afternoonbuzz

Dinosaurs, Facebook, Browsers, More: Saturday Buzz, October 10th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The Dinosaur National Monument’s “Wall of Bones” has been mapped and digitized. “Dinosaur National Monument’s famous Wall of Bones is now online for everyone to explore. Two stories high and packed with fossils, the Carnegie Quarry is one of the few places in existence where the public can view dinosaur bones exactly where they were first uncovered in the rock. … The Carnegie Quarry originally held over 5000 fossils, 1500 of which remain in the rock where they were deposited in an ancient riverbed. Athird of those are currently included in the interactive Digital Quarry. Eventually, the Digital Quarry will incorporate all of the original 5000 – digitally reconstructing the historic quarry and making all associated data and archival materials publicly accessible.”

TWEAKS & UPDATES

Facebook is now offering “Verified” badges for businesses in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. “Facebook today started rolling out verified badges for local businesses. The badges come in the form of gray check marks — to differentiate them from the blue checks displayed on verified Pages for celebrities, public figures, sports teams and other media and entertainment organizations — and are available for businesses with a physical location in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.” This should have happened years ago. It’s too easy for spammers to spoof a real business and then distribute fake contest content.

Google Domains now works with Google Apps. Because there’s nothing quite like making new features available for your paying customers last.

USEFUL STUFF

From Hongkiat: 10 Offline Browsers for Windows. The title of the article says Windows, but at least three of the tools mentioned here are available for Linux, and at least two are available for Mac. “An offline browser helps you browse the Web offline, cutting down on your Internet expenses. Think of it as a ‘save now, read later’ tool but involving whole websites and all its internal layers and links. The contents will be downloaded and their resources cached, so that you can browse the website and its pages later even without an Internet connection.”

From The Internet Patrol: How to stop Google ads from following you around the Internet.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The state of New York and Facebook are teaming up to fight sex trafficking. “The partnership will leverage technology to identify victims of sex trafficking in online advertisements for commercial sex, and pursue the traffickers that engage in this practice of modern day slavery. The initiative will focus, in particular, on identifying child victims of sex trafficking, including those who are reported as missing…. As part of the initiative, the Attorney General’s office will work with Facebook to develop algorithms that will identify evidence of trafficking in these online advertisements, including pattern analysis of ad language, phone numbers, images, and other data, as well as identification of missing children who appear in advertisements for commercial sex. When advertisements including potential victims of trafficking are identified, the Attorney General, in conjunction with other law enforcement partners and victim’s support groups, will take immediate action.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

An expanded tool tracks the way personal information is used in online advertising. “With computer scientists, Augustin Chaintreau and Daniel Hsu, and graduate students Mathias Lecuyer, Riley Spahn and Yannis Spiliopoulos, [Roxana] Geambasu has designed a second-generation tool for bringing transparency to the Web. It’s called Sunlight and builds on its predecessor, XRay, which linked ads shown to Gmail users with text in their emails, and recommendations on Amazon and YouTube with their shopping and viewing patterns. The researchers will present the new tool and a related study on Oct. 14 in Denver, at the Association for Computing Machinery’s annual conference on security.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Stanford: Will Facebook Replace Traditional Research Methods? “The breadth of Facebook data allows for discovering patterns that would be impossible to detect using traditional approaches. By analyzing Facebook Likes of millions of users, for example, we can reveal subtle patterns that would be difficult to identify using traditional surveys. For example, if someone likes The Matrix, a human analyst would have trouble translating it into a prediction of the given person’s character, but a computer model can put it into the context of millions of other users and would conclude, in this case, that the individual is likely to be intelligent and introverted.”

Great read: Museums as 21st century databases. “It is important to remember that museums have always been databases. From the founding of the first museum, our goal has been to take items that are culturally significant and protect them, catalog them, research them, and love them. We treat our collections not as objects stored on a shelf, but rather as the physical embodiment of a vast repository of data describing our cultures and our histories. In this, museums were ahead of their time. As industry has grown around us, they have begun to realize the value of stored knowledge.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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