Pubs (Again!), Basketball, Women’s Magazines, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, January 18, 2015


Suddenly my information traps are full of news about pubs! A man who shall surely be blessed by the gods of archiving saved a collection of pub pictures from a skip 25 years ago, and they’ve been digitized and put online. “More than 3,000 photographs were rescued by Mr [Robert] Humphreys, at the time an area manager for the brewery, and taken to the former Bass Museum, now the National Brewery Centre, in Burton-upon-Trent for safekeeping.”

Bing has launched a Web site predicting whether your favorite NCAA basketball team will make it to March Madness. I tested three teams: NCSU (maybe), Campbell University (No), and University of Richmond (No). PROVE ‘EM WRONG, FIGHTING CAMELS AND FIGHTING SPIDERS! “The Bing Predicts team takes a look at historical statistics to see which factors contribute to strong teams who make the tournament either automatically or as an at-large bid. The Bing team then built their own power index model, updated daily, which takes in factors ranging from each team’s strength of schedule, opponents’ win/lose record, and even detailed statistical analysis regarding their on-court tendencies such as ball control, rebounding and field-goal percentage. Then, Bing Predicts adds web activity and social sentiment to tune the strengths, capturing real-time information like injuries and line-up changes.”

ProQuest has a new women’s magazine archive available (PRESS RELEASE). “ProQuest is providing researchers with a unique lens on 19th and 20th-century history and culture by digitizing the complete archives of six of the foremost women’s magazines of the past century, making them easy to search and access. Women’s Magazine Archive encompasses such titles as Good Housekeeping, Better Homes & Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal, essential primary sources in the fields of gender studies, social history, marketing, fashion, media, and more.”

Chinese search engine Baidu is open-sourcing its AI software. “Chinese search-and-everything-else web giant Baidu has joined Google and Facebook in open-sourcing its artificial intelligence (AI) code in a bid to become a standard in an increasingly important market. The company’s Warp-CTC C library has been published on GitHub through its Silicon Valley lab, with an accompanying blog post encouraging developers to try it out.”


Very cool: Skype is rolling out its translation services to everybody. “Skype is currently able to translate seven languages voice-to-voice (Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish) and more than 50 over instant message.”

Looks like Google is working on extension-free tab casting in Chrome. “So instead of diving into the Chrome Web Store, you would be able to right-click on the page and select ‘Cast’ instead.” It looks like if you’ve got beta Chrome you can check this out…

More Google: Google Maps will soon start predicting where you’re going. Since I only go to work or home, I’m not going to be much of a challenge. “Here’s how it works: The update adds a new ‘Start Driving’ tab to Google Maps. Selecting this option will automatically begin driving directions to the location the app detects you’re most likely to want to go to at that moment.”

Looks like Facebook is testing another in-app browser. “Aside from the aesthetic shift, there seem to be a several new features to help it approximate a real browser. Not as if that were a difficult task; the old browser didn’t do much beyond loading the page you wanted to read and following hyperlinks to other sites.”


Big publishing names have apparently fallen victim to the dreaded Google Update. “Tier one websites including,,, and have all fallen victim to recent updates to Google’s core search algorithm with their web pages no longer featuring as prominently as the search giants rankings, according to a Searchmetrics.”


Sean Cassidy has documented a security issue with popular password keeper LastPass. “I have discovered a phishing attack against LastPass that allows an attacker to steal a LastPass user’s email, password, and even two-factor auth code, giving full access to all passwords and documents stored in LastPass. I call this attack LostPass. The code is available via Github.” Good morning, Internet…

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