Aerospace, Internet of Things, Marine Biology, More: Thursday Buzz, January 7, 2015


Aviation Week & Space Technology has launched its 100-year archive (PRESS RELEASE). “Penton’s Aviation Week & Space Technology launched its 100-year digital archive today in collaboration with Boeing, the sponsor of the archive. Both companies trace their roots to 1916. The archive includes 4,500 issues and nearly 500,000 pages of articles, photos and advertising.” It looks like the archives are free but you have to register to access them.

There is a new research hub for the Internet of Things (IoT). “Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, has today confirmed a new interdisciplinary Research Hub to drive forward UK research in the Internet of Things (IoT). The PETRAS consortium of nine leading UK universities will work together over the next three years to explore critical issues in privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security. Funding for the Hub includes a £9.8 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) which will be boosted by partner contributions to approximately £23 million in total.”

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has made its Deep-Sea Guide free to the public. “Accessible with a click of a mouse are about 25,000 hours of video the institute has been collecting for 25 years with remotely operated vehicles sent underwater up and down the Eastern Pacific Ocean.”

Motherboard has an article about a new search engine called Omnity. It sounds like clustering 2.0 (remember clustering engines?) “[Omnity CEO Brian] Sager explained that when Omnity searches across documents, it throws out ‘grammatical glue but semantic noise’—commonly used words like ‘the,’ ‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘it.’ Stripped of this ‘noise,’ Omnity is then able to analyze the remaining ‘rare words’ to find common threads that link together different documents.”

Meanwhile, Betanews has a writeup about a new privacy-focused search engine, Oscobo. “Founded on the belief that ‘personal data should remain just that — personal’, Oscobo is a UK-based company that says it won’t store any data about its users, let alone share it with anyone else. With the controversy surrounding the snooper’s charter, it makes sense that the privacy-focused search engine should start life in the UK, but there are plans to expand further afield to provide tailored results for people around the world.” I took a quick look at it and can’t figure where it’s getting its search results from. I e-mailed and asked and will put up something else if I get an answer. I did quite like the way it displayed search results from Twitter.

The state of Alabama is going to get a database of Home Owner Associations (HOAs). “The state of Alabama recently enacted a new law that will require all homeowners’ associations (HOAs) to register and file governing and financial documents with the Secretary of State.”


That didn’t take long: Snapchat is closing its lens store.


The Chronicle of Higher Education has a writeup on what sounds like a really useful tool for livetweeting. “Created by Kevin Marks, Noter Live provides a simple web-based tool that allows you to save and switch between speakers, as well as hashtags. It also saves the tweets in a kind of notepad. It’s free and open source, and I like the simple and clean interface.”

Could be useful, but could also be really abused: the “I’m a Gentleman” extension gives Chrome image-downloading superpowers. “Install the add-on and you find yourself with a new toolbar button: click on it, grant it permission, and all of the images on the current page are swiftly transferred to the default download folder. Make sure automatic downloads are set from the Chrome settings tab, otherwise you’ll be greeted with a flurry of download dialogs on screen.” I can see many uses for good, but also not-so-good…


Wikimedia has announced the 20 most-edited pages on Wikipedia in 2015. “Most of the list breaks down into three general categories. Topics like ‘Deaths in 2015’ are perennial top-edited pages and will surprise few if anyone.[2] Others reflect popular culture and major events, such as the two tragic terror attacks in Paris or Jurassic World; this becomes much more prevalent as you move down the list. Last, articles like ‘Geospatial Summary of the High Peaks/Summits of the Juneau Icefield’ are principally the work of one author making many thousands of edits.”


Time Warner is warning that some customer data might have been stolen. “Time Warner Cable Inc. said on Wednesday up to 320,000 customers may have had their email passwords stolen. The company said email and password details were likely gathered either through malware downloaded during phishing attacks or indirectly through data breaches of other companies that stored Time Warner Cable’s customer information, including email addresses.” I’m just now reading about this. 320,000 doesn’t sound like a lot, but in my experience these numbers tend to go up…

Just in case you still use Internet Explorer: versions 8, 9, and 10 are reaching “end of life” on Tuesday, 12 January. “End of life means the browsers will no longer receive security updates or any other kind of patches, leaving those running them wide open to new vulnerabilities in the future.” Good morning, Internet…

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