Art, Social Media Archiving, Water, More: Short Thursday Buzz, January 21, 2016


The Yale Center for British Art has released over 20,000 images into the public domain. “This new release contains a treasure trove of images of over 1,700 prints after works by J. M. W. Turner, as well as masterpieces by William Blake, Thomas Rowlandson, and others. Under Yale University’s Open Access Policy, anyone may use the Center’s digital images of public domain material without any application, authorization, or fees due to the Center or to Yale.”

A tool is being developed to archive social media during historically-important events. “The project responds to the public’s use of social media for chronicling historically significant events, as well as demand from scholars and archivists seeking a user-friendly means of collecting and preserving digital content. As part of the project, the three institutions will develop DocNow, a cloud-ready, open-source application that will be used for collecting tweets and their associated metadata and Web content.”

Researchers have developed a new water scarcity map. “Researchers from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, the Global Water Policy Project and the Center for Environmental Systems Research at the University of Kassel in Germany measured global water scarcity — the lack of sufficient water resources to meet demand — around the world at unprecedented resolution, incorporated seasonal and dry year shortages, and synthesized the information into a single, easily understandable global map that planners and policy-makers can use to improve access to water around the world.”


Google has put Mont Blanc on Google Street View. “By working with legendary adventurers, the Street View team was able to capture the spirit of the massif in a way few witness firsthand. Run on the summit with Kilian Jornet—he holds the speed record for ascending and descending Mont Blanc in just 4 hours 57 minutes! Ice climb up a serac with record-setting alpine climber Ueli Steck, or go knee deep in powder alongside 14-time ski mountaineering champion Laetitia Roux and famed guide Patrick Gabarrou.” Or just blink at the blue sky and wonderfully white snow, and feel your blood pressure ease off.

Productivity app Trello has launched a developer platform. “A few months ago, project management tool Trello launched third-party integrations with tools like Slack, GitHub and Salesforce for its paying users. Now, it is opening this platform to more developers with the launch of its so-called ‘Power-Ups Platform’ for developers who want to integrate their services with Trello.”


From Amit Agarwal, who let’s face it is always brilliant: How to record your desktop screen with YouTube.


Google Maps has had issues in the past with people goofing around with site and place named, and said it put some features in place so it wouldn’t be so much of an issue. Hint: it’s not working. “Google users interested in local topography might be surprised to find pot-related place names for our mountains listed by the popular search engine’s mapping software, including Weed Peak, Grow Op Peak, Cannabis Peak and Hydroponic Peak.”


Hoo-boy. My instance to my husband that we replace our ancient CRT television with a dumb TV (instead of a “Smart TV” like the nice man at Tiger Direct was trying to sell him) is looking better and better considering this latest about Nest. “The Nest thermostat is a popular smart device that supposedly helps users to save money on heating and cooling, and also have a cool-looking round electronic device on their walls. Yet two researchers at Princeton University pointed out a problem that should terrify most Nest users: their thermostats were broadcasting their location, unencrypted, over WiFi.” Good morning, Internet…

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