Minecraft, Mumbai, Buckingham Palace, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, January 22, 2016


Microsoft has announced an education-specific version of Minecraft. “Rather than starting from scratch, Microsoft also acquired MinecraftEdu to serve as the foundation for the Education Edition. MinecraftEdu is an expanded version of the game, developed for classrooms by the independent educational developer TeacherGaming. It adds features such as custom blocks and teacher controls to empower educators and facilitate in-game interactions.”


Google has added the Dr Bhau Daji Lad City Museum to the Google Cultural Institute. “With this, people around the world will be able to experience online over 200 highlights from the museum’s rare collection of early art and design practices from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries, as well as contemporary art exhibitions held at the museum.”

Speaking of, Google has added Buckingham Palace to Google Expeditions. “At the moment, the tour is only available through Google Cardboard, but there’s a 360-degree YouTube video of the palace, meaning you can take a private tour of the Queen’s art collection from your phone while watching the horses at Ascot or waiting in line at the grocery store.”

Vine is three years old and now has a Trends page. “To commemorate 2015, Vine also released a playlist of its most looped vines in the past 12 months. At the number one spot is the clip that showed the moment a bomb went off during the Paris attacks this past November.”

Facebook has added Tor support for Android. “Governments may be gnashing their teeth over encryption – we’re looking at you, New York, UK and China – but over the summer, one intern was crunching away at the code necessary to bring Facebook users the increasingly popular ability to connect securely and privately.”


Venture Beat has a story on a new tool called Popily, which tries to make data visualization very simple. “You start by importing your information through a CSV, database, or similar file. Then, its system will use machine learning to interpret the data provided. Finally, it provides charts and graphs for you to review. If any of these visualizations work, they can be saved, shared, or embedded anywhere, including on PowerPoint presentations, blog posts, and more.”


According to this Reuters story, Yahoo has turned down “several potential buyers” for its core assets recently. “Yahoo’s resistance to the outright sale has set it on a collision course with activist investor Starboard Value LP, which earlier this month reiterated its call for the company to auction off the core business.” Interesting to watch, but if I were working there I would retrofit a Pez dispenser so it hands out Tums.

Apparently Google Play had twice as many app downloads last year as Apple’s App store. “Overall, the report says, Google Play saw around 200 million (Android) versus 100 million (iOS) downloads over the course of the year, largely driven by Android’s growth in emerging markets. Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico accounted for nearly half of Android’s download growth.”


The Seattle Police Department is putting its bodycam footage on YouTube. “Nearly all of the videos on the YouTube channel have been redacted. The police department has currently uploaded 2,591 videos to the channel. Many are only a few minutes long, but some last 15 minutes or longer.”

Ewww. Shodan now has a section that lets you creep on unsecured Web cams. Good morning, Internet…

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