Jewish Books, Viet Nam, Academic Credentials, More: Sunday Afternoon Buzz, December 6th, 2015


The full run of the Jewish Book Annual — 1942 to 1999 — is now available as a digital archive. “Published by the Jewish Book Council, or JBC, from 1942 through 1999, Jewish Book Annual was for many decades a trilingual journal, with distinct sections in English, Hebrew and Yiddish that included a review of the previous year in Jewish literature, a complete bibliography in fiction, nonfiction and children’s books, and essays on important figures and events on the Jewish literary scene.” I went and took a look and browsed through the first issues. It appears to be free.

The country of Viet Nam will set up a national real estate database. “The database will be developed on a nationwide scale and will provide consistent and convenient market information about the realty market for state management and socio-economic development. The decree says provision of distorted information could attract administrative fines or even criminal proceedings in line with established law.”

In development: a secure digital database of academic records, with the aim of reducing fraud. Looks like it’ll be multiple countries. “Universities are planning to build a secure digital database for employers to check job applicants’ academic records and check the growing incidence of credential fraud….The initiative, called the Digital Student Data Project, is also set to be expanded internationally with student academic records from over a dozen countries including the US, China, India, the UK, Canada and New Zealand likely to be able to be accessed.” I hope it really is secure.


It’s that time of year, and once again, Google has busted out all the Santa stuff. “Santa’s Village is a hub of activity as the elves code algorithms to tune Santa’s sleigh, translate ‘Happy Holidays’ into Elvish and Danish, and practice their cartography with Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Vixen… all to get Santa ready for his trip around the world on December 24.”

LinkedIn has launched a new app. “We’ve not only rebuilt the new Flagship app from scratch but we have taken everything you love and more to develop a mobile experience that is more intuitive, smarter and dramatically simplifies your LinkedIn experience. We know time is scarce, so we made it as easy as possible for you to connect to your professional network and stay informed about the conversations and content most relevant to you.”

IFTTT has a new channel: Honeywell Total Connect Comfort. Channel. “Honeywell Total Connect Comfort allows users of supported North American and Middle Eastern thermostats to remotely control their devices and manage their home’s comfort and energy usage anytime, anywhere.”


Got a ton of pictures to edit? Digital trends looks at batch editing in Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS.

Lost? Don’t have a data connection to get directions? can help. “Users tap a button that sends a text message with their location — captured from the GPS hardware without a data connection — and where they are trying to go. The service then returns directions that are opened up in the application. All this works because the GPS technology can run whether or not there’s an active data connection, and doesn’t require a new local SIM card or something along those lines.”

From Make Tech Easier: VPN Extensions for Google Chrome to Keep Your Browsing Private. “Traditionally, to use a VPN, you need to install a client-side application on your system so that the VPN service can encrypt all the incoming and outgoing connections system wide. But if you just want to encrypt browser connections, then using the browser extensions makes a lot of sense. With that in mind, here are some of the best VPN extensions for Chrome.”


Google has put a big pile of money into renewable energy. “Today we’re announcing the largest, and most diverse, purchase of renewable energy ever made by a non-utility company. Google has already committed to purchase more renewable energy than any other company. Now, through a series of new wind and solar projects around the world, we’re one step closer to our commitment to triple our purchases of renewable energy by 2025 and our goal of powering 100% of our operations with clean energy.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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