Nigeria, New Mexico, Argentina, More: Sunday Buzz, January 31, 2016


Nigeria is getting a new online database of licensed doctors. “To check a doctor’s legitimacy, users go to the news website Sahara Reporters, which is hosting Dodgy Doctors, and type in their doctor’s name to see if it appears in the database of the Medical and Dental Council, Nigeria’s regulatory body for licensed practitioners.” It looks like medical fraud is a big problem in Nigeria, but as the article notes the information in the database is pretty outdated…

There is now a Web site devoted to the finds of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, in New Mexico. “The site includes an archaeological summary of the the project, a chronology, the nine volumes published about the work, a list of the nine dissertations resulting from the research, 37 special reports on subjects such as fiber and feathers, an extensive photo gallery and even reminiscences of excavators, all in an easy-to-navigate form.” The site was occupied, on and off, from about 1300 to about 1425, and is not currently open to the public.

The government of Argentina is going to create a “Hooligan Database”.”The announcement came hours after President Mauricio Macri, former president of the club Boca Juniors, called for players to set a better example in the wake of a friendly between Boca and fierce Buenos Aires rivals River Plate that descended into on-pitch scuffles. Hooliganism between rival ultras has roiled Argentine football for years and the database will create a register of supporters banned from stadiums.”

A post on Creative COW pointed me to a newly-available set of 1920s-1950s stock footage. “These films were recently discovered amongst my great grandfather’s personally shot footage from the 1920s through late 1950s from all over the world.” There are over 650 clips here, everything from a kid in 1930 turning cartwheels to footage of Japanese carp kites, shot in Japan in 1954, to the deck of a Queen Elizabeth cruise ship in what I’m guessing is the early 1950s. This a pay resource, but you can do a full preview of all the clips. Protip: if you just mouseover the clips, you’ll get a preview window that doesn’t work if you’ve turned Flash off (and you HAVE turned Flash off, right?) If you click on the clip, you’ll get taken to an information page which plays the clip automatically and doesn’t seem to require Flash.


Oracle is going to kill off the Java browser plugin. YAY! “The company has announced that it will be deprecated in the next version of Java to come out on September 22nd before being removed entirely by another future release.”

Sports sports SPORTS! I am very simple about sports; I root for the Chicago Cubs in everything. Wimbledon? Go Cubs. Super Bowl? Go Cubs. Random pro golf tournament? Go Cubs. It saves me huge amounts of money on fan wear and drastically reduces my chances for disappointment. Anyway, if you’re sportier than I am, you’ll appreciate this upgrade from Snapchat. “Possession wins trophies or, in this case, ad dollars. That’s why Snapchat stepped up its game late last year by quietly partnering with Now TechCrunch has learned that Snapchat has rolled new Live Score geofilters at every NBA arena and some other matches. They let anyone attending overlay real-time updated score graphics atop their photos and videos.” That’s brilliant.

Google is open-sourcing software again. This time it’s Google’s load balancer, SeeSaw. “Google announced today that it is open-sourcing Seesaw — a Linux-based load balancing system. The code for the project, which is written in Google’s Go language, is now available on GitHub under the Apache license.”


Research by an independent (non-Twitter) company suggests that Twitter’s userbase may have fallen by a third in the last two years? “Twitter’s American userbase may have fallen by a third over the past two years, according to figures from third-party analytics firm 7Park Data. The figures contradict Twitter’s own numbers, which report a 25% growth over the same period.” The article looks at various possible explanations for the difference in user counts. Twitter, according to the article, has not responded to a request for comment.

Bloomberg has a profile on GIF search engine Giphy. “One afternoon in December, Giphy’s two dozen staff members gathered around a long picnic table in their Lower East Side Manhattan office for a year-in-review meeting. The multicolored Christmas lights and six packs of Shiner Bock in the spacious, ninth-floor room made for a festive vibe—as did the 3D poster of a cat dangling from a wine bottle. Alex Chung, the 40-year-old co-founder and chief executive officer, stood next to a whiteboard, scrawling numbers charting the company’s growth.”

India may not allow Google Street View. “The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which was to take a decision on the matter, has put the ball in the Defence Ministry’s court for now, a senior government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.”

Bing is getting some love from Wall Street. “Microsoft’s Bing search engine had a good holiday quarter, reporting a 21% year-over-year increase in search revenue when measured in ‘continuous currency,’ which removes global market fluctuations. In a research note, Barclays says Bing will be ‘a large driver of further services monetization in subsequent quarters.'”


Facebook and Instagram have both banned private sales of guns. “A Facebook spokesperson said that the policy only applies to ‘peer-to-peer’ sales of guns, but not advertisements for guns that are posted about on Facebook by licensed retailers.”


Wow, um, okay. According to The Guardian, Google is testing solar-powered drones to deliver high-speed Internet. “Based out of the site near the town called Truth or Consequences, Project SkyBender is using drones to experiment with millimetre-wave radio transmissions, one of the technologies that could underpin next generation 5G wireless internet access. High frequency millimetre waves can theoretically transmit gigabits of data every second, up to 40 times more than today’s 4G LTE systems.” Good morning, Internet…

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