Substance Abuse, Medieval Manuscripts, GPO, More: Thursday Buzz, February 4, 2016


The state of New York has launched the Bed Availability Dashboard, a new site for residents to find openings for addition treatment. At this writing there are 235 organizations with beds available. Information is returned in a table that includes name and contact information for the organization, number of adult and adolescent beds available (for male, female, and transgender patients), the next available admission appointment, and the date the entry was last updated. The state’s announcement about the new site provides a few more resources for addressing substance abuse.

Three Pennsylvania institutions are leading a project to digitize a large collection of medieval works. “Lehigh [University], the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania are leading a project, called Bibliotheca Philadelphienis, that will digitalize the largest regional collection of medieval and early modern manuscripts in the country.” The collection is expected to be almost 160,000 pages.

The Government Publishing Office (GPO) has launched, a new portal for official government documents. It’s in beta. “As of the Feb. 3 launch, there are more than 1.5 million documents archived on the site, including the Congressional Record, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations and the federal budget.” More features are on the way; hit the link for details.

The New York Times will be publishing previously-unpublished images of African-Americans during Black History Month. The story about Jackie Robinson reminded me of that wonderful kid’s book by Betty Bao Lord, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, which takes place around the same time as Mr. Robinson spoke to the Sociology Society at City College in New York.

Wired has a story about a new search engine for television show The Simpsons. “Frinkiac, named after Springfield’s favorite eccentric scientist, Professor Frink, landed on the Internet yesterday with all the subtlety of a Lard Lad Donuts mascot. It collects every quote from the first 15 seasons of The Simpsons, the most quotable show of the last two decades, and pairs them with screenshots from the exact moment they happened.” It sounds amazing. Unfortunately I am not very Simpsons-savvy, but even I know Mr. Burns and his trademark “Excellent” and, using that, found a ton of screenshots.


Facebook is launching a public awareness campaign for the Zika virus. “The first video, released today in Portuguese with English subtitles, lists the steps pregnant women should take in order to avoid mosquitos. Developed in partnership with Ambrasco Divulga — Brazil’s public health wing — [Mark] Zuckerberg said that Facebook is committed to help raise awareness in the country and across the continent.”

Is Google Play going to get podcasts? “It was way back in October that we’d heard about podcast support coming to Google Play Music. Fast forward to now, and it feels like it’s been a much longer wait than it was for family plans to finally arrive.” Are we ever going to get a decent podcast search engine?


MakeUseOf has an Evernote vs. OneNote smackdown. I keep trying to get into Evernote and I can’t do it. Wonder if I need to try OneNote…


Business Insider takes a look at the state of Yahoo Labs. “The in-house research labs are a badge of honor, showcasing a company’s advances in everything from artificial intelligence to speech recognition, and signaling to the world that the company is in the big leagues. But Yahoo’s efforts to maintain an advanced research operation have been bumpy and its in-house research lab is now showing signs of a breakdown inside its ailing parent company.”

Tumblr has really dropped some value. “Yahoo, which bought Tumblr in 2013, said it had reduced its valuation of the blogging service by $230 million, or about 23%. The move was basically an acknowledgment that Yahoo overpaid in the $1.1 billion deal.”


Do you use Malwarebytes? You should be aware it’s still fixing some security issues. “Malwarebytes said it could take three of four weeks to fix flaws in its consumer product that were found by a Google security researcher. The company has fixed several server-side vulnerabilities but is still testing a new version of its Anti-Malware product to fix client-side problems, CEO Marcin Kleczynski said in a blog post.” At least the company is being up front and communicative.


Researchers did some crawling around the Dark Web and discovered what they could find was mostly illegal. “…researchers Daniel Moore and Thomas Rid have carried out an in-depth scan of hidden-services websites within the Tor network….The researchers’ conclusion: dark web sites are, in fact, most commonly used for crime.” Good morning, Internet…

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