Pubs, Indiana, Roman Totenberg, More: Sunday Buzz, January 17, 2015


New-to-Me: An online archive/aggregation of closed pubs. I think this is pubs in the UK only. There are over 30,000 pubs listed here with over 15,000 images. Not all the closures are recent, either – I saw the Good Intent, which closed in 1919.

The state of Indiana has created a new tool to map all its road projects. “The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) recently created an online, interactive map that includes more than 1,700 planned projects for the state, allowing local residents to find projects and routes throughout Indiana.”

The Library of Congress has launched a new online exhibit for violinist Roman Totenberg. “The presentation—drawn from his personal papers, which were a gift to the Library from the Totenberg family—includes photographs, correspondence, video interviews, concert programs, publicity material and solo violin parts from core repertoire with Totenberg’s personal performance annotations. There is also a separate presentation of 61 woodblock prints, drawings and watercolors drawn from the Totenberg Papers that were created by his friend, Russian-born artist Ilka Kolsky.”

A digitized “visitor book” from WWI has been put online. “Members of the army, navy and Royal Flying Corps often stopped at a now derelict station in Cambridgeshire. Many wrote in visitor books kept in the tea room at Peterborough East railway station between 1916 and 1917.” There are 570 transcribed entries available.

Yahoo has released an enormous dataset for machine learning researchers. “Today, we are proud to announce the public release of the largest-ever machine learning dataset to the research community. The dataset stands at a massive ~110B events (13.5TB uncompressed) of anonymized user-news item interaction data, collected by recording the user-news item interactions of about 20M users from February 2015 to May 2015. The Yahoo News Feed dataset is a collection based on a sample of anonymized user interactions on the news feeds of several Yahoo properties, including the Yahoo homepage, Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Movies, and Yahoo Real Estate.”


The largest model railway in the world is now on Google Street View thanks to adorable, teeny-tiny cameras. “Street View cameras have floated on gondolas in Venice, ridden on camels in the Liwa Desert and soared on snowmobiles on Canadian slopes. But to capture the nooks and crannies in Miniatur Wunderland, we worked with our partner at Ubilabs to build an entirely new—and much smaller—device. Tiny cameras were mounted on tiny vehicles that were able to drive the roads and over the train tracks, weaving through the Wunderland’s little worlds to capture their hidden treasures.”

Bing has tweaked its logo. I still think it looks like a partially-unwound Google Drive logo.

It looks like many academic journals are going to require author IDs. “The scientific community seems to be coalescing at last around a single researcher identification standard. In an open letter released online today, some of the largest academic publishers and scientific societies are announcing that they will not just encourage, but ultimately require, researchers to sign up with ORCID, a nonprofit organization that uniquely identifies people with a 16-digit number.”


I don’t read Snopes as much as I did a long time ago because the advertising got pretty intrusive, but this roundup of fake/hoax news sites looks pretty handy. “So long as social media allows for the rapid spread of information, manipulative entities will seek to cash in on the rapid spread of misinformation. Perhaps the most egregious of the many nonsense peddlers on social media are fake news sites, so here we offer a guide to several of the most frequent (and unapologetic) hoax purveyors cluttering up newsfeeds everywhere.”


From The Atlantic: How to write a Golden Globe-nominated song using Google. “‘I just typed in a Google search—I just typed, “when you whisper my name I…,”‘ [composer David Lang] said. ‘I got thousands of pornographic things and terrible things and things that were so specific I couldn’t really use them. But I got a general catalog of what people say to their loved ones that they don’t want anyone else to hear.'”


In a discovery that should surprise exactly nobody, a German institution has found that “severe” software vulnerabilities were up in 2015. “According to Hasso Plattner Institute, while fewer software security vulnerabilities were reported worldwide in 2015 than in 2014, the number of published vulnerabilities with a high level of severity has increased. The university is concentrated on IT systems engineering, located in Potsdam.”

Politicians in New South Wales, Australia, are concerned about the satellite images of prisons on Google Maps, fearing they might be used for planning smuggling. “Satellite images showing aerial views of our state’s prisons may be blurred or blocked from public view amid fears they are providing criminals with a blueprint to the facilities. The state opposition has written to Corrections Minister David Elliott urging him to contact Google and request the images be removed.”


If you’re into Silicon Valley armchair quarterbacking, check out this take from Sarah Lacy on what Twitter should do. “Yahoo and Twitter should merge, Mayer should run the company with Dorsey in a key product role that makes the best use of his talents, while actually being a more appropriate part time job. Adam Bain should take over — and fix– all of Yahoo advertising since he’s the single greatest management asset Twitter has.” This is fascinating. I can imagine Jack Dorsey stomping into Yahoo and cleaning it up. Good morning, Internet…

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Categories: morningbuzz

2 replies »

  1. If you don’t read Snopes now because of their ads, then you should be running adblocker software. Don’t let yourself suffer because a website misbehaves.

    As you have previously noted, serving ads to computers is now a malware attack vector. If websites are not prepared to guarantee their ads are malware free, then it is basic self-defence for visitors to run an adblocker program.

    This system of wholesale dumping of ads onto computers needs to be rethought by websites.

  2. Hi Tara, I’m a physicist by training, with over 50 publications. ORCID might make it possible to unambiguously identify me as the author, no matter whether C. E. Friedberg (with or without spaces), Carl Friedberg, C. Friedberg, or Carl E. Friedberg (all of which have appeared as my name on various publications since 1963). I’ve just signed up for Research Gate, and I don’t know if that is a scam or something serious. There are issues around authorship of professional papers. FWIW. My ORCID is, which only lists 2 of my publications… Happy New Year and as always thanks for ResearchBuzz

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