West Australia, Vietnamese Sculpture, Tor, More: Monday Buzz, November 2nd, 2015


The West Australian has opened up its image database. “Some of the 48,000 images available to buy as digital downloads, framed and unframed prints, and canvases date to the 1800s. More are added daily from The West, Kalgoorlie Miner and Countryman.”

Now available: an online museum of 3D Vietnamese sculpture. Oh, this is wonderful. Well done Quang Tri Nguyen. “Now in his 20s, Nguyen has further developed his 3D scanning empire, and has launched an advanced Virtual 3D Museum of the ancient scultpures of Vietnam for visitors around the world to experience Vietnamese history firsthand. Modeled after a professional exhibition space, the digital 3D museum allows users to move freely around as though they were there in real life just by clicking and dragging their mouse, and actually interact with the 3D scanned models of Vietnamese relics in ways simply not possible in regular museums. He has also optimized the website on the HTML5 platform so users can access it and interact from nearly any device, from smartphones to smartTVs, without the need for installing additional apps, plugins or software.” The annotations appear to be entirely in Vietnamese, but this is so beautifully designed and executed you don’t need to read the annotations to enjoy the sculpture.

Tor has released an instant messaging tool and Forbes has an overview and user guide. “Though not perfect, it’s ideal for anyone looking for an IM tool designed with privacy in mind, as it not only encrypts communications, but routes users through the Tor network, made up of different ‘hops’ or relays, to hide their original IP addresses. Logging is disabled by default too, so there should be no record of conversations.”

There’s a new privacy-focused search engine in town — and it’s from Colombia (PRESS RELEASE). “Colombia’s young search engine Gyffu is moving from strength to strength. Now available in English as well as Spanish, the privacy focused search engine recently crossed the important mark of being one of the world’s top one million websites, along with breaking into Colombia’s top 10,000. This trend is expected to continue as interest in online privacy continues to build.”


Facebook is testing a “local market” feature. Any legitimate competition with Craigslist is all right with me. “A number of Facebook users recently reported seeing a new feature called ‘Local Market’ appearing briefly in their Facebook iPhone app, sometimes in place of the “Messenger” button at the bottom center of the screen. The feature, which is only in testing but not broadly distributed, is a more structured marketplace aimed at buyers and sellers, allowing Facebook users to browse through or post items to sell across a variety of product categories like autos, appliances, furniture, clothing, household, kids, books, and much more.”

Snapchat now has sponsored lenses. “Snapchat is now officially launching its first Sponsored Lens campaign to promote The Peanuts Movie. On Halloween, users will be able to add the Lens shown above to animate their selfie with candy corn and characters from the old Charlie brown comic strip. The Peanuts Movie will also have Sponsored Geofilters on Snapchat. In the age of ad blockers, Snapchat has found a way to slip marketing in by merging it with organic content.” Brilliant.


Web Design Ledger has a quick writeup on Listify, which lets you enter plain text and get HTML-formatted lists. “You simply input a raw text list of items and choose an ordered/unordered list format. You’ll also be able to specify if each list item should have an ID or various classes. You can choose spacing counts for indentations along with many other similar settings.” Handy tool.

Oh Minecraft, is there nothing you can’t do? how Minecraft could help teach chemistry. “Thanks to the work of my chemistry students and the support of the Royal Society of Chemistry, that is now possible. MolCraft is a world where the majestic helices of myoglobin rise above you. Where you can explore this massive molecule and its iron centre that carries oxygen around your muscles. Or, if you prefer you can fly down a pore through which water molecules normally flow across cell membranes.”

From Buffer: 20 Creative Ways to Use Evernote for Productivity and Marketing. Often these “xx ways to” have a couple of interesting things and then the rest is a) stuff I already knew, or b) not particularly interesting. But this one? I did two things: 1) I actually put reading this article closely and deciding what to implement on my task list for tomorrow, and 2) When I read one of the hints I swore out loud and slammed by hand on the desk because it’s an incredibly useful idea and I’m mad I didn’t think of it before. If you’re at all interested in Evernote and marketing, this is IMHO a must-read, is all I’m saying.

How-To Geek: How to Secure Your Google, Dropbox, and GitHub Accounts With a U2F Key. “U2F is an emerging standard for physical authentication tokens. Current U2F keys are all small USB devices. To log in, you won’t need to enter an authentication code provided from an app or SMS — just insert the USB security key and press a button. Here’s how they work.”


Staggering to think about: How does Facebook manage access so many photos? “Since it launched in February 2004, Facebook has grown into an online community where 890 million people log on each day. People share thoughts, photos, links and videos and like, share and comment on each other’s status updates. Users have uploaded a staggering 250 billion photos, with 350 million new photos each day. This online activity also produces some firsts for data management and distributed systems. With so many photos, and so many people constantly accessing them, what is the best way to store them? Questions like these interest Wyatt Lloyd, assistant professor in the USC Viterbi Computer Science Department.”


The low-cost Web hosting service 000Webhost has been hacked, and it appeared it had some revolting security practices. “[Troy] Hunt uncovered a variety of weaknesses, including the use of unencrypted HTTP communications on the login page and a code routine that placed a user’s plaintext password in the resulting URL. That means the unobfuscated passwords were likely written to all kinds of administer logs. It’s also possible that the site didn’t follow standard industry practices and cryptographically hash the passwords when storing them.” Good morning, Internet…

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