North Carolina, Kenya, Illinois, More: Wednesday Buzz, August 19th, 2015


The State Library of North Carolina has added several digital collections. Highlights include the papers of various governors, and the Uniform Crime Reports from 1973-2006.

The state of Illinois has a new database of teaching resources. “The Vision 20/20 21st Century Learning Center is a free online database of digital lesson plans and resources aligned to the state’s new set of learning standards. The material will be available for free on the iTunes U app — home to the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content, according to Apple.” Too bad about the iTunes part.


The Kenya Open Data Portal has been updated. “Today, the website has grown to provide more than 680 datasets from an initial of 200, in 2011 and hosts a variety of government data that include expenditure and resource allocations, education, health, energy, tourism, demographics studies and County Government specific data.”

WordPress 4.3 is now available. Looking forward to those formatting shortcuts.


From Free Technology for Teachers: 5 Tools Students Can Use to Keep Track of Assignments This Year. Dayboard looks rather interesting.

Google has build a standalone hangouts site. “Google has built Hangouts its own website, but it’s not spinning it out of Gmail completely like the company did with several properties to form its new parent corporation. It’s just one of the (many, many) ways to access the messaging service, in case you’d rather not keep Gmail open or your default browser is Firefox/MS Edge and, hence, can’t install the Chrome extension. The website’s photo background changes every few minutes like Chromecast’s, and it has quick links to video calling, voice calling and messaging.”


The Smithsonian has announced a public access plan for its research. “The Smithsonian has released its Plan for Increased Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research, based on the principles outlined by the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Through the new plan, all applicable publications and supporting data resulting from federally funded research will be available through the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) website or CHORUS, a nonprofit membership organization that helps federal entities increase public access to research. The plan will take effect Oct. 1 and apply to articles submitted to publishers on or after that date.”

Google is launching a wireless router. “…the company is launching a new device called the OnHub, in partnership with router-maker TP-Link. There’s another, Asus-made device in the works. For $199, it promises to make your Wi-Fi faster and more reliable, and to give you the ability to update and fix your connection. (You know, for the rare times unplugging it and plugging it back in just won’t do.) Presales start today, and devices will ship in the coming weeks.” It looks like a shorter, beefier Echo.

Music videos on UK YouTube are about to get ratings. “Several record labels, including Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music, have said they’ll send any videos they think might only be acceptable for viewers aged 12 or over to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the organisation responsible for rating films.”


Are you using Internet Explorer? You need to patch ASAP. “Microsoft today released an emergency software update to plug a critical security flaw in all supported versions of its Internet Explorer browser, from IE7 to IE 11 (this flaw does not appear to be present in Microsoft Edge, the new browser from Redmond and intended to replace IE). According to the advisory that accompanies the patch, this a browse-and-get-owned vulnerability, meaning IE users can infect their systems merely by browsing to a hacked or malicious Web site. ”

Hackers have apparently released the data from the Ashley Madison hack. “The data dump reportedly includes the login details of about 32 million users — all seeking extramarital or illicit affairs — and also provides a staggering amount of information such as their names, email and street addresses, how much they have spent on the site and even what they are looking for in a potential cheating partner.” Good morning, Internet…

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