAT three times fast.) “From the full stream of tweets posted on Twitter from April 12, 2014, to May 10, 2014 (approximately 14.5 billion tweets), all tweets containing the terms hookah, hooka, shisha, or sheesha were collected (n = 358,523). The hookah tweets from Twitter users (tweeters) with high influence and followers were identified (n = 39,824) and a random sample of 5,000 tweets was taken (13% of tweets with high influence and followers). The sample of tweets was qualitatively coded for normalization (ie, makes hookah smoking seem common and normal or portrays positive experiences with smoking hookah) or discouragement of hookah smoking, and other common themes using crowdsourcing…. Approximately 87% of the sample of tweets normalized hookah use, and 7% were against hookah or discouraged its use. Nearly half (46%) of tweets that normalized hookah indicated that the tweeter was smoking hookah or wanted to smoke hookah, and 19% were advertisements/promotions for hookah bars or products.” Good morning, Internet…

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