Australia, Physicians, Holocaust, More: Thursday Buzz, August 20th, 2015


Now available: a tool to get information on Australian property values. From the screenshots in the article it looks a bit like Zillow for Australia. OF course, there may already be a Zillow for Australia… “With the launch of Home Price Guide on Aug. 20, everyone will have access to estimates of property values — whether or not the home is on the market — instantly. The site, available for free on iOS and Android apps, plus desktop and mobile sites, allows people to search more than 13 million properties across Australia. Buyers or curious locals can find out the estimated value of the property to buy or rent, go through the full sale and rental history, check out surrounding properties and view the estimated rental yield.”

There’s a new search engine out there, and it’s looking for Kickstarter funding. “Dr. Philip Kovacs’ company, Vastly Inc., is seeking $250,000 through Kickstarter for its Complexity Engine educational Internet search engine, the patent-pending technologies for which are licensed from The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).” 250K? Yow. “Complexity Engine uses a sophisticated algorithm to search websites for content and delivers free, customized and age-appropriate reading materials to a user’s computer. In an educational setting, it promises to give teachers, parents and students an efficient, affordable way to promote reading. Teachers and administrators can set parameters for the search results, and the reading experience can be either student self-directed or guided by the teacher.” Now, it’s 2am as I write this so it’s entirely possible that I missed it, but I can’t find the actual link to the Kickstarter campaign in this article. It is: .

I have seen state medical boards that allow users to search on disciplinary action for a doctor/medical professional, but never one that lets you search every active licensed physician in the US. Until I read about new resource Docinfo. “The Docinfo physician search tool ( draws data from the FSMB’s Physician Data Center, the nation’s most comprehensive database of physician licensure and disciplinary information. The Data Center is regularly updated with information provided to the FSMB by its membership of 70 state medical and osteopathic boards, which license all U.S. physicians, and discipline several thousand physicians each year for unprofessional conduct, incompetence and other issues. The tool also includes data on thousands of physician assistants regulated by state medical boards.” Note this search tool is limited, apparently, it active physicians. If you’re looking for someone who has had their license suspended and whose license is expired, you will (in my experience) have more luck searching a state-based board tool.

The Art Gallery of Ontario has launched a digital archive of Holocaust images. “The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves and with contributions from the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, has developed a digital archive of more than 4,000 rarely seen images from its Henryk Ross Collection of Lodz Ghetto Photographs. Created for educators, students, scholars and others interested in the history of the Lodz Ghetto, the website,, features searchable, digital renderings of Henryk Ross’s original nitrate-based negatives. The launch of the digital archive, made possible by several generous supporters, marks the 70th anniversary of Ross’s physical unearthing of the original negatives in 1945.”


Bing is making some changes to its news exploration for mobile. “If you’re like many folks (the Bing team included!) who read news on your smartphone, you may not have the time to read full articles on the go. In fact, our research has found that reading headlines is the most common way to browse news on smartphones, with about two-thirds of users doing so (compared to just 41% who read a full article). Now, we’re offering a way to quickly understand how individual news articles relate to a bigger picture just by skimming headlines across different news topics.”


NICE. How to build a Google Spreadsheet that auto-tweets your archives. “Set it and forget it. That’s what we wanted from a program that would reduce our social media workload and surface the Storybench archives. Much like the “scheduling tweets” function from Twitter programs like Hootsuite, we wanted a simple-to-use script that would auto-tweet stories from our backlog. We found a solution created by Zach Whalen, a professor of digital media at the University of Mary Washington. ”

Trustify has created a tool for users to check to see if their e-mail address was compromised in the Ashley Madison hack. Just enter an e-mail address and it tells you yes or no. Bear in mind that the e-mail address being listed doesn’t necessarily mean anything (especially if it’s not yours.) I got a hit on and I’m absolutely certain Barack Obama has far better things to do with his time than hang out on Ashley Madison.


Soon you may be able to review your local government agency on Yelp. “Yelp, the popular Web and mobile service that helps people find local businesses by ratings and is best known for restaurant reviews, is now open for official government use. GSA is opening the door to agencies to launch new Yelp pages to listen and respond to comments from the public, then use the data to drive improvements to services.”

Wow, Google went public 11 years ago this week. Get off my lawn!

REI has open-sourced its GovDashboard tool (PRESS RELEASE). “REI built GovDashboard to incorporate the strongest features of public sector transparency dashboards commissioned by the U.S. Federal Government such as and Popular features include a user-friendly interface, a dozen standard ways to visualize data, dashboard building, and customization tools that can incorporate data tables and visualizations, text, photos, and other objects, with content updated as frequently as data sources change.”


The Knight Foundation did some research into how Americans use Twitter for news. “In order to better understand how Americans are engaging with news on Twitter, we built a small but representative sample of 176 Twitter users from an earlier national survey of 3,212 Americans conducted by Pew Research Center in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. We then analyzed the Twitter activity of these users, with their explicit permission.”


Do you want to send your name to Mars? Here ya go. “Mars enthusiasts around the world can participate in NASA’s journey to Mars by adding their names to a silicon microchip headed to the Red Planet aboard NASA’s InSight Mars lander, scheduled to launch next year.” Good morning, Internet…

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